Enchancing video, adding audio in the bedroom.

Current setup: Panasonic Plasma, about 8 years old. Panasonic Blu-Ray. Ideas for new setup: Oppo 105 darbee edition. Wharfedale 10.2 speakers. The amplification part is a bit more confusing for me. I’m a 2-channel analog guy, and when I see these A/V receivers with 9 channels and 90 connections on the back, it certainly changes my KEEP IT SIMPLE rule. I have a fair collection of Redbook CD’s, but as I understand it, Redbook is not the Oppo’s greatest strength. Price range for speakers is around the Wharfedales ($379) price. Amp around $1000, and of course, the 105 darbee is a proven contender in it’s price range. Goals are to get better video resolution, and I’m sure the Oppo will best my $259 BR player. Also better sound from TV/ Movies, but also be able to enjoy music. I have no intention to go 5 or 7 channel. A center channel in the future would be as far as I would venture.

I use 2-channel systems for video/audio in my living room and think it does all I need. If going with the 10.2 speakers i would think a NAD 326BEE  ($550 retail) would be all the amp you would need. Has subwoofer output, however no center channel one. With savings one could up the ante on speakers, or help to add a sub for movies. Of course you would have to use the analog outs with the Oppo with that amp. 

Music Direct suggested a Marantz A/V receiver. I believe SR7009 is the model. It's a $2,000 unit, marked down to $900. I wonder how it would compare sonically with a comparably priced 2-channel unit. I have also looked at the HEED Elixir Integrated. I had their Quasar phono in a 2nd system last year, and liked it a lot. The conversation with the  MD rep went a bit over my head, but in short, with an A/V receiver you bypass the cable box, giving better video performance.  

Forget the A/V receiver and use the Oppo's inputs as a control center. Then its video to the plasma and audio to a nice 2 channel integrated amp. Simple and the video direct to the plasma should be better than through an A/V receiver.

Thanks tls49- I would love to do this without getting in to a big, heavy A/V receiver. If I follow your recommendation above, would I also be able to watch TV/Movies with audio through the Wharfedales? I also stream Netflix, and watch Blu-Rays.

Hi fjn04,

Initially, I don’t see any issues, using the Oppo as a control center will send video to the plasma and sound to the speakers from anything connected to it, but a couple of questions just to be sure.

1) Since you are currently using Blu-ray, I assumed the plasma has an HDMI input, or at least a DVI using an adapter.

2) What other sources (cable box, etc.) will you be using and can I assume they have HDMI output?

3) How do you stream Netflix? Cable box, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku?

4) Once the system is in place will you use it 100% of the time or do you need the ability to just use the plasma only?

tls49- Thank You.

1) I will confirm, but I am 90% sure my Plasma has an HDMI input.

2) I use a Time Warner cable box, which does have an HDMI output.

3) I use my Panasonic Blu-Ray player to Stream Netflix. So if the Oppo doesn’t have that capability, I would have to explore an alternative option such as the Roku.

4) There will be times when I will want to listen to CD’s via the digital source, or at some point explore computer audio. Then at other times, simply watch a DVD or Blu-Ray.

I’m a little green when it comes to video, and also digital, beyond spinning a CD.
fjn04, I’m guessing your plasma (8 years old) should have HDMI since this became available on TV’s about 10 years ago. Assuming it does here’s the connections.

Cable box HDMI output to one of the HDMI inputs on the Oppo, then Oppo HDMI output to the plasma HDMI input. Oppo L&R audio output to an input on the integrated amp with amp’s output to the speakers. Amp’s VC will control volume as usual, but selection for source will be done on the Oppo. Also, the Oppo has inputs for computer audio and will stream Netflix. This should be reasonably simple to operate, using the amp’s VC to control volume and selecting the source (cable box, computer audio, Netflix, or any disc playing) on the Oppo. The amp’s selector will remain on the input for the Oppo.

tls49- Very straightforward, as I had hoped. Thank you very much. A 2-channel Integrated is really the direction I wanted to go. I would think this gives an edge strictly for 2-channel audio. Then on video, better video resolution, better sound with TV, Blu-Ray.... Sounds like a win-win to me.