how to set up good home theater sound (and picture)

I am very new to the latest home theater formats. I have a new 4k TV but I don't yet have any devices that will stream 4K. My fios box does TV and I do netflix, amazon, and disney through our PS4. I just got a Marantz AV 7702 processor. I used to run Theta digital equipment for DVDs but no one buys disc players anymore, right (even 4k disc players)? Oppo seems to have gone out of business. Is the new PS5 an audiophile quality player? Will a new FIOS box satisfy? I'm wondering why I even have a good processor but I definitely miss good quality sound for movies. It's only OK running the current equipment into the Marantz and nowhere near what I remember from a Theta DVD player and my old Sunfire processor. It should be much better with the new sound formats. One option for video would be to run the apps directly from the TV, which would optimize video, but then I'm running an HDMI cable from the TV to the Marantz, and I assume that would be poor sound quality? How do you get audiophile quality movie sound these days? Thanks all.
Well the good news is you're listening, and you're hearing. The bad news is you bought into the surround processor sales schtick. Those things are death to sound quality. No amount of money in a processor will get you even close to a run of the mill $800 integrated. Sad but true. 

The good news is this means you can save a whopping lot of money because you need only 2 speakers and a few subs, only 2 channels of amplification, etc. 

There's a whole slew of video sources you can figure that one out yourself. Whatever one(s) you choose simply connect the video directly to your monitor, connect L/R audio to your integrated, and you're set with sound quality no processor can touch, and all for a fraction of what you would have been chasing on the hamster wheel of HT.
My two suggestions:

LG for the TV and Anthem for your AVR or processor.  LG will include apps for your most common streaming services:


It will also do ARC - Audio Return Channel - Via HDMI. 

I find the sound quality of Anthem superior to Onkyo/Emotiva and Marantz by wide margins, though I have varying levels of experience with each of those brands.

Hook up any additional devices (DVD, PS5, etc) through it. Alternatively, you can use your TV as the switcher if it has enough inputs, and use the AVR as the processor/volume but not the switch.

I have also tried Roku by the way, and for unknown reasons, the LG video quality is consistently superior. This may be a settings thing though.


I actually have quite a bit of respect for Marantz processors.  They are the only "consumer level" processors that have a discrete analog output stage.  Excellent power supplies.  It provides a very refined and full sound with lots of impact.  That being said, the Marantz is voiced slightly warm and will have soft rolled of highs, but only in comparison to another processor.

So, if you want something with better high frequency response, the Anthem is the way to go if you want 4K and all the bells and whistles.  A step above this would be the Krell Foundation 4K, but we are getting expensive now.

I would agree on avoiding Emotiva/Onkyo/etc.

I don't have direct experience with Roku so I couldn't comment on Erik's experience, but my general assumption is "HDMI - audio return channel" is a decent feature but not necessarily as good quality as a with a direct source.
Thanks all. I guess I was not clear on my question - what should I be using as the source? That is, what "box" should be connected to the Marantz to stream content and play discs? The PS4 and my FIOS cable box are not cutting it in terms of sound quality. I can upgrade from the Marantz to an Anthem processor, but will that do any good if I'm feeding the processor a signal from a playstation? 
Also, does Audio Return Channel give a poor quality signal to the processor? I'm skeptical of running a high-fi audio system starting from a circuit within my television, but maybe that would be no worse than running a signal from the PS4 or Fios box?
If you’re running the HDMI out from your Fios box to the Marantz and then HDMI from the Marantz to your TV it should be fine.  I suspect you need to change some settings in both the Marantz and TV to get things looking and sounding better.  Also check your Fios cable box settings to make sure it’s sending out the highest quality signal.  If none of that works maybe you have a faulty or poor HDMI cable.  In any event, if you have a good TV and audio system things should be looking/sounding pretty good with what you have.  I’m only addressing the cable TV issue (not the PS4 streaming) to make sure that’s working right first.
What are you using for amplification? I use a Marantz 7011 receiver which is basically your 7702 processor plus a built-in 9 channel amplifier. I use Apple TV for streaming and it sounds quite good.

My Marantz system is in the same room as my reference 2 channel system and I can compare the two systems easily. Without getting too much into it, I really enjoy listening to my Marantz system when I want a change of pace from my 2 channel system.

If you have not done so already, try using the Audyssey room correction feature which should have come with your 7702 processor. It is simple to use and improved the sound quality of my HT system.

The other thing that I did that really improved the sound quality of my Marantz system was to add a pair of subwoofers. After applying Audyssey room correction, my subs seamlessly blend with the rest of my HT speakers. I get a big soundstage with solid and precise imaging with this setup. I second auxinput's sentiment that the sound is "a very refined and full sound with lots of impact."
I forgot to mention - for most music, I use the Apple TV as a Roon endpoint. Sound quality through the Marantz is surprisingly good. I also use a Squeezebox Touch with the Marantz which is even better. 
I"m using a Theta Dreadnaught II for amplification. It's a combination 2-channel/HT system and I have a separate DAC and preamp for the 2-channel (with a HT bypass, all feeding into the Dreadnaught), with a Rel Storm-III sub. I did set up with Audissey. I'll check the settings on the fios box for sure, thanks for that suggestion. I'm pretty sure at least with the PS4 it's set up properly for the best signal to the Marantz. I'm just surprised that a digital output through HDMI (all brand new cables, with 2.2, high speed and everything) from the PS4 isn't better than what I'm hearing. 
If you are using a "FIOS TV One" box, it is likely that you can upgrade that external wall-wart switching power adapter to a linear power supply. Just make sure you figure out the exact size of the DC plug and the voltage used (such as 5V or 12V or something). You can find a china linear power supply on ebay for $100-200 dollars. These are decent enough to give a big improvement over the switching power adapter. Just as a side note, I have seen a significant improvement on audio/video quality for a Tivo by adding a 12V linear power supply for it.

As far as PS4, I don’t know. It uses an internal switching power supply with multiple voltage outputs, so there really isn’t anything you can do. I believe it was engineered mainly as a gaming platform with media streaming support as well. It’s definitely not an "audiophile" device. If you wanted to stream with an audiophile level, I would look into something like a Roku device, then upgrade it to a linear power supply (BIG improvement). Or a Tivo. The Amazon FireTV cubes seem to have a weird power connector, so I don’t know about that one.

Googling, I see that there is a " pendoo Android 10.0 TV Box " using the latest Andriod 10.0 operating system available from Amazon for $55 if you want a more generic "android" streamer (instead of a more prioprietery Roku or Tivo).

The HDMI cable also has significant impact on sound quality. Just because it’s "HDMI 2.2" or "HDMI 2.1" certified doesn’t actually mean anything. A lot of these 2.0/2.1/2.2 cables really aren’t any better than older HDMI 1.3/1.4 cables in a lot of situations. Most will pass 4K, but it doesn’t mean anything about quality. I know of cables from 2007 (such as Wire World Starlight 5-2) that will also support 4K in the 1-5 meter length without anything special, but these cables provide a superior audio/video quality.

The best HDMI cable for the money I have found is Nordost Heimdall 2 with its 25awg solid core conductors (at a minimum 2 meter length). The older Wire World Starlight 5-2 or 6 cables are readily available. These 5-2/6 cables have a larger 24awg conductor, but lower grade copper and you -might- get some brightness/harshness from them (probably not with Marantz). However, they have better resolution and more "oomph" in the bass/midbass area.

Always get minimum 2 meter HDMI cables (even if the components are close). Short 1 meter type cables have problems with high frequency response and video sharpness due signal reflections on such a short cable.
Thanks all for your suggestions!
Another thing.  Putting linear power supplies on your FIOS One and/or Roku type streamer will significantly improve the audio/video quality of these devices.  However, none of these streaming devices are going to hit the same audio/video quality of a bluray/4K disc.  Even though your streaming services will deliver 4K content, the video data is going to be more compressed.  The audio streams are still going to be old school compressed Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus.
Interesting. So, the only way to get the HD audio formats is to buy a disc player? Is the PS5 a good enough player? I wonder if I should look at a different player than that. With Oppo gone, what do people buy now?
The key to a good home theater is acoustics, all rooms do a bad job without help.
Absorb at first reflection points, reduce flutter echo with diffusers on parallel walls, load your corners with SuperChunk bass absorbers.
Decay times and phase at xo points are next, ringing isnt just high frequencies, bass notes ring too.
get some software and a decent mic to test. I have been building theaters in houses since 1987, mid level gear in a well tuned room will easily create a directors vision. Super high price gear in an untreated room is plain foolish.
go read on what goes into control room recording studio design, ur head will spin :0) in a good way!

untreated rooms are a blur of reflections, and echos, intelligiblity is so bad no matter what the volume is you cant understand dialog.

Read, read, read, GearSlutz is a great ProAudio site, look up the recording studio area, controlrooms and most of all, Acoustic treatments.

Most of all enjoi this great hobby, i have been entertaining people in my theaters for 30+ years, its a great way to bring people together, but not til we get a vaccine!

The PS5 is also an internal switching power supply.  I don't know how good it is for disc playback.  Most bluray players nowadays are also switching power supply (so is Oppo).  You could try to get an Oppo 203 and then upgrade the power supply to linear (from oppomod website).

Or buy a Panasonic DP-UB9000 for $1,000 and then get the Oppomod upgrade for another $1,000.  That's a $2k investment, but I think that's as good as it gets for bluray players.

Though, most people will not go to this level and would be happy with a $200 disc player.