Video Degradation
In your response to Richard Zeddun, you wrote:

"Some receivers do, in fact, degrade the HDMI video that passes through them, but the SC-05 isn't one of them."

Which AVRs do and do not degrade the HDMI video? I plan to buy a new AVR with HDMI inputs and the ability to process the latest audio bitstreams, and I also would like to have it do my video switching. Will I be alright if I buy any of the entry-level AVRs recommended in HT or do I need to step up to "mid-range" model? Or is there a specific feature I should look for when shopping?

Dom Ochoa

The best way to know which AVRs degrade the video signal is to read Home Theater's AVR reviews, which now include a section called Video Test Bench. In that section, Tom Norton evaluates the video performance of the AVR under review with a standard suite of tests. An AVR's video performance is not necessarily related to its price; for example, I've seen some very expensive AVRs that fail the video-clipping test. Also, some AVRs, such as the Yamaha RX-V1065, pass some tests via digital HDMI but fail them via analog component.

I didn't read any mention of OLED panels at CES. Did you see any? Has the current push toward 3D TV overshadowed the development of OLED technology for the consumer market?

Larry Eichner

There certainly were OLED panels at CES—Sony, Samsung, and LG all showed prototypes, and LG plans to sell a 15-inch model this year. But large-screen models remain very difficult and prohibitively expensive to make, so, realistically, such products for home theater are years away at best, which is why I didn't mention them in my show reports. You're right that 3D overshadowed OLED in a big way at this year's CES, though Sony combined the two by showing 3D on an OLED screen.

What Were You Thinking?
I recently bought a Samsung HT-TZ425 home-theater-in-a-box system, and I want to use a separate receiver instead of the DVD player that came with it. I have seen some good Onkyo receivers, and I was wondering if it was possible to connect my home theater to an 7.1 Onkyo receiver? I know my system only produces 5.1 surround sound, but I intend to buy more speakers.

Sean Frost

Why did you buy a home-theater-in-a-box if you want to use a different receiver? HTIBs are intended to be used as a package. It's probably possible to connect the speakers to another receiver, but I don't know for sure. In particular, you might not be able to use the wireless capability of the surrounds. If you want to use a separate receiver, I'd return the HTIB and get the receiver you want with a separate set of speakers, which will be easier to expand to 7.1 than the HTIB system.

If you have a home-theater question, please send it to scott.wilkinson@sorc.com.

Ricky's picture

In response to Sean's question:The Samsung HTIB's generally come with proprietary speaker cable connectors that make it complicated to connect to different components than the original head unit. Also, Samsung HTIB speakers generally run at 3ohms which will probably affect the sound quality if connected to an AVR. I agree with Scott. Return the HTIB and purchase an AVR that will let you connect more sources and use generally any speaker you wish.

mike's picture

also, just about every HTIB has three ohm speakers, which can be a problem for some receivers.

Darren S's picture

I currently run my dvd HDMI cable directly to my tv and run a digital optical cable directly to my receiver. I was wondering if I am losing any Movie sound quality by doing it this way. Or if there are any negatives at all with this setup.Thanks.P.S. I am a subscriber to your magazine and prefer it much better than Sound and Vision.