Me Again! Costs Mounting. Need Receiver Too

chisueMarch 11, 2012

I never thought about it when pursuing the new Blu-Ray player, but obviously our 2001 Yamaha receiver has no HDMI connections.

The tech from Abt must have just done what he could connecting our Sony Bravia TV to the Yamaha in 2010. How much must I spend for a new receiver? Clearly, we are not audio/video sophisticates!

Could someone explain how all these parts work together?

1) DirecTV HD-DVR (Signal comes in here and goes to...?)

2) Tuner (I know this controls the four speakers and subwoofer.)

3) 1080p TV (Gets input from all the others?)

5) Blu-Ray DVD Player (Only connected to TV -- and Receiver for speakers?)

I'm reminded of that old song: The music goes round and round, and it comes out...on the TV screen and speakers?

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The receiver is the hub of the system so everything connects to it. All the audio / video inputs (DirectTV, BluRay, Wii, etc) connect to the receiver to send audio and/or video signals in. All recently made equipment will use HDMI cable but most receivers will also handle other types of inputs for older equipment (the one exception is that many new receivers do not support old turntables). The receiver then sends audio output to speakers via speaker wires and subwoofer coaxial cable, and video output to the TV via HDMI cable. You can spend a lot on a receiver with all the bells and whistles but a basic one should not cost more than $200-$300. Just make sure it supports BluRay audio formats and has enough HDMI input connections to handle all your equipment with room for a few extra things you may add in the future.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:59AM
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Thanks Mr. B. I was afraid of that: The receiver is the 'brains' of the outfit. I'll look for one with six HDMI 'ports' and one that will support Blu-Ray audio. Looks like I'll also need at least four HDMI cables. I remember a post saying that a cable is a cable, but I see a wide range of pricing on them. I do have one short one that came with the Sony Blu-Ray.

This morning AT&T emailed me touting their 'U-verse'. They currently bundle our landline/internet/DirecTV HD-DVR. It looks like U-verse replaces the DirecTV part, but much of the focus is on things we don't care about, like music and 24/7 hand-held 'connectivity'.

I've cooled on the whole 'streaming movies' thing. Netflix and Amazon's current movies are not of interest to us. Our library has free DVD's of everything I saw on their lists that I *would* want to see. We've already seen the old episodes of various British TV series on offer to stream. We've watched many more recent episodes of these series on DVD's from the library. Maybe 'streaming' is of more interest to people who are more isolated -- or watching on hand-held screens? Are there other services with wider offerings?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 1:00PM
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HDMI cables from retail stores are way overpriced. Look for 'high speed' HDMI and you should be OK. has the best prices.

The appeal of streaming all depends on what you want to watch. We just watched all 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. Next we'll probably start on Downton Abbey to catch up. It's much easier than having to deal with disks; on the other hand the audio and video quality is less than you get with BluRay disks and even with a 20MB service we still get occasional pauses, so I prefer disks for watching movies where you really want to be absorbed in the experience.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:05PM
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Glad to hear I can get 'generic' HDMI -- just has to say "High Speed", eh?

I think we'll stick with DVD's and skip the 'streaming' for now. I thought I was the only person who has not seen "Downton Abbey 2". Our DVR failed to record the first two episodes while we were on Maui (and we don't have a DVR there). We record almost everything so that we can watch at our leisure. We're catching up on "Hawaii Five-O" now.

I really appreciate your help. Thank you.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:59PM
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