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1) Do I really need 7.1 for a room 14 x20? Seeing alot of good reviews for this system so what's the hitch? Does audio & video both go thru HDMI? If not, how much quality in sound do you lose? Is it an old model? Is the DVD player decent? I watch maybe one or two movies a month (maybe more with a better system) so what I really want is great audio watching HD stations. Thanks for your help!!!!
 

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1) Do I really need 7.1 for a room 14 x20?
No, most people don't need it for an even larger room, but it's nice to have. Still, a well setup 5.1 system will more encompass you in sound nicely, especially when considering that most DVD titles are 5.1, not 7.1 or even 6.1. Your receiver will still use the surround channels in 5.1 to create a non-discrete 7.1, but unless you have a larger room with multiple listening positions, it's my opinion that you don't NEED 7.1

Seeing alot of good reviews for this system so what's the hitch?
There is none, except I believe the component, s-video, and composite video will only be upconverted to component, not HDMI (so you'll need to hook up an HDMI and component cable to your TV if you have Component, SVid, or Composite sources).. Can anyone find anything to the contrary on this?

Does audio & video both go thru HDMI?
According to what I've found on various sites (OnkyoUSA won't load this morning for some reason), yes it will.


If not, how much quality in sound do you lose?
None, if you are using either the optical or digital coax inputs. That is, unless you are trying to listen to DD+, TrueHD, or the DTS next gen formats found on HD-DVD and Blu-ray (which need either HDMI 1.1 or analog audio inputs, which I think I can barely make out in the pictures I've found under the label "DVD". Using Co-ax or optical, you'll still get audio as good or better than what you find on a standard DVD by, once again, using either the optical or digital coax inputs.

Is it an old model? Is the DVD player decent? I watch maybe one or two movies a month (maybe more with a better system) so what I really want is great audio watching HD stations. Thanks for your help!!!!
I can't answer for certain as to it's quality compared to other models, but if you are only watching 1-2 movies a month, it will be more than fine.

P.S. I'm an Iowa Boy myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the great info!!! So it will enhance DVD audio, but will it enhance HD TV station audio also?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just a 5 year old RCA HTIB with only 300 watts total. Money is tight, although I am still looking for a
huge difference in audio quality. I want to sit there the first time with my mouth wide open wondering how I ever lived without this before. Am I setting myself up for disappointment unless I shell out thousands?
 

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No, not only should this onkyo be a pretty big jump up (listen for louder, cleaner all around, and more defined bass), but it will be a good jumping off platform for future upgrades.

As you get more money, and more discerning tastes, you'll be able to upgrade your front 3 speakers, then your sub, all while keeping the receiver.

What price are you getting on the HTS894? What's your budget? While you can future proof yourself a little bit by buying Higher Quality Speakers in separates (especially if you already have a DVD player), you'd really need about $1000 to do that right.

The minimum that I would go with would cost you:
$300 - Sub (Bic or AV123)
$300 - LCR (JBL or Infinity off ebay HK Store)
$100 - Surrounds (1 pair, JBL or Infinity off ebay HK Store)
$300 - AVR (Refurb Onkyo or HK off ebay)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm seeing $400.00 which might even included shipping. That's why I'm thinking it could be a "last years model" type of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, now how about the HTS894 vs. HTsr800 besides 7.1 vs. 5.1. How do the receivers, speakers, etc. compare to each other? Also, why is everybody so uptight about the pass thru HDMI issue. Does it affect the quality of the audio or is it just a multiple component issue? All we will have is the TV, DVD player, and the Wii hooked up to our system. My TV is a 42" Sony DLP with 1080i and the room is approx. 14x20'. Thanks everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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An hdmi passthrough means that the AVR only acts as an HDMI switch, selecting from multiple (well, 2) HDMI sources to send to your display. It DOES NOT take any audio information from the HDMI cable, which means no DolbyTrueHD or DD+, and you have to hook up a separate audio connection which means more cables. For this reason, the sr800 should be crossed off your list.
 

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I responded to your PM, but I wanted to put it in this thread in case anyone else was interested:

I went to Onkyo's site and read the manual. It definitely does use the audio from the HDMI signal.

This is essential not because of cable-saving design, but because audio over HDMI is necessary to enjoy the next gen audio formats from HD-DVD, Blu-ray, and anywhere else we find them in the future.

The AVR in the 894 does not decode DD+ and DTrueHD, but it does accept 5.1 channel PCM, so if the player decodes DD+ and DTrueHD (as is my understanding that all BR and HD-DVD are required to do), then it can output those signals as PCM over HDMI to your AVR, and you will be able to enjoy DD+ and DTrueHD.

Like I said, if you can get the 894 for $400, I'd hop on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again & again, I think I am going for it today!!! Then I will call my 17 year old nephew to hook it all up!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Accessories 4 Less had it for $399.00 plus $50.00 shipping. I just saw that is back up to $450.00 plus shipping. It's worth it!!!!
 

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If you have not already done so look at the shack store they have the Onkyo HT SR800 system for under $400 and is a fantastic system.
 
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