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Luminary
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎03-06-2017

Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...

One of the reason that I'm posting this up on a Best Buy Forum is that  I bought all my toys from Best Buy and after five months of excessive spending, I thought it would be nice to share the journey that I took. 

 

I'm am an old school user and had this belief that a TV should be nothing more than a monitor and a receiver should just decode the optical signal and amplify.

 

This all changed in October 2016 when I bought into the world of VR.

 

I am a big racing game fan so when the Playstation VR came out with Driveclub VR, I went whole hog for the setup; logitech G29 steering wheel, Playstation VR, Driveclub VR, bluetooth gaming chair and so on.

 

Of course the Playstation Pro came out shortly after the introduction of their VR,  so I returned the Playstation Slim and got the Pro.

 

From there, the playstation Pro needed a 4k HDR TV and seeing that it was affordable, under $1k, I decided to splurge for the TV and some 4k playstation games like Rise of the Tomb  Raider and Final Fantasy XV. 

 

Great setup, but several problems started to rear its head with my 10 year old Sony receiver.

 

Mismatch Tech Problems:

1. Multiple remotes: The Combinations drove me nutty trying to remember the correct combinations of input/output. Output from my Playstation would be HDMI port 3/ARC, Stereo receiver would be DVD optical input, TV Netflix would need my receiver to switch to SAT/TV for optical tv out and so on.

 

2. shortage of HDMI inputs. The last straw was with the purchase of the Nintendo Switch, from a gas station meetup from Craigs,  of which I had no HDMI Ports left to plug the Switch into; thus I had to look for a receiver that had multiple HDMI ports or a HDMI switch. 

 

Life with new tech:

Buying the Sony STRDN1060 receiver (demo model) from Best Buy resolved the whole TV/Receiver/HDMI problem. 

 

HDMI-CEC Consumers Electronic Control (CEC) is a feature of HDMi designed to allow users to command and control devices connected through HDMI by using only one remote control. 

 

HDMI-ARC ARC stands for Audio Return Channel and when the receiver is connected to the TV ARC HDMI port, it allows the TV remote to control the power, volume and other features of the receiver; any devices connected to the receiver will send the video through to the TV via the connected HDMI-ARC.

 

Secondly ARC sends signals both ways on a single ARC HDMI port and cable; thus plugging a device on the TV HDMI port will send the audio back to the receiver through the same cable that connects the two devices without needing a separate optical cable from the TV back to the receiver. 

 

ARC and CEC allows me to use all 6 HDMI ports on my Receiver along with the 3 left over HDMI ports on my TV for a total of 9 HDMI ports.

 

Today with all my Sony components, turning on my Apple-TV is as simple as clicking on my Sony Remote button labeled "TV" and my TV, my Apple device and receiver will turn on simultaneously. Alternatively I can also use the Apple TV to control everything. 

 

When I wish to play a Playstation game (note that the playstation is connected directly to the TV for 4kHDR on HDMI 2 and not to the receiver), I just click on the controller Playstation button and the Sony Playstation , the TV and the receiver, all turns on;  auto switching to the HDMI port 2 and the optical input on the receiver. 

 

Clicking on the home button on the Nintendo Switch controller (which is connected to the receiver and not the TV) automatically turns on the TV and receiver, and switches to the "game HDMI port" on the receiver and the 3rd HDMI port  on the TV. 

 

The thing that sold me on the 4k HDR TV was not the Playstation Games but rather the 4K movies from Netflix. In fact any output from any source gets up-converted by the TV to 4k. My Mac mini has crisp sharp text with no jaggies. I no longer use my Apple TV for netflix since my smart TV has 4k netflix. This is also true for my Playstation Pro which also outputs 4k Netflix, 4k **competitor** and 4k youtube. The blacks are blacker and the whites are whiter, what more can you ask for in a TV?

 

Summary

The cost for the 4k HDR TV plus the cost for discontinued Sony STRDN1060 receiver at Demo price was just a bit over a thousand dollars; way cheaper than my Plasma TV that I paid $2k a decade ago.

 

If you are into console games, upgrading your TV and receiver reduces the headache that you get from switching back and forth on the various entertainment components. With CEC and ARC, you can plug a device into your TV HDMI or your receiver HDMI, without having to play remote carosel. 

 

When I first got my Nintendo Switch I plugged the HDMI cable into the receiver "Game HDMI port" and pressed the home button on the Nintendo controller and Instantly everything turned on, with the TV switched to HDMI port 3 (input from the receiver) and the Game Port HDMI on the receiver; nothing could be easier.

 

The fact that you only need "one remote to control them all" is something that I have been dreaming off since I bought my logitech Harmony remote 17 years ago. Add in Wifi and bluetooth connectivity with your mobile phone, you can even let your spouse have the remote without losing control of your entertainment system.

 

None of this is common knowledge since we all read the specs for the specs which doesn't tell you the ease of use when you upgrade the whole of your entertainment system.

 

If you are sitting on the fence for a complete entertainment upgrade, now is the time. 

 

Thanks for reading...

Legendary Oracle
Posts: 959
Registered: ‎11-16-2012
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...

What speakers are you using with your new Sony receiver?

Are they Bi-Amp / Bi-Wire capable?


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Luminary
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎03-06-2017
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


Elico47 wrote:

What speakers are you using with your new Sony receiver?

Are they Bi-Amp / Bi-Wire capable?


.... eh? no bi-amp/bi-wire capabilities. I still have the decade old Bose Accoustimass 6 series  with a vcs-10 center and Bose 161 front speakers; adequate for apartment use :-P 

Legendary Oracle
Posts: 959
Registered: ‎11-16-2012
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...

I guess the speakers may be your next upgrade?


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Luminary
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎03-06-2017
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


Elico47 wrote:

I guess the speakers may be your next upgrade?


ok fine.... what should I upgrade to? .......... 

Legendary Oracle
Posts: 959
Registered: ‎11-16-2012
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...

That's up to you, I was just thinking about the issue of power, which you mentioned previously and thought, it's too bad you can't take advantage of the Bi-Amp feature that your new receiver has.

 


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Luminary
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎03-06-2017
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


Elico47 wrote:

That's up to you, I was just thinking about the issue of power, which you mentioned previously and thought, it's too bad you can't take advantage of the Bi-Amp feature that your new receiver has.

 


ahhhh I was waiting for a sales pitch  :-P 

 

Googled it and found  that is something that I didn't know about my new amp; thank you.

 

well it seems that bi-amp is nothing more than separating and amplifying the tweeter from the woofer on the front speakers. I could actually connect two more speakers to the front letting one set acting as the tweeter and another set acting as the woofer Smiley Happy

 

I'll let my acoustimass be the LO since it goes to the sub-woofer before separating to the satellites. The HI can be connected to a pair of leftover satellites since it can handle the tweeting :-P 

 

Then to activate it, from a googled page,

"After you have made the bi-amplifier connection, set [Sur Back SP Assign] in the Speaker Settings menu to [Bi-Amp]."

 
Something to do on a rainy day.... :-P  
 
At the moment, the sound is terrific with good solid volume at levels of about 30 versus 55 on my old amp to get the volume. I think peak is about 60.  The main difference between my old amp and new is the clarity and sub-woofiness :-P 
 
 
Legendary Oracle
Posts: 959
Registered: ‎11-16-2012
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


ralphael wrote:

ahhhh I was waiting for a sales pitch  :-P 

Googled it and found  that is something that I didn't know about my new amp; thank you.

well it seems that bi-amp is nothing more than separating and amplifying the tweeter from the woofer on the front speakers. I could actually connect two more speakers to the front letting one set acting as the tweeter and another set acting as the woofer Smiley Happy

I'll let my acoustimass be the LO since it goes to the sub-woofer before separating to the satellites. The HI can be connected to a pair of leftover satellites since it can handle the tweeting :-P 

Then to activate it, from a googled page,

"After you have made the bi-amplifier connection, set [Sur Back SP Assign] in the Speaker Settings menu to [Bi-Amp]."

Something to do on a rainy day.... :-P  
At the moment, the sound is terrific with good solid volume at levels of about 30 versus 55 on my old amp to get the volume. I think peak is about 60.  The main difference between my old amp and new is the clarity and sub-woofiness :-P 

No sales pitch here, however, if you plan to Bi-Amp or Bi-Wire, you will not be able to do so with your present speaker system. Smiley Frustrated

Because each driver will require a passive crossover, and you wouldn't want to try to make a 2.5 inch driver perform the functions of a tweeter or woofer, because of various reasons, from cone surface area, frequency response, to power handling.., etc

The Bose Acoustimass system is designed to work through the subwoofer module, that houses an internal multichannel active speaker system, in which each speaker connected has a specific function and frequency range designed to work with the sub only.

Have you played with your Sony's LDAC audio yet?

 


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Luminary
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎03-06-2017
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Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


Elico47 wrote:
No sales pitch here, however, if you plan to Bi-Amp or Bi-Wire, you will not be able to do so with your present speaker system. Smiley Frustrated

Because each driver will require a passive crossover, and you wouldn't want to try to make a 2.5 inch driver perform the functions of a tweeter or woofer, because of various reasons, from cone surface area, frequency response, to power handling.., etc

The Bose Acoustimass system is designed to work through the subwoofer module, that houses an internal multichannel active speaker system, in which each speaker connected has a specific function and frequency range designed to work with the sub only.

Have you played with your Sony's LDAC audio yet?

 


I had to look up LDAC too. Great feature except I have nothing that accepts LDAC in my arsenal of Sony products. I already got the MDRXB950BT during the Christmas/New year sale and the MDR1ABT is not available at best buy. Although I might buy it from a *competitor* for only $249 since I have this buying OCD problem.

 

Regarding Bi-amp, I'll keep it in mind since I hate the fact that I have 2x165watts of unused channels.

hb The Captain
The Captain
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎10-10-2011

Re: Sitting on the fence on upgrading your entertainment system? A Buyer journal...


ralphael wrote:
Regarding Bi-amp, I'll keep it in mind since I hate the fact that I have 2x165watts of unused channels.

 

You are not losing as much as Sony's specs imply, which are quoted for a 6 ohm speaker load. When this receiver was tested (soundandvision.com) for continuous power output with the more common 8 ohm speaker load it puts out 102 W/channel with 2 channels driven, 78W/channel with 5 channels driven, and 69 W/Channel with 7 channels driven. As with most other multi-channel AV receivers, leaving a couple of channels "unused" will provide additional power reserve for the channels that are actually in use.