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Sound System recommendations

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BasilFawlty, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    With a lot of help from this forum and recommendations made in a previous thread, I just took possession of a new Sony XBR55HX929 LED TV. To say I'm happy with the choice would be an understatement! But now I have a sound system problem. The receiver I have is a 10 year old Kenwood VR-2080. I have Sony Lifestyle surround sound speakers. Th problem I'm having is that I can't get the optical digital input on the Kenwood receiver to work! I have a good optical cable going from the Set to the receiver and I'm getting signal ( red light at the end of the cable). However, No matter what I do I can't get any sound out of the Kenwood. It has one of those wonky LED remote controllers. I even called Kenwood tech support and they walked me through the process of making sure I had things set up correctly but to no avail. The optical digital inputs on the Kenwood are really the only inputs on the 2080 that can accommodate the digital surround sound. So, if I can't get this old receiver to work with the digital surround sound I guess I may be in the market for something newer.

    Looking for recommendations to use with this new Sony XBR TV. The room the set is in is not huge, about 20 x 16. I'd like to get something that will work well with this set and won' break the bank. I would like to keep the cost to below $400 if possible.

    Any suggestions to get me started looking?
  2. macrumors newbie

    I'm a big fan of Yamaha products. Their RX-V471 receiver has 4 HDMI in 1 out.
    It is $329 or less at Best Buy.
  3. macrumors regular


    Just don't get Lucas electrics. ;)
  4. macrumors 6502


    Oh man, that made me chuckle. The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."
  5. macrumors 68000

    You can get a decent onkyo for that much.

    But before you do that have you confirmed that your tv can output audio over optical. I assume you are using hdmi cables running from different devices into the tv and you are trying to get the audio to the receiver?

    Did you try running your optical cable straight from your cable box or another device to the receiver?
  6. macrumors newbie

    if you are running HDMI, you do not need Optical audio. the TV should output NOTHING. It should be the OUTPUT device from the Receiver. Works like a Champ. All devices, ATV, BluRay, Cable box output digital audio via HDMI.
  7. macrumors 68030


    I had bose speakers and a DENON receiver for years after various research everyone said anything but bose would be better for christmas my girl got me an onkyo home theater in a box from www.accessories4less.com I think it was $399 there and its originally $799 couldnt be happier. much better then the bose speakers.
  8. macrumors newbie

  9. macrumors 68000

    Yes and there really is no difference but it sounds like the op is trying to take audio being fed to his tv and feed it to the receiver which usually doesn't work. I was giving him an option to keep his current receiver and get audio to it. His current receiver I assume doesn't have HDMI ports on it so he can't plug in anything too it. If he were to get a newer receiver then all he needs to do is hook all his devices to it and run a single HDMI cable to the tv
  10. macrumors 6502

    Well, I have tried running the optical cable from 1) the TV to the Optical input on the Receiver. 2) from the blurry DVD player to the Rx, 3) from the DishNetwork Satellite Receiver out to the Rx Optical input. In ever case there was a red light on the end of the cable (which I think would indicate a signal?) but in no case did I get any sound out of the Rx.

    I should mention that this Kenwood receiver does not have HDMI inputs - only composite and two Optical.
  11. macrumors 68000

    Yea. Did you try going into the settings on the bd player and set it to HDMI for video and optical for audio? While it is lighting sometimes it has to be done manually. Try this on the dish box as well. I haven't used optical in awhile but I know my ps3 required you to tell it to use it as did my original apple tv and my cable box.

    If you do get a receiver is recommend one that supports 1080p. That way you can hook your bd player and dish box to the receiver and just run a single HDMI cable to the tv.
  12. brucewayne, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012

    macrumors member

    I pulled up the manual for your receiver, and although older, it does appear to support the basics like Dolby digital and PCM via its optical inputs. http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0412260.pdf.

    On the TV, have you changed the output from speakers to audio system? The Path on a Sony should be Home > Settings > Sound > Speakers (Set to Audio System).

    Under the Sound menu make sure the audio output is set to "Fixed" as well

    As far as the other components not working either, that is an odd one. The red light is usually 'on' on the optical output all the time, even when there isn't data on it. I know you see the light at the other end, but have you tried a different optical cable? maybe there is a hairline fracture that is preventing the data from flowing correctly.

    In the receiver's manual under 'Playback of Digital Input/Playback of Analog input" it appears you can manually set whether an input is using an analog or digital connection. You might check that the input you are using is set to 'Digital' or 'Auto'

    Hopefully that works. If not, do you have sound on the Rx with an analog connection from these devices?

    If it looks like your receiver isn't going to work, it might be helpful if you listed the other components in your system, such as BD players, cable boxes, etc, or if you are going to use some of your sets built in apps (netflix, etc) or off air tuner, so that we can help you determine what features in a new receiver will be most important
  13. macrumors 6502

    I did go into the TV and set the sound to "audio system" - not sure I set it to fixed however. (I'll try that tonight). I was thinking about the possibility of a bad cable, so I'll buy a new one just to eliminate that as a possibility.

    I'm beginning to think I ought to get a more modern receiver anyway, since this one, while it sounds good, is more than 10 years old and doesn't have HDMI inputs.

    As to your last question, right now I have the Sony XBR TV, a Sony Blu Ray player and a Dishnetwork Sat receiver. My speakers are the Bose Lifestyle 5.1 system (yes, I know Bose are not what "true" audiophiles would use, but they were free as a gift). What I would like "if" I get a new reveiver is to be able to use HDMI inputs for everything. As for AirPlay, I can take it or leave it, but would like to at least be able to plug in my iPhone to stream music. I also have a new ATV that I will use to stream music and movies.

    I have been looking at a Denon 1912 receiver, which has good reviews at places like cNet. But I'm open to suggestions. I'd like to keep the cost down to below $400. My speakers, as I mentioned, are Bose 5.1 surround system (will a 7.1 receiver still work?) the room I'm in is about 16 x 20 (not huge) with high ceilings.
  14. macrumors newbie

    I second the Yamaha RX-V471 if you decide to buy new. Got mine on sale at Newegg for $249. I replaced an ancient Onkyo that did not have HDMI. I have four HDMI connections (cable tv box, Sony BD, Apple TV, Mac Mini) into the Yamaha and one HDMI out to the television. Sound is great and the setup was easy.
  15. macrumors 68020


    I replaced a aging Harmon/Kardon reciever with a Onkyo TX-NR809. I used to swear by HK but the newer Onkyo recievers really outperform them in every way. 4K upscale with what is considered the best video processor on the market, as well as ISF image calibration.

    My Definitive Technology speakers sound great, I hear things that I never hear before with my old HK, quality wise I love it for both audio and video processing.


  16. macrumors member

    The Bose speakers won't be very demanding on the receiver, so that opens up your options a bit. The Denon looks like a nice receiver. Onkyo and HK make some good stuff too (although HK's high-current amp design might be overkill for your speakers)

    I would also recommend the Yamaha 471, I have one in the living room and think it would support everything you want to do. For the money, it has a lot of great features like OSD overlay on HDMI (i.e. will show volume level, setup options over top what you are watching, other inexpensive receivers blank the source video), ARC (audio return channel which allows you to listen to the apps on the TV through the sound system), and supports power-off HDMI switching which turns the receiver into a HDMI switcher when it is powered off (say to watch a blu ray late at night through the TV speakers only). I also bought mine through new egg.

    I bought the 471 after good experience with the previous gen RXV 667 (which is in the home theater). So far both have been very reliable and bug free.
  17. macrumors newbie

    I can highly recommend the new Onkyo TX-NR414, it has lots of HDMI inputs so all of your sources are covered, HD audio decoding, network streaming of music files and good sounding power amplifiers. If you need more power there is the 515 or 616 albiet at more cost.:)
  18. macrumors 65816

    Battlefield Fan

    I just got a Denon AVR-1712. Love it!!! Works great with my apple tv. $399
  19. macrumors 65816

    Actually, since most TVs today have built-in Internet capability, you may well want to pass audio from the TV to the receiver.

    I realize that Apple TV can browse your iTunes, has a Netflix app, etc. buy your TV may have features that do not overlap Apple TV. As well, you will need an audio return if you use the TV's terrestrial tuner.

    Save yourself some trouble, and do add an optical link from the TV to the receiver (once you get one). While you can pass audio back from the TV using ARC (Audio Return Channel) it's not worth the headaches it brings. You have to enable the CEC feature on both the receiver and TV. I do not recommend enabling CEC, because it can result in components "fighting" over control at turn-on, which is a HUGE hassle. You need to keep re-selecting receiver source (say, to cable) when the TV is first turned on. You can sequence it with a remote controller, but it can be a LONG (like 60 seconds) turn-on sequence.
  20. macrumors 6502


    After some additional research, I finally decided on the Denon AVR-1912. My local Electronics TV/Audio store had them in stock and I went and checked it out in person. The price they had on it was $398.99, which was reasonable so I told the salesman I wanted to buy one. That's when he told me it was mis-marked and that the real price was $499.!!! Well, I told him there was no way - I'd find it cheaper on the internet - and I did! I just ordered the Denon AVR-1912 from Crutchfield for $399, with free shipping and no tax! Can't wait to get it!
  21. macrumors 6502


    Good choice.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Thanks. I hope it sounds good in my house, otherwise I'm pretty comfortable with the choice.
  23. macrumors regular

    airplay audio

    I currently just ATV3 for music playing on Airplay.

    I notice that my receiver recognize its signal as 48khz.

    Bit perfect from iTunes should be 44.1khz. I was wondering, if I use the optical output, would it output 44.1khz?

    Could ATV 3 output audio on both HDMI and optical at the same time?
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Would love a report on the Denon 1912. I'm looking to get a new receiver too and I've been looking at the Denon
  25. macrumors 68020

    It will. You're getting a solid Airplay, 7.1 channel AVR with more than adequate amplification with V-tuner Internet Radio and Pandora streaming. Enjoy.

    I will say this: Denon receivers benefit from tweaking. And Denon's documentation is notoriously lacking or nigh-on-impossible to comprehend. To help, go visit the AVS forums and look on the Audio section for the thread by a user named "Batpig". He's come up with a really good document called "Batpig's Denon to English Dictionary".

    It'll be worth your while to check it out, just to minimize the amount of time you feel like pulling your hair out when you get your new AVR! :)

    So, first tip when you get it...run the Audyssey calibration using the included microphone. Find something to attach the microphone to (tripod, etc) and put it in your main listening position at about ear height, turn off any AC or fans and clear kids or pets from the room, close the door, and leave the room while it runs the auto setup.

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