Making use of old AV receivers with new technology

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Michael5039

Enthusiast
I'd just like to preemptively thank you all for any help you may offer!

So I recently bought a new 4k TV (Sony AF9) 2nd hand and now have to address my old AV equipment which is ridiculously now not entirely compatible if I want to use 4k sources. Ideally I'd like to come to a solution without buying a UHD bluray player, I opted for an Xbox one as I purchased one for £80 (2nd hand) which seems like a no brainer when a UHD bluray player costs about the same and has no where close to the same functionality. However one functionality the Xbox one obviously doesnt have is dual HDMI output hence my issue.

I have two receivers available to me, a Denon AVR-2310 and a Harman Kardon AVR-7300 (apologies if names in the US are different to here in the UK) which someone chucked in with some speakers. Ideally I'd like to try make use of the Harman Kardon as it is practically worthless with its old tech yet is obviously a very impressive amplifier being an old flagship model so seems a waste to leave unused. The Denon is also a good amp obviously but has HDMI inputs making it the likely option.

A few options I'm trying to consider:

  1. eARC - My TV has eARC but this is annoyingly again not backwards compatible which doesn't quite make sense to me, why can't you just use it as a pure audio output or why dont TV's just have an Audio output which is what this was developed to achieve with new tech when the tech of an audio output has seemingly been around since the invention of hdmi audio? But anyway, is there a device which can extract eARC audio to be input into my amp?
  2. I know you can buy HDCP compliant audio extractors with EDID control which to my knowledge last time I looked are very expensive but if anyone is aware of any cheap alternatives which would work for me that would be great!
  3. An HDCP compliant pre-amp to be used with the direct inputs of the Harman Kardon - I have trawled through the manual of the AVR 7300 and it does only seem to have a direct option in stereo but then it also says there's no signal processing on the direct inputs. If this is the case can these be used as a direct power amp input? I understand this will go through the pre-amp but is there a REAL issue with that? Given that I'm trying to avoid buying a cheap AVR receiver which is HDCP compliant I can't imagine the audio hit of going through two pre-amps as dramatic? (before someone points out buying a pre-amp is more expensive than me just buying a UHD bluray player the idea here was to make use of the higher quality AVR 7300)
  4. Any other options?

Thanks for any help guys!
 
M Code

M Code

Audioholic General
The 7300 can work well as a component 7-channel power amplifier using 6/8 Channel Direct inputs. Note that a very unique feature of the 7300 is that channel trims and bass manager functions are available. The 7300 has a robust dual power supply and like other HK components has high-current capability. The 7300 was a stand-out AVR in its day as being the 1st AVR with on-board video processing/upscaling by Farouja but as we know well the industry has continued to accelerate more & mode video and audio protocols...

Just my $0.02... ;)
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
As far as 5.1 audio without using HDMI, a SPDIF cable (usually optical SPDIF on TVs) will pass up to 5.1 audio (such as Dolby Digital 5.1) but then you might need to adjust Lip Sync.

I’m not familiar with that Sony model but some TVs might need to have audio setup set to use TV optical SPDIF output in the setup menu instead of TV HDMI output. The TV manual would be where to check on that.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Your strategies seem to favor repurposing rather than entertainment. Unless, you just do not have any discretionary income, buy a new HDMI AVR and dedicate the dated Amplifier for stereo, perhaps for listening pleasure in another area of your home.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
  1. An HDCP compliant pre-amp to be used with the direct inputs of the Harman Kardon - I have trawled through the manual of the AVR 7300 and it does only seem to have a direct option in stereo but then it also says there's no signal processing on the direct inputs. If this is the case can these be used as a direct power amp input? I understand this will go through the pre-amp but is there a REAL issue with that? Given that I'm trying to avoid buying a cheap AVR receiver which is HDCP compliant I can't imagine the audio hit of going through two pre-amps as dramatic? (before someone points out buying a pre-amp is more expensive than me just buying a UHD bluray player the idea here was to make use of the higher quality AVR 7300)
  2. Any other options?

Thanks for any help guys!
Someone asked similar questions not long ago but it was about the AVR7000 that in fact has a "Main-in" that allows the unit to be used as a power amp, bypassing the preamp/vol control. I just read the manual for the AVR7300 an found no such option. It has the usual multi-channel analog inputs but you already know the HK's preamp/vol control will be in the signal chain. It's not really a problem, just a clumsy way to do it and you would have to be careful doing it that way.

I understand the desire to use an older AVR, I have a few of them, gave away two and just sold one. Unfortunately sooner or later we have to accept the fact that there are better ways to do things now unless one has extra room and set ups for their use.
 
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Michael5039

Enthusiast
I don't really know anything about HK amps to be honest, they're not very popular here in the UK at all. I just can tell it is a very good amplifier and seems such a waste to get rid of it when really its only issue is not being able to decode modern surround sound. You know I think I actually saw somewhere in my searching that there may be a way to disable the volume control which would make that approach more acceptable. To be honest I was starting to accept that I do need to replace them but I try to make use of good equipment where I can.

My strategies do favour re-purposing as why waste what works if I can adapt it? If I can get round their trap of making me buy new equipment when I dont need to I will. Everything I own is second hand and for good reason; while others see a need to part with their hard earned cash to make often a sideways movement to the next thing, they get rid of the stuff they bought the year before at a huge drop from the original RRP because people like new things. The best thing of all is that the depreciation of 2nd hand stuff, especially speakers, is MUCH MUCH lower because people care more about it being new than it being better, so if I get a good deal which I always do I often sell it on at cost or profit. Unfortunately the new amps are still holding their value.

I know I can use optical but if I can I'd rather use the HD audio 7.1 offered by HDMI as i do have a 7.1 setup. This post was more to try discover if there was something I havent found that could help me.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
I don't really know anything about HK amps to be honest, they're not very popular here in the UK at all. I just can tell it is a very good amplifier and seems such a waste to get rid of it when really its only issue is not being able to decode modern surround sound. You know I think I actually saw somewhere in my searching that there may be a way to disable the volume control which would make that approach more acceptable. To be honest I was starting to accept that I do need to replace them but I try to make use of good equipment where I can.

My strategies do favour re-purposing as why waste what works if I can adapt it? If I can get round their trap of making me buy new equipment when I dont need to I will. Everything I own is second hand and for good reason; while others see a need to part with their hard earned cash to make often a sideways movement to the next thing, they get rid of the stuff they bought the year before at a huge drop from the original RRP because people like new things. The best thing of all is that the depreciation of 2nd hand stuff, especially speakers, is MUCH MUCH lower because people care more about it being new than it being better, so if I get a good deal which I always do I often sell it on at cost or profit. Unfortunately the new amps are still holding their value.

I know I can use optical but if I can I'd rather use the HD audio 7.1 offered by HDMI as i do have a 7.1 setup. This post was more to try discover if there was something I havent found that could help me.
I don't know what your search had led you to, I read the manual(s) and the couldn't see a way to bypass the volume control without getting inside the box and do a little mod.

It isn't a big deal to use the 7.1 analog inputs, you just have to be careful if you select any other inputs other than multi-channel input your max volume may damage the speakers. One way to be on the safe side is, don't connect anything to any of the inputs except the 7.1 analog rca inputs and don't use the tuner functions (don't even connect the antennas).

A nice and cheap avr-x3500h ($549) would be a good one to drive the avr7300's much more capable power amps. I would go with the x3600h though to be more future proof.
 
M

Michael5039

Enthusiast
Not sure what I read to be honest as I tried to find it but couldn't find it now.

I'll have a look thanks, I was just looking at the IOTAVX preamp. It seems like its a very good value for money AV preamp.
 

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