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Best and simplest TV sound feed to an analog stereo amp

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by LPplayer, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. LPplayer

    LPplayer McFan Subscriber

    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Up Nort
    Greetings from MN! :confused:

    My Yamaha RX-V373 AV receiver has never done very well with 2 channel TV audio from my Altec bookshelf 887A speakers, especially when it comes to voice reproduction. (Tivo Bolt with a Comcast cable card). I've enjoyed stereo since the Ventures Telstar album came out, but when it finally came time to buy an HDTV I thought I had to buy an AV receiver, and that it would do just fine pumping out 2 channel audio. Heck, it's got EQ and what else do I need? Stupid, yes?

    Anyway I seem to have found a solution: I'm ready to order a Nero-XD 200W HiFi DAC 2-Channel Class D Stereo Power Amplifier. It has Optical audio inputs and analog. Should I connect it to the Optical Audio out on the Samsung plasma TV, or the Tivo Bolt? The Tivo has both analog L/R out and an optical connection. Will one work any better than the other and will there be any problem with audio/video sync Or should I consider some other setup.
    (The smaller footprint of the Nero is also appealing and an FM tuner section isn't required.)

    Thanks!
     

     

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  2. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Will the Nero-XD 200W HiFi DAC 2-Channel Class D Stereo Power Amplifier replace the Yamaha RX-V373 AV receiver? I'm curious - other than smaller size - why you're changing from one solid-state amp to another.

    Is your current configuration (including Yamaha AVR) configured (via software settings) for stereo, vs. being configured for surround-sound, but without the center channel speaker connected? I'm wondering why dialog might be reproduced poorly.

    Does all of your TV content come through the Tivo Bolt? Do you also watch over-the-air (antenna) TV?

    WIll you use this system to play any discs (e.g., Blu-ray, CD, SACD)?

    I'm mostly a vintage tube guy. I don't own an AVR, but I just helped a friend acquire a new 2 channel audio/video system that was reasonably priced. (I coached him to buy an "open box" Onkyo TX-8270 2 Channel Network Stereo Receiver with 4k HDMI, and a Sony UltraHD disc player. He has cable TV. Everything connects via HDMI.) As you've indicated you're aware, there's more than one way to connect everything. The advantage with an AVR (which I don't personally own) is operational ease - i.e., it switches the audio and video if you have multiple sources (e.g., Tivo, Blu-ray disc player, etc). OTOH, the advantage with having audio and video separate is the flexibility to employ whatever hi-fi amp(s) you want. (I use vintage tube amps in 2.0, 2.1, and 5.1 configurations. I use Oppo universal players (which have built-in multi-channel DACS). Chromecast Audio for music streaming. I don't have cable TV - I use a TOSLINK optical connection from the HDTV to my Oppo UDP-205 for the rare occasion when I want audio from over-the-air (antenna) TV played through the hi-fi.)

    I'd be interested in hearing about your experience with the Tivo Bolt - i.e., use cases, and your assessment regarding ease-of-use and reliability. I tried Chromecast (video) for Netflix movie streaming, but control from my Android tablet was consistently unreliable. It appears that the Tivo has a physical remote control - is that more reliable than a smartphone/tablet based control app? My over-the-air HDTV reception is excellent most of the time (via an old antenna in the attic), but sometimes due to weather it doesn't work OK. Do you receive local TV stations via the Tivo? Via antenna, or streaming? Netflix streaming? Other streaming sources? What is your internet connection speed? Would you mind sharing the monthly fees for the various Tivo services? Thanks.
     
  3. drew_t

    drew_t AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    702
    I can’t see why the Yamaha would have any trouble playing the TV audio. Are you sure you have it set to play to a 2.0 speaker setup? If it’s set to 5.1, then most of the vocal signal is being sent to a nonexistent center channel speaker.
     
  4. LPplayer

    LPplayer McFan Subscriber

    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Up Nort
    2 channel all the way...
     
  5. LPplayer

    LPplayer McFan Subscriber

    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Up Nort
    My responses in italics:

    Will the Nero-XD 200W HiFi DAC 2-Channel Class D Stereo Power Amplifier replace the Yamaha RX-V373 AV receiver? I'm curious - other than smaller size - why you're changing from one solid-state amp to another.

    I want a smaller size that is just a 2 channel amplifier. I don’t need FM and I think that there’s a lot of processing going on that isn’t necessary.


    Is your current configuration (including Yamaha AVR) configured (via software settings) for stereo, vs. being configured for surround-sound, but without the center channel speaker connected? I'm wondering why dialog might be reproduced poorly.

    I’ve tried every configuration offered by the receiver.


    Does all of your TV content come through the Tivo Bolt? Do you also watch over-the-air (antenna) TV?

    TV all comes from the Bolt.

    WIll you use this system to play any discs (e.g., Blu-ray, CD, SACD)?

    This is just for TV. Two of the poorest quality channels are the local NBC channel and HBO.


    I'm mostly a vintage tube guy. I don't own an AVR, but I just helped a friend acquire a new 2 channel audio/video system that was reasonably priced. (I coached him to buy an "open box" Onkyo TX-8270 2 Channel Network Stereo Receiver with 4k HDMI, and a Sony UltraHD disc player. He has cable TV. Everything connects via HDMI.) As you've indicated you're aware, there's more than one way to connect everything. The advantage with an AVR (which I don't personally own) is operational ease - i.e., it switches the audio and video if you have multiple sources (e.g., Tivo, Blu-ray disc player, etc). OTOH, the advantage with having audio and video separate is the flexibility to employ whatever hi-fi amp(s) you want. (I use vintage tube amps in 2.0, 2.1, and 5.1 configurations. I use Oppo universal players (which have built-in multi-channel DACS). Chromecast Audio for music streaming. I don't have cable TV - I use a TOSLINK optical connection from the HDTV to my Oppo UDP-205 for the rare occasion when I want audio from over-the-air (antenna) TV played through the hi-fi.)

    I have 3 Mac systems in the house. They are all dedicated to 2 channel stereo. My C52 has more digital features than I’ll ever need. But streaming isn’t why I’ve invested in my hobby.


    I'd be interested in hearing about your experience with the Tivo Bolt - i.e., use cases, and your assessment regarding ease-of-use and reliability. I tried Chromecast (video) for Netflix movie streaming, but control from my Android tablet was consistently unreliable. It appears that the Tivo has a physical remote control - is that more reliable than a smartphone/tablet based control app? My over-the-air HDTV reception is excellent most of the time (via an old antenna in the attic), but sometimes due to weather it doesn't work OK. Do you receive local TV stations via the Tivo? Via antenna, or streaming? Netflix streaming? Other streaming sources? What is your internet connection speed? Would you mind sharing the monthly fees for the various Tivo services?


    I’ve had Tivo with a Comcast cable card for over 12 years. The most recent before the Bolt was a Premiere. It drove me crazy by frequently jumping to a kind of sound some shift that can only be described as extreme out of phase output. It would happen sporadically on any channel, very often when skipping forward or doing 30 second rewinds. Doing more of those the same functions it would usually cure the issue. A blog I started on Tivo’s site didn’t solve the problem.


    I use a universal remote instead of the Tivo because I couldn’t get it to power up the AVR. Both have worked flawlessly. I have never tried the voice controlled Tivo remote that came with it.


    We occasionally watch Prime movies with reasonable success. It all arrives via the Comcast modem, via coax to the Bolt and then HDMI to the TV (no iphone or ipad). Trying an optical audio cable didn’t change anything. (I don’t think that my internet connection speed is relevant, but download is 99.4 mbps.)

    My hope is that eliminating all of the processing compression and other manipulations that the Yamaha has that might be getting in the way will clear the air. I’ll have 30 days to try it out. I’ll also be going back to the Tivo remote instead of the universal.


    Tivo fees are 9.99/month plus tax. By using a card and not Comcasts DVR I get a discount from Comcast of $2.50 per month and I’m also not paying rental for the Xfinity box. The 500GB Bolt is on sale right now for $150.


    I hope that answer your questions.


    Paul in St Paul aka LPplayer
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 12:03 AM
  6. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Thanks for sharing information about your Tivo.

    Because all content comes through the Tivo Bolt, my first guess would be to connect your new Class D amp to the Tivo via TOSLINK. If there is a problem (e.g., A/V synch, or audio quality), I'd experiment with other connection options.

    I have a Class D amp (NAD D 3020) in my office for general internet use, and for summertime (when I don't want the heat from a tube amp). I'm satisfied with it for these uses, except for the slow boot-up (16 seconds).

    Good luck - and keep us posted.
     

     

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  7. LPplayer

    LPplayer McFan Subscriber

    Messages:
    187
    Location:
    Up Nort
    I'm waiting to hear back from Teac about the Class D AI-301DA (22wpc). It has almost all of the features I want. Hopefully the remote is IR. If so my universal remote will learn from theirs. Nice feature: with an optical audio connection from my Samsung the amp will wake up.
     

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