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magicshaunson's picture
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the ever-increasing needs for more HDMI inputs
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Hello everyone, and Happy World Cup Final day!

I'm looking for some advice about HDMI inputs and switchers feeding into my Yam AX863 amp (outputting to 5.1 speakers and TV).

Currently, I have a PS3, 360, Sky (newish version) inputting via HDMI. Some of these also have optical inputs for sound, but I suspect they may have been made redundent in favour of HDMI with software updates.

I'd like to add a dedicated Blu Ray player and PS4/ XBone (or both! -how greedy!), but I've already run out of inputs.

I've looked into switchers, and they seem to vary in quality. My question is: can I use one of these switchers into one of the HDMI inputs on my amp, and what would it do the overall picture and sound quality?

I'm keen to maintain a high quality audio output. If there are any doubts about this, or if there are issues with the amp recognising the various inputs, I am prepared to bin the amp and start again.

Thanks for any pearls of wisdom.

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Things can get a little

Things can get a little complicated for some family members when you bring in switching boxes! There shouldn't be any loss of quality, but you'd have to try one to see for yourself. Double check compatibility - some may or may not pass through 3D/4K etc. 

As you're looking to add a Bluray player, an Oppo BDP103 has two HDMI inputs that can be used for other products - mine helps me with the four HDMI inputs I have on my Audiolab processor. Although one of those HDMI inputs is on the front.

Alternatively, the new Yamaha RXA840 has eight HDMI inputs. 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: HDMI needs

Hi there. Ah the older amp syndrome, run out of room.

A switcher will work but as suggested it can get confusing and they can go wrong quite offten too.

You might be better off as you suggested with selling your current amp and buying a new one that will cater for all your needs.

Also as suggested an OPPO will give superb PQ.

For the PS3 and I guess PS4 (not sure about the XBox units) there are some setting you need to make sure are set correctly to get the best PQ and SQ from them.

They both need to be on Bitstream so the amp does all the decoging of the uncompressed audio on BDs and will do a much better job than the PS3 will ever do for multi channel audio playback. Turn audio Dynamic Range "OFF"

For video go to Display settings and set HDMI output to YCbCr 4.4.4. and the white levels to full. Turn deep colour "OFF" and Dynamic Contrast "OFF" and I would turn off DVD upscaling too. See if you TV has Overscan/Pixel direct or dot by dot and set that to "OFF" too. this will give the full 1920x1080 with it on you don't get the full pixel resolution as all TVs are zoomed in slightly for SD content reassons. For HD Overscan should be off. It can be off for SD too but you may see some funny lines at the top ov the picture on some DVDs or SD TV channels.

Hope that all helps.

It's been a while since I've seen a PS3 setup screen so I can't fully remember the setting. It should be the same for the PS4 too.

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

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Glacialpath wrote:See if you

Glacialpath wrote:
See if you TV has Overscan/Pixel direct or dot by dot and set that to "OFF" too. this will give the full 1920x1080 with it on you don't get the full pixel resolution as all TVs are zoomed in slightly for SD content reassons. 

So you'd want dot by dot ON in that case?

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The_Lhc wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

So you'd want dot by dot ON in that case?

Yup. I have to set it everytime I turn the TV on. Not sure why I haven't asked anyone if it's possible to set it as a Default for a Pioneer LX5090 as most other TVs it stays that way once you turn it off.

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

magicshaunson's picture
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Thanks for the replies. 

Thanks for the replies. 

The compromise is going to be the new Panny 460 blu-ray player, which I believe has two more HDMIs in. That should keep me going in the short term. Can anyone enlighten me as to how this might work? Is it just a straight pass-through signal to the amp? 

I loath to give up the Yammy 863. Granted I have nothing to compare with, but the sound it produces is so expansive and authoritative, I have no idea how much I have to spend to better it just so I can have some more inputs. Isn't it interesting that WHF never compare (even in passing) how current players sound compare to older equipment... It leaves me with no frame of reference. One assumes that just because more inputs and features are added, they will automatically sound better too. I doubt this is the case. 

 

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magicshaunson wrote:

magicshaunson wrote:

Thanks for the replies. 

The compromise is going to be the new Panny 460 blu-ray player, which I believe has two more HDMIs in.

No it doesn't. It has 2 HDMI outs, not ins. Oppo is the only one having 2 HDMI ins as far as I'm aware.

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Re HDMI

Have you considered an HDMI spliiter, as opposed to a switcher? Not one of the "automatic" ones that I guess must have at least some circuitry in them to (possibly) degrade the signal, just a good old fashioned two (or more) HDMI in to one out.

Connect two (or more) devices that you will never use at the same time and away you go... Have never had a problem with doing htis myself in the several years I've had an Xbox 360 & PS3 sharing an HDMI-in on the AVR.

I'm pretty sure it's now very well established that all well constructed HDMI cables are the same, so I don't see why the same rule shouldn't apply to a well constructed splitter... they're not too expensive (a lot cheaper than when I bought mine that's for sure!) so worth a try at least?

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magicshaunson wrote:

magicshaunson wrote:

 Isn't it interesting that WHF never compare (even in passing) how current players sound compare to older equipment... It leaves me with no frame of reference. One assumes that just because more inputs and features are added, they will automatically sound better too. I doubt this is the case. 

Yeah it is a little frustrating. My thoughts are, if there is difference in pic or sound quality between old and new. In the case of old still being better than new, they wouldn't be able to report this as the manufacturers wouldn't be able to sell anything and people would be searching around for old kit.

At one point with TVs they were trying for best picture like Pioneer and the Kuro range. Now Pioneer is out of the picture all the othe rmanufacturers can consentrate on all the fancy gizmose as a selling point rather than going for the best possible picture a video pannel can produce.

Don't get me wrong the pictures are good and with 4K now it's even better. I fear though it's the same with amps and the like. How much is it trying to make an amp reproduce sound as acurately as possible and getting gizmose on there for streaming and added fancy DSPs that never get used.

Hi-Fi: Campridge audio D500 SE, DACMagic 1, C500, P500.. Monitor Audio BR1 speakers.

H-T: Pioneer; Kuro LX5090, BDP LX71, SC LX73. CA P500. SKY+HD. Rel Q50. Mordaunt Short Avant.

magicshaunson's picture
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Looks like my best option is

Looks like my best option is to get a new amp...

Can anyone suggest a replacement?  I've already asked this on another thread, but I feel like you guys know me now  Wink

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