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Newbie needs help/advice on purchase decision

02-20-2008, 04:49 PM
Hello all. I'm not well versed in A/V speak, so bear with me. I fly jets for a living, but deciding how to connect TV's, Xbox, Satellite and surround sound is enough to put me in a tailspin. I'm about to upgrade to my first HDTV, probably a 50" plasma. I'm also going to install a surround sound system. I'm a 'do it yourselfer' with almost everything in life (I enjoy the learning process required). I want to make sure I get a TV and an AVR with enough HDMI inputs/outputs to cover me. I want to have everything available to play thru the surround sound. Components:

1. TV- Pioneer 5080, Panasonic TH -50PZ700U or Samsung FPT5084
2. Xbox (Mine is not HDMI equipped, however there is now a converter available from Madcatz)
3. Satellite
4. Eventually a Blu Ray, but I'll just play movies on the Xbox for now
5. A/V Receiver (any suggestions under $400?)

The TV's I'm looking at have 2, 3 or 4 HDMI connections. This could be a factor in my buying decision. So... Any advice on how many ports the TV and the AVR should have?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Mark M
02-20-2008, 04:57 PM
Cost wise the Onkyo TXSR605 will fit the bill. Unfortunately to get that many HDMI inputs on the receiver you will need to go up to the TXSR705 (3 inputs). You may want to bypass the receiver and run the HDMI's right to the TV and then use optical cables and digital coax cables to the receiver.

02-20-2008, 06:56 PM
if you want to go the "single cable" route, then HDMI with full audio processing is the way to go. So, your inputs to the a/v receiver would be (1.) HDMI cable from the satellite HD receiver box; (2.) HDMI from Xbox (if you get the converter) or composite video with optical audio.

I assume when you get the (3.) Blu-ray player you will still want the Xbox set up, so the previous poster is correct, you either need an a/v receiver than can fully switch 3 HDMI inputs to one single HDMI output to the TV......or.....you could bypass the HDMI on the a/v receiver and feed the HDMI video directly to one of the inputs on the TV. Some purists prefer the direct TV connection, while others like the a/v receiver to be the control center and do all the switching of sources and not having to change the video input selection on the TV.

Your call on connections, but as mentioned, 3 HDMI inputs on receivers means an Onkyo SR705....I'm not aware of another receiver in that price range with 3 HDMI inputs. Over your budget, so you might consider a factory authorized refurb

02-20-2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the input guys. To be sure I understand, I if I bypass the a/v receiver with one component, lets say the xbox, and run it's hdmi directly to the tv, can I still get xbox sound thru the receiver speakers? Is that what the optical cable would be for? Or, until I upgrade the xbox to hdmi, I should be able to connect it's component cables to the receiver, and then from the receiver to the tv, right?