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AVR advice, Prioritize E-ARC or Dirac room correction?

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#1
Hi,

would appreciate any advice you might have as I'm about to purchase my first AVR;

Precond:
I have a decent 2ch system that I'm very happy with, class A power amp, separate DAC, MiniDSP-based basic room correction etc. I would like to continue use this setup but extend it with a sub and a good center speaker. Hence the AVR purchase.

Usage:
The usage looks something like this; We watch a lot of streamed TV shows and movies. I listen to music using Kodi on the TV as a media player (Toslink to my DAC/MiniDSP), my CD collection is digitized and stored on a NAS, I also streaming music with Tidal. We occasionally watch Blu-Rays and DVDs.
When I get an AVR I will use the pre-outs for all 3.1 channels (built-in power amps might be used for future surround speakers later, if I go that route).

Within my budget I have found two main candidates that looks promising:
Marantz SR6014 (E-ARC support, XT32 room correction ...)
Arcam AVR390 (only ARC, Dirac room correction, presumably better music SQ ...)

There are a lot of features and aspects to consider, but my predicament basically boils down to this: Do I go for the SR6014 that has E-ARC that would enable me to stream HD/lossless audio (2ch and multi-ch) from my TV via HDMI or do I go for the AVR390 that has Dirac room correction and presumably better SQ?

If I go for the AVR390 I assume Toslink from the TV would be the way to go for music still.

Any thoughts and ideas?

Regards,
M
 
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#2
I would go with the AVR390 (and I own a Denon). There are easy economical ways to get around lack of E-Arc support (e.g., adding something like a Roku Ultra, which will offer the streaming services a smart tv might offer, doing what you're already doing with the use of Kodi).
 
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Thread Starter #3
Thanks!

I guess the problem would still be that the AVR390 cannot receive HD/lossless audio via E-ARC HDMI from the TV or other media player.
 
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#4
Thanks!

I guess the problem would still be that the AVR390 cannot receive HD/lossless audio via E-ARC HDMI from the TV or other media player.
Couldn't you receive it via a different route through upnp protocol? This may be something to explore with Kodi users, but I would think you should be able to send it to the receiver from your home network while still using the Kodi interface, if you want to keep that interface.
 
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Thread Starter #5
Hi, how important would you guys say that E-ARC is when buying an AVR at this point in time, e.g. given my usage profile?
 
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#6
IMHO, I think it is a great convenience feature, and I see major benefit when using smart TV apps with AVR's for an easy solution. This would ensure that a lot more people end up with good sound when watching Netflix, for example, from a smart tv app. I can see my sister's family inadvertently benefiting from it, and I suspect most users are like that. In your situation, I'm not for sure it is something I would choose over Dirac because there are relatively simple workarounds to get what you want, from what I can tell. In fact, this may be a way to negotiate a better price for a higher model Arcam AVR. I know that that generation Arcam is selling for significant discounts (though, because they're keeping the AVR390 in production, that discount may not apply so much for it). So it may be worth checking out the Lexicon RV-6 and the Arcam AVR550 with a local dealer (the Lex is a re-badge of the Arcam, which includes Logic 7 up-mixer and basically--it just looks cooler). I know the dealer here in Nashville is selling the Lexicon units for a significant discount as a clearance items (though I'm not sure how much--I just know it'll be steep, as in 40 percent, maybe half? I don't know for sure, but a lot).
 

Berwhale

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#7
Hi, how important would you guys say that E-ARC is when buying an AVR at this point in time, e.g. given my usage profile?
Is your TV e-ARC compatible? (HDMI 2.1) If not, do you intend on replacing it?
 
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Thread Starter #8
Yes, the TV will be replaced soon with a E-ARC compatible one.

I spoke to a salesman today that basically claimed that the AVR390 is a completely different product compared to e.g. the SR6014, the claim is that the AVR390 is significantly better built for audio performance.

I have the opportunity to purchase an AVR390 (clearance item) at basically the same price as the newer SR6014. Too bad the new Arcam AV10 is out of my budget ...
 
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#9
Regarding e-arc: Be aware that the TV media player might not be able to pass lossless audio to the receiver, even if the TV is e-arc compliant. This is the case with the 2019 range of LG OLEDs, for instance.
 
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Thread Starter #10
Thanks. There seem to be many potential pitfalls when trying to get the entire signal chain to become HD/lossless for multichannel audio. Reading up on the subject is not entirely easy given the number of involved SW-applications, HW and different audio protocols and standards.

I may just stick with the slightly older AVR390 the way looks right now.
 

BDWoody

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#12
Why would you want to use TV apps. They have poor support compared to dedicated devices like AppleTV.
For one example, (only one I can think of) there is an app available for the comcast/xfinity service on my LG tv that isn't available from anywhere else...at least not that I have found. Given the hassle of getting a hardwired box anywhere in that area, it is much easier to just use that app when I want to on that tv.

I don't bring it up to be picking nits, but more because I find some of these limitations ridiculous. It shouldn't be so hard to get proper multi-out from these things, imo.
 
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#13
For one example, (only one I can think of) there is an app available for the comcast/xfinity service on my LG tv that isn't available from anywhere else...at least not that I have found. Given the hassle of getting a hardwired box anywhere in that area, it is much easier to just use that app when I want to on that tv.

I don't bring it up to be picking nits, but more because I find some of these limitations ridiculous. It shouldn't be so hard to get proper multi-out from these things, imo.
That's a good point. I don't have much experience with cable TV.
 

Sancus

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#14
There's lots of whitelisting limitations that TV apps generally circumvent. For example, most boxes don't support YouTube HDR but LG OLED definitely does, and HDR support is mixed for various streaming service and various boxes.

Granted, YouTube HDR is an edge case because there's not that much of it, but there's an annoying number of software edge cases in IP-based TV content.
 
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#15
There's lots of whitelisting limitations that TV apps generally circumvent. For example, most boxes don't support YouTube HDR but LG OLED definitely does, and HDR support is mixed for various streaming service and various boxes.

Granted, YouTube HDR is an edge case because there's not that much of it, but there's an annoying number of software edge cases in IP-based TV content.
Also, the WebOS PLEX app supports Dolby Vision and DTS no problem. Which can't be said about the Apple TV version. It really is a shame that one can only get lossy audio out of WebOS...
 

Sancus

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