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New receiver advice needed, Bridging the gap between HTPC/components and speakers
Adiventure
post Apr 9 2012, 08:15
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Hi, first post but long time lurker (generally on the foobar side of things though). I was given a nice set of audio components a while back (along with 2 great speakers) with a minor catch: there was no receiver, and each component had at least one sizable problem. I've slowly been fixing these issues, and built a HTPC from which virtually all of my sound is being supplied. In the meantime I also put in a cheap receiver my grandparents had rotting in their attic, it did it's job and worked for a while but it appears to be on it's last legs. I'm looking to replace it with a newer receiver that can handle HDMI (currently I'm using the 3.5mm mobo jack - receiver rca), can drive my speakers (Kef 104s), and take a decent number of inputs (phono, tape, cd, + at least a couple HDMI). This is where I get totally lost. I have absolutely no idea which brands or models I should be looking at, if I am thinking about anything arse backwards, or just generally not being too bright. My price range is fairly low (broke student here), but I'd like to have an idea of what the options are across the board. Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
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stephan_g
post Apr 10 2012, 22:33
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There's not an awful lot of stereo receivers with HDMI input that I'm aware of... Kenwood RA-5000, and that's about it. Even Onkyo's TX-8050, while supporting network streaming (wouldn't that be another option?), does not carry HDMI inputs. I guess the license fees and things related to encryption (booby traps, anyone?) make implementing them unattractive when you have any kind of choice.

What kind of motherboard (and onboard sound chip) does the HTPC have? HD Audio codecs of the better kind, implemented well, tend to measure up well enough on the DAC side that they should be audibly transparent. It is far more important to get OS and driver configuration correct then, which can be a little fussy. You don't want resampling with WASAPI in shared mode, for example (which is what all of DSound and MME go through).
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