AV Receiver with just eARC

R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
Hi! Well I'm recent to the AV Receiver world, and one thing bothers me. Why is that all receivers are video processors as well? Aren't we just adding another variable to the mix (source + Receiver + TV)? After finding the perfect TV that supports everything you want (Dolby Vision, 8k, HDR10+, VRR, G-SYNC, etc) you still have to go to the trouble of finding a compatible receiver with all the features you want? TV's are perfect HDMI switchers and there's ppl that only stream Netlflix and alikes from the TV OS anyway.
Is there any brand that makes a receiver with just on HDMI eARC port? Let the TV do the video processing, and let the receiver do the Audio processing and cut a few bucks on the price of the receiver by removing all the video ports and capabilities.
I'm not saying that there shouldn't be AV powerhouse receivers with Video and Audio processing for the folks who want that, but what about a simpler solution?
Am I missing something?

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R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
Well you can add some audio only inputs as well (toslink, Phono, etc)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
LOL tvs are far from perfect hdmi switching devices. Audio Video Receivers do combine audio and video but few of us I think use the video processor except to upscale old legacy video stuff, many tvs will be the superior processor. You could get just an audio receiver, but they tend to only be 2ch.....
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
That receiver would be fine if every app, device and TV supported all of the same codecs so that you could send the best signal out to that receiver. You would also need a TV that had 6 or 7 HDMI inputs, not just three or four. I've not heard of anybody who thinks that their TV's built in apps were better than the ones in their favorite streaming device.
 
R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
OK, I shouldn't have said "perfect" since I don't have enough experience with AV Receivers. IMHO TVs do the job. But do you get my point? Licensing and testing VRR, GSYNC, Dolby Vision, 8K processing, etc must add to the cost of the receiver.
 
R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
Now you're giving me more doubts lol. Aren't TVs built in apps using the same codecs as other streaming devices? Is there a dedicated streamer with better quality apps (lets say Netflix or Disney+) than on a WEB OS or Android TV?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
OK, I shouldn't have said "perfect" since I don't have enough experience with AV Receivers. IMHO TVs do the job. But do you get my point? Licensing and testing VRR, GSYNC, Dolby Vision, 8K processing, etc must add to the cost of the receiver.
I've used avrs for quite a while, have four in use in the house now. Even when I had a tv with decent speakers I still wanted the benefits in surround sound it couldn't provide. Most of ARC's history has the tv being a bottleneck for audio as it can't process but lossy multich audio (until the latest version). Many tvs even only passed back out 2.0 audio (I have a couple of those). I've yet to need anything but sufficient pass-through of video, whether it was component or hdmi as I don't use the avr's video processing. I've not needed the legacy upscaling either....
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
As to the a app thing, I much prefer an external streamer now. My smart tv only having 2.0 output on all apps was a reason I went to external streaming devices in the first place, too; maybe if the tv could truly handle all audio codecs losslessly and pass them via ARC I might think differently. At first went with a bluray player but limited choice of apps to use compared to an external one so now use a coupla Amazon Fire Sticks (and the bluray players in a coupla cases).
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
I don'
Now you're giving me more doubts lol. Aren't TVs built in apps using the same codecs as other streaming devices? Is there a dedicated streamer with better quality apps (lets say Netflix or Disney+) than on a WEB OS or Android TV?
Unfortunately you never know about apps until you do some research or try them out. Somebody might be using a Samsung TV that does not support Atmos and sends a signal out as DD+. So, that guy goes and looks at streaming devices so he can get Atmos. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe any TV is passing DTS anymore so no passing of DTS:X to a capable receiver from a bluray player connected directly to a new TV.
 
R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
I don'

Unfortunately you never know about apps until you do some research or try them out. Somebody might be using a Samsung TV that does not support Atmos and sends a signal out as DD+. So, that guy goes and looks at streaming devices so he can get Atmos. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe any TV is passing DTS anymore so no passing of DTS:X to a capable receiver from a bluray player connected directly to a new TV.
My LG B9 supports Dolby Atmos and DTS. I think LGs 2020 Oleds removed the DTS support which I REALLY don't understand. Samsung's phones are known to have every feature possible, but their TVs lack Dolby Vision and DTS which I think it's a huge mistake and goes against their brand image.
 
R

Rellagher

Enthusiast
What I am proposing is what soundbars are already doing. A simple plug and play experience for the folks who don't want to go all in, but want a discreet 5.1 or more system. I guess you have to make sure that the TV supports all the features that you want, and I think LGs 2019 models do, and that you only need 3 HDMI devices (e.g. Game Console + BR player + streaming device) since one of them is eARC.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Ime tv’s app interfaces have been clunky and not always intuitive. Plus the fact that most TVs are lossy or 2.0 is a deal breaker for me. Audio is first in my world and the AVR can pass video untouched so for me, it’s a no brainer. I use external streamers to good effect. Your original idea isn’t a bad one but I feel like it’s a solution without a problem. I wouldn’t mind seeing TVs come with internal amps capable of driving a pair of bookshelf speakers with a .1 output. That would be much nicer than ARC or eARC since they are stoopid and buggy.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
While I get what you are saying, it really is catering to a niche market. The AV receivers are built to hit as many people as possible for the money. As soon as you remove any HDMI inputs, you aren't actually making things less expensive, but MORE expensive.

That's because you aren't going to be selling as many of those receivers, which significantly increases cost. This is most of the reason why smaller brands tend to carry higher price tags even though their quality rarely is better than what Denon and Yamaha already deliver.

It's also why features like multi-channel output aren't included and available on most receivers. They certainly have the space for it, but it adds cost.

At the end of the day, the biggest issue is, as has been said, the extremely high rate of unreliability of TV manufacturers and the complete and total screwup which is HDMI in general, but more specifically in terms of things like ARC.

There are times it works perfectly. But, Yamaha doesn't want to have to depend on LG or Sony to make a TV properly. In fact, it's pretty well established that certain very standard audio formats (like DTS) are not being supported by TVs this year and can't send those formats back across eARC.

Why? Because the TV manufacturers don't want to pay for that licensing.

So, the type of features (video related) that you don't want to pay for in a receiver and the same things the TV manufacturers don't want to pay for on the audio side of things.

NOW: Can you imagine a average Joe trying to figure out what is what? Especially when manufacturers are so piss-poor at being upfront about all the specifics of what their product can, and more importantly, can't do?

With all of that, there is also a lot of setup which needs to occur inside of an A/V receiver, so why even bother with the on-screen setup if you don't need it? Except, then you end up with a more powerful speakerbar... and I've setup some speaker bars that don't have any auto-calibration settings. They don't have a clear way to test the different channels. We are literally pushing A/V receivers back 15 years to the days when they didn't have an on-screen display to work off of. Yes, I suppose it could still put out video just for the setup. But, that's an added cost.

Be realistic.

The current entry level A/V receivers with multiple HDMI 2.1 inputs and outputs (even though it's broken) are just a few hundred dollars.

The licensing and costs associated with video, from a receiver, and almost nothing. Plus, it allows you to connect all the stuff which isn't using ARC right inside your equipment cabinet with the receiver.

If we are going to have something to complain about, it would be that I can buy a decent 5.1 channel receiver for $400. For 150 bucks more I ramp it up to 7 channels and put in Atmos. But, I can't get a receiver with FULL 7.2.4 audio processing with appropriate preouts for anywhere near that price. That's perhaps the most infuriating part of all that I've seen in receivers. I don't need 10 HDMI inputs. I just need full audio processing in an inexpensive receiver.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
You said it. I just can't pull the trigger on a Marantz 60XX just to get 7.1 EXT IN and a universal remote control. I loved those features on my old Denons. Getting them now costs more than I care to spend. I think there are many receivers out there at various price points that could give up some two channel analog inputs for more pre outs.
 
T

Tbh524

Audiophyte
Hi! Well I'm recent to the AV Receiver world, and one thing bothers me. Why is that all receivers are video processors as well? Aren't we just adding another variable to the mix (source + Receiver + TV)? After finding the perfect TV that supports everything you want (Dolby Vision, 8k, HDR10+, VRR, G-SYNC, etc) you still have to go to the trouble of finding a compatible receiver with all the features you want? TV's are perfect HDMI switchers and there's ppl that only stream Netlflix and alikes from the TV OS anyway.
Is there any brand that makes a receiver with just on HDMI eARC port? Let the TV do the video processing, and let the receiver do the Audio processing and cut a few bucks on the price of the receiver by removing all the video ports and capabilities.
I'm not saying that there shouldn't be AV powerhouse receivers with Video and Audio processing for the folks who want that, but what about a simpler solution?
Am I missing something?

View attachment 41817
I agree 100%. I want a minimalist earc audio processor, no video and found this thread while Googling for it. I want to plug a few devices to the HDMI 2.1 TV, have the TV be my center channel and send decent audio to whatever speakers I have installed. The video switching is always the weak link.
 
A

alc

Audiophyte
I agree 100%. I want a minimalist earc audio processor, no video and found this thread while Googling for it. I want to plug a few devices to the HDMI 2.1 TV, have the TV be my center channel and send decent audio to whatever speakers I have installed. The video switching is always the weak link.

Totally agree. It's always been the video section on my processor that's the weak point. Don't want it... waiting for a pure audio processor before I change mine. Just use eARC from tv and tv for video. TV is designed for displaying pictures. Processors should be there for audio duties. End of.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Totally agree. It's always been the video section on my processor that's the weak point. Don't want it... waiting for a pure audio processor before I change mine. Just use eARC from tv and tv for video. TV is designed for displaying pictures. Processors should be there for audio duties. End of.
That is nonsense. You are then limited to the Apps included in the TV. Most of the time I'm watching sources from the Internet the TV could not capture.

There would be some point however in some people using a TV connected to powered speakers. If a system were developed that allowed optical audio outs to be directly connected to powered speakers, then that could make for simpler installation for some.

As I have said for some time, the problem is that receivers contain power amps. We are now well passed the point where amps should be in speakers.
 
A

alc

Audiophyte
That is nonsense. You are then limited to the Apps included in the TV. Most of the time I'm watching sources from the Internet the TV could not capture.

There would be some point however in some people using a TV connected to powered speakers. If a system were developed that allowed optical audio outs to be directly connected to powered speakers, then that could make for simpler installation for some.

As I have said for some time, the problem is that receivers contain power amps. We are now well passed the point where amps should be in speakers.
If you would like to look at the back of your TV then you will see things called HDMI inputs. Plug your devices into these. Your TV remote will happily switch between them. The picture from these sources will appear on your TV and the Full Audio will be delivered to your processor via eARC.

Now if you use an optical connection then you will NOT get full audio, hence the reason why you can ONLY currently do this via eARC.

I talk about a Processor as it is irrelevant to this discussion if the processor has external amps or built in amps.

Now some people will say that their TV doesn't have enough HDMI inputs and this may be true today, but I would rather add consumer pressure to TV manufacturers to add more than to keep this regressive concept of my audio equipment trying to do video. As soon as a video standard goes out of date I don't want to be forced into purchasing a rather expensive bit of HiFi equipment that I am perfectly happy with sound wise.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Why not make the argument that a monitor makes more sense than a TV? Cable companies have made TV tuners useless unless using an antenna. The streaming apps are not comparable yet to dedicated streaming devices and the speakers are and have always been s#%t. And how about a dedicated HDMI output port? ARC/eARC just enables audio return from a line sending video the other way. Hardly optimal. One can just use ARC/eARC now but the compromises are greater than those using separate devices into an AVR with video passthrough. Convenience comes at a cost usually paid in quality. Oh, and lets not get into the video “processing” done by modern TVs. There is a reason they came out with film maker mode.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
If you would like to look at the back of your TV then you will see things called HDMI inputs. Plug your devices into these. Your TV remote will happily switch between them. The picture from these sources will appear on your TV and the Full Audio will be delivered to your processor via eARC.

Now if you use an optical connection then you will NOT get full audio, hence the reason why you can ONLY currently do this via eARC.

I talk about a Processor as it is irrelevant to this discussion if the processor has external amps or built in amps.

Now some people will say that their TV doesn't have enough HDMI inputs and this may be true today, but I would rather add consumer pressure to TV manufacturers to add more than to keep this regressive concept of my audio equipment trying to do video. As soon as a video standard goes out of date I don't want to be forced into purchasing a rather expensive bit of HiFi equipment that I am perfectly happy with sound wise.
You miss very little content now between optical and eARC. Not much lossless audio in tv streaming apps.....and why use a tv as a receiver? It's a poor receiver.
 

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