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Making use of older AV Receivers with new tech sources

michael5039

Novice Member
I'd just like to preemptively thank you all for any help you may offer!

So I recently bought a new 4k TV (Sony AF9) 2nd hand and now have to address my old AV equipment which is ridiculously now not entirely compatible if I want to use 4k sources. Ideally I'd like to come to a solution without buying a UHD bluray player, I opted for an Xbox one as I purchased one for £80 (2nd hand) which seems like a no brainer when a UHD bluray player costs about the same and has no where close to the same functionality. However one functionality the Xbox one obviously doesnt have is dual HDMI output hence my issue.

I have two receivers available to me, a Denon AVR-2310 and a Harman Kardon AVR-7300 (apologies if names in the US are different to here in the UK) which someone chucked in with some speakers. Ideally I'd like to try make use of the Harman Kardon as it is practically worthless with its old tech yet is obviously a very impressive amplifier being an old flagship model so seems a waste to leave unused. The Denon is also a good amp obviously but has HDMI inputs making it the likely option.

A few options I'm trying to consider:

  1. eARC - My TV has eARC but this is annoyingly again not backwards compatible which doesn't quite make sense to me, why can't you just use it as a pure audio output or why dont TV's just have an Audio output which is what this was developed to achieve with new tech when the tech of an audio output has seemingly been around since the invention of hdmi audio? But anyway, is there a device which can extract eARC audio to be input into my amp?
  2. I know you can buy HDCP compliant audio extractors with EDID control which to my knowledge last time I looked are very expensive but if anyone is aware of any cheap alternatives which would work for me that would be great!
  3. An HDCP compliant pre-amp to be used with the direct inputs of the Harman Kardon - I have trawled through the manual of the AVR 7300 and it does only seem to have a direct option in stereo but then it also says there's no signal processing on the direct inputs. If this is the case can these be used as a direct power amp input? I understand this will go through the pre-amp but is there a REAL issue with that? Given that I'm trying to avoid buying a cheap AVR receiver which is HDCP compliant I can't imagine the audio hit of going through two pre-amps as dramatic? (before someone points out buying a pre-amp is more expensive than me just buying a UHD bluray player the idea here was to make use of the higher quality AVR 7300)
  4. Any other options?

Thanks for any help guys!
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
eARC is backward compatible with standard ARC. But, if neither of your AVR's have standard ARC, then you can't use that. Most TV's do have some other type of audio output, typically digital optical, sometimes analogue audio output, and often a headphone output.

Are you sure your new TV doesn't have any other type of audio output?

There are some devices that can do what you are thinking, look for HD Fury, but they are not cheap, and for not much more money you could just get a new AVR.

You could use your existing AVR(s) as a power amp(s) if the new AVR has pre-outs.

What is your sound set-up, what speakers do you have, do you have a big room?

EDIT: This review says that the TV has a digital audio optical output. Sony AF9 OLED Review | Trusted Reviews
 
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michael5039

Novice Member
Its backwards compatible in that it will work as standard ARC but it can't transmit the audio at full quality as it can with eARC. I know the TV has an optical output but I want to gain the full advantage of UHD with full quality HD 7.1 dolby etc. surround modes which can't be transmitted through either standard ARC or optical as they don't have the bandwidth to my knowledge.

HD Fury is the only one I know of and its extortionate.

As with the Harman Kardon amp; I'm a little confused with it, it has direct inputs but I can't work out if that bypasses the preamp. But it does have 7.1 phono inputs.

I have Monitor Audio RS8s with matching centre and sub. I'm currently using the acoustic energy aegis EVO surrounds from my old setup as I haven't sold that yet while on the look out for some RSFX surrounds. I understand my gear is very expensive which might cause you to question why I'm being so tight with replacing my amp or UHD player but truth is I'm a bargain hunter and paid less than 1200 for all of it.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
Your plan to connect the xbox via HDMI to the Denon and then use analogue pre-outs into the Harman Kardon AVR, could work, in theory. Seeing as you have all of the equipment there, why not give it a try?

Then you could try digital optical out of the Xbox into the Harman Kardan, and see if it sounds better / worse / the same.

But, none of that will give you 4K / HDR video to the TV, for that you will need to connect the Xbox to the TV and then pass the audio out of the TV via optical.

Try it all ways and have a listen, then decide if you want to spend more money.
 

michael5039

Novice Member
I could use something like the HD Fury but its so expensive it seems like I may as well look out for a new amp. eARC seems like something I'd like to try make use of, its annoying that eARC offers the ability to pass full HD audio back through the HDMI but I need an eARC compatible device to receive it. I'm surprised no one has made an adapter for it.

What about the IOTAVX 7.1 with the Harman Kardon amp. Seems like it offers a lot for the money.
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
The IOTA processor does not make much sense to me, for your situation. You will be spending £700 for a 7.1 4k / HDR processor, and relying on a 15 year old AVR to work as a 7 channel power amp.

For £700 you could get an AVR with all the same functionality as the IOTA but with the addition of onboard power amps, and atmos, and eARC. You could get an AVR with pre outs so you still have the option to use external amplification if you want to.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
AVR with 7.1 analogue inputs - will go via the Pre Amp (Volume etc) unless it has a HT Bypass mode.

Cake & Eat It - you want to purchase S/H but have all the latest features enabled, don't we all :)

HDMI/HDCP/ARC/eARC - are designed to be a 'closed' loop with most of the 'breakout' boxes gradually being made obsolete as the licensing folk clamp down on the manufacturers of accessories.

Source devices - how many Source devices do you require support for which output 4K UHD + uncompressed HD audio?

Keeping up with the latest Features can be expensive as licensing costs for low volume (accessory) manufacturers is high.

Joe
 
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