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08-02-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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Home theater receiver upgrade. Hmmm.....

I've had my Yamaha HTR-5280 receiver since about late 2002 or so. It has been a great receiver & it still rocks today. Whenever friends & family come to the house to watch a movie, they get blown away. Even though the receiver is about 14 years old, it still works like new. However, times & technology have changed. I find it hard trying to plug in a lot of stuff I have due to the fact that this receiver doesn't really support HDMI. It only has coaxial & optical digital inputs. I've been looking at replacing my aging BLU-RAY player with a slightly newer one I've noticed that some newer BLU-RAY players don't even have coaxial & optical outputs! I have to unplug & replug a lot of stuff from my TV & receiver to get things to work. Gah!

I really love my old Yamaha & I've looked at Yamaha's latest offerings, but then I see that I have to pay a ton of money to get something equivalent to what I have. Roughly about $1,200 or so. It's a bit too much for me. That led me to search around & stumble on Onkyo. The Onkyo TX-NR747 seems to offer a lot of bang for the buck. I found it very reasonably priced at Amazon. Besides the 7 HDMI inputs, it has a lot of other inputs & it even has a phono input! I can still use my Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable!

The downside is that I will have to start unloading some of my older audio & video equipment & start spending money on slightly newer stuff. My Sony BLU-RAY player is from 2010 or so & the TV from 2010 too. I tend to lag very far behind at times. Hahaha! I've never owned anything from Onkyo, so I was wondering if any of you guys had any experiences with them. This Onkyo receiver almost sounds too good to be true. Hmmmm......

08-02-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
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There may be a HDMI converter box you can use.

Indeed there are boxes that will split out coax analog audio (RCA) and TOSLINK SPIDIF audio. You just won't be able to switch your video source through the receiver.

Last edited by Not a Number; 08-02-2016 at 01:41 PM.
08-02-2016, 01:57 PM   #3
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Thanks! I actually looked at some of those, but I think it's probably time that I start upgrading some stuff here. I mean, I still have an old Phillips audio CD recorder, Sony cassette deck, a Sony MiniDisc, & a Sony VCR. I never really use those. I mainly use the receiver, BLU-RAY, CD player, Roku, turntable, Wii U, cable box, & TV. I'd also like to be able to stream music out of my PC through the receiver too.
08-02-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
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Input on home cinema discussion

Sorry about the sad pun in the title.

I've been into home cinema since the mid 90's but now I've stripped out the 'redundant' units in my system and I'm left with three power amps (and active bipolar subwoofer) a digital preamp (from 1998), pay TV box, a bluray player and TV, a store room full of unused AV kit and a big box of unused analogue cables. So right now my set up is begging for an unpdate to become functional with the significant change in technology that exists now and will come in the next few years (I asume more online/network and UHD functionality). I bought through specialist stores and one of my friends who installs home cinemas is recommending Denon: Denon Global | Please choose your Denon region So for me I understand why you'd be looking at an upgrade, things have moved on too far not to.

Well like you I've not used Onkyo equipment and have considered this brand as one of the most likely candidates for my system upgrade. I can't personally vouch for Onkyo equipment but they do have a decent reputation here in Oz, and the Brit Magazine What Hi Fi has done reviews on a number of Onkyo units here: Onkyo Home cinema | Reviews and products | What Hi-Fi?[0]=subcategory_seo_url:home-cinema-amplifiers

What Hi Fi are a resource I've used for purchase decisions since the mid 90's and consider them to be a reliable source for equipment reviews. For another perspective Cnet have a short video review that is positive about a similar model here: Onkyo TX-NR646 review - CNET

From these two sources alone I'd be pretty confident you're getting a decent piece of kit at least similar in reliability to the Yamaha you're replacing. If it's at the right price and comes with a warranty it's probably time to stop worrying too much and pull the trigger. However, If you do have some reservations look up a local hifi/home cinema retailer that stocks Onkyo and see if you can get a demo in store. Actually some mainstream sellers in Oz have demo rooms too, I'd expect the same over your way.

Good luck with it all, I think the home cinema units these days are like our cameras. The capabilities for the money are a significant improvement on the units of old.

Regards,

Tas

08-02-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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I've been hooked on home audio theater stuff since the mid '90s when we first got a Yamaha receiver with Dolby Surround. I updated that receiver in 2002 with the current one I have 'cause of the TOSLINK & coaxial connections required for DVD players. I even got a complete JBL Studio series set of speakers around that time. All 4 bookshelf sized speakers are the same & the center speaker was also a Studio version along with a Studio subwoofer. I used to work at Best Buy way back in the day & JBL & Yamaha were offering some insane employee discounts on their stuff & I jumped on it. I figured that I would be "future proof" for a while & I imagined that the next thing would have been something where the video & audio were in one cable. BAM! HDMI comes out in about 2006 or so. Hahaha! I've been able to use my receiver with all DVD & BLU-RAY players 'cause it has plenty of TOSLINK & coaxial connections. But yeah. It's getting older.

I've been looking at random sites & reviews. It looks like it's a pretty good receiver. It's been replaced with the TX-NR757, but the TX-NR747 has waaaaaaaaaaay more stuff than my current receiver. I think I'm going to make the purchase. I'm debating whether to keep my Yamaha or just sell it off along with some other audio stuff that's just sitting here. It all works great, but in this "digital era", they're limited to playing what is actually there. In other words, no HDMI, no WIFI, no bluetooth, no streaming.
08-02-2016, 10:09 PM   #6
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It sounds like we jumped into it around the same era and have gotten to the same problem in the end.

My first Receiver was a Yamaha RVX 2010 which was top of the line for it's day and was Dolby Digital ready but you had to buy an add on unit for the AC3 input. Actually I remember having to check for the Dolby Digital symbol when looking at purchases of Laser Discs, LD players and Receivers. Ironically considering some of the Sony QA stuff going around the internet I am still running Sony's first generation Dolby Digital decoder, the EDP9ES. I ran that and a Marantz AV2600 for years, one was all digital the other all analogue. A bit more irony, my Marantz CD67 Mk 2SE CD player has it's own pre-amp, so instead of routhing the CD signal through the pre-amp I picked up a Cambridge Audio switch block that allowed me to run the CD signal from the CD player directly to the power amps. I was a bit of a nerd for this stuff back in the day.

I don't run anything analogue these days though I'd like to pick up a record player and pull out the old records again. It's been decades since I've listended to them but if I do this I will need to buy a unit like you that contains a phono stage or go back to two pre-amps and still no dual zones, HDMI switching, wifi, bluetooth etc. A new receiver makes so much sense.

My system is based around floor standers in the front and back and big black speakers was what I wanted. Yet now I look at it and think that in-wall/in-ceiling speakers would give me 90% of what I need and give me back most of my lounge room. Same with having three separate power amps instead of one box and a flat screen that's not wall mounted. Funny how I've not been interested in smaller less conspicuous kit until I got older. Except for a big TV, that's the only thing that can't be small.

One thing I tried for a while was to use a second power amp to drive the rear speakers. This was when I had the Yamaha receiver with something like 20W or 40W to the rear channels. If your Yamaha has pre-inputs it could be used as extra power amps and by-passing the onboard processors, but it might be better employed as a second room set up. Then again with a phono input on the new unit you'd probably just be hanging onto legacy items with limited scope for the future. All mine will be off for sale in the coming months, hopefully the fact that the last VCR maker has just called it quites menas there's still a market for these items... I hope.
08-03-2016, 06:02 AM   #7
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We did that a few years ago. An older Panasonic (I think) which sounded great but couldn't handle the digital input. Now there probably are solutions I could add-on.
Anyway, I bought an Onkyo 700 series receiver and a set of Polk speakers, which have been very nice. The receiver has plenty of inputs. It does not have a bluetooth receiver but I bought one to add-on, some obscure 3rd party unit. Works well, and runs optical audio to the Onkyo.

I'm just running 5.1 surround, the room's not really big enough to bother with the two side channels.
08-03-2016, 09:26 AM   #8
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I always end up with Yamaha receivers. If you are good with the specs on the Onkyo, Newegg has it on special for 24 hrs. I just saw this at lunch.

Onkyo TX-NR747 7.2 Ch THX Certified A/V Receiver with Wi-fi & Bluetooth-Newegg.com

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