The midrange of the AV receiver market has jumped up a step or two in the last year or so, with new features creeping in at this price point, including iPod connectivity and future-proofing for soon-come 3D technology. All these receivers do a fine job of delivering the goods, there are no donkeys here, but there are a few …
Where is the HE-AAC/Dolby Pulse codec?
UK HD broadcasts use the HE AAC codec, also known as Dolby Pulse. AV Receivers sold in the UK should support this codec or you will not get surround sound on broadcasts unless the tv does transcoding.
Why aren't the reg checking and publishing this shortcoming in their reviews of AV Receivers?
I agree the Yamaha is a great machine
I bought a yamaha 767 shortly after they come out in August,mianly 'cos I wanted the matrix HDMI switching (which is still relatively uncommon a this sort of price) as I have a projector and a 24" LCD for viewing depending on the programme and the number of folks watching, and having a separate HDMI switch was definitely getting a poor WAF rating.
I'm surprised you also didn't mention the zone 2 facility which some of these amps have. I've found it very useful to run zone 2 to speakers in the next room and be able to listen to the radio via an STB.
The only awkward thing is that on the Yamaha zone 2 only accepts analogue inputs, so I've had to connect up the STB and blu-ray player with ornery phono cables as well as HDMI cables.
I have had a slight issue with the HDMI switch playing silly buggers - when I have both outputs running it is saying something rude to the STB, which then won't output 1080i. Strangely enough the blu-ray player is quite happy. This is supposed to be fixed with a firmare upgrade, but I've not been able to load it as yet. (HDMI is such a huge PITA - consumer benefits, zero, consumer pays extra costs for every box that uses it).
Puzzled by Gideon's comment above - I use a humax freesat HDR and a mythtv PC for freeview as inputs and both work fine on everything I've watched. I suspect the STB must be converting to DD5.1 as this is what the receiver 'sees' on HD broadcasts with surround sound.
It may well be the best
But that Onkyo is one horrible looking piece of kit, looks like it belongs in the movie adaption of Clckwork Orange
No lookers then...
Why do none of the companies produce a nice looking box that can compliment a room rather than a massive box that looks like someone vommited controls, inputs and displays on it?
When looking for a system a couple of years ago I went with a Cyrus AV Master 8.0 becuase there is nothing else on the market that I would have sitting on my shelf up to the money I had available. I had to give up on the video throughput and the HD digital decoding (though I don't miss either) and it does not fall in this price range once you have added the required external power amps (though it sounds wonderful, for films and music!).
Whilst I approciate that a teenager geek would be more than happy to have something like that on the shelf, what about those who have nice houses that they don't want to ruin with ugly boxes?
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Might I humbly suggest that if your primary concern when buying a receiver is what it looks like, then these wouldn't be the boxes for you anyway.
Save your money and buy one of those cheap Blu-Ray / Amp / Speaker packs that clutter up the AV sections of Curry's & Comet - they are designed more for aesthetics than performance, so would be more up your street.
All of these boxes are the standard AV size and shape, and fit perfectly within a Separates Stack, because let's be fair, at this price bracket these aren't aimed at people who's primary method of listening to music is an iPod dock or a portable CD Player. They may look ugly or out of place on their own, but in their own habitat they fit right in, and personally I rather like them. I have a earlier version of the Onkyo, and next to my HTPC, CD Player and other devices in the Separates shelving it looks quite striking.
I am intrigued though at those complaining about the looks... What exactly would you change to make them 'prettier'? I ask out of genuine interest.
I just looked up the Cyrus AV Master 8.0 to see what made it such a looker.
Oh dear. Seriously? That looks more like something sold in Toys R Us.