Monday, May 28, 2012

Putting an Old Receiver to Rest

The current audio/video receiver that I have connecting all of my devices in the Game Room - well, almost all of them - is Onkyo TX-SR674. I bought it around mid 2007 and so far, it is the best AVR I have ever used. The sad news here is that over the past several weeks, the 674 has been showing signs that it's going downhill. More specifically, the HDMI switching for it has been going on and off and now, its capability to output 1080p and analog signals via HDMI has been completely diminished. I used to have a lot of my older consoles hooked up to the receiver with only one HDMI going into my high definition display but now, all analog signals must be connected straight to the display while I have to downscale my PlayStation 3 and my X-Box 360 to run at 720p. Sure, I can always just connect them straight to my display like I did with the Personal Computer but it's not worth it for the clutter because doing so will result in the need for an additional optical cable to send the surround sound from my display to the receiver. Besides, the 1080p on the 360 has never been native anyway and only less than 1% of games on the PS3 actually run at native 1080p so I'm not missing much, right?

I will miss your alternate function as a full-fledge heater during the winter time...

Still, the perfectionist that I am, I know that I have to get everything back in order. I did a lot of reseach and noticed that a lot of people encountered the same problem with the HDMI functionality of the 674, only that it happened for them during the warranty period and I am of course no longer qualify to have Onkyo fix this for free. So I decided to just get myself a new unit. Because of the pleasant experience I have with my Onkyo - I have purchased a total of 3 Onkyo units, one sitting in the living room for my spouse's entertainment center - I was going to get another from them. But little did I know that there are a lot of complaints about the brand recently in regards to their HDMI boards. I want the next receiver to be able to functional for at least 5 years and all of the complaints I have read about the Onkyo HDMI problems deterred me from getting the TX-NR609 - I mean, I myself have just experienced them and worse still, I found out that these problems are affecting not just a particular model but the majority of the Onkyo line-up. Though I was left disappointed with the situation, I was invigorated by the other options available out there. In the end, I decided to go with a Yamaha RX-V671. It pretty much has everything that is important to me: plenty of HDMI inputs and the ability to upscale analog signals to 1080p. With this new receiver, I finally have enough HDMI slots to hook up my PC via HDMI through the receiver, thus eliminating the clutter of the analog 7.1 discreet sound input. Sure, this unit doesn't have 4K upscaling but I doubt that we will be seeing those Super HD televisions becoming a standard anytime soon. I am really looking forward to the arrival of the new receiver: My dear Onkyo TX-SR674, let's enjoy ourselves while we wait for your eventual end.

This will be my very first Yamaha receiver.

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