How can my PC, Xbox and projector all (cheaply) get along?
June 8, 2010 7:41 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for an affordable receiver that can handle my new low-budget home theater setup. I will be connecting a PC and an Xbox 360, both ideally via HDMI, to a projector that does not have HDMI pass-through capability. What is the cheapest receiver with multiple HDMI inputs that can take the incoming video signal and send it along to the projector?

Ideally, I'd like a soundbar or 2.1 (or even 2.0) channel setup, because I don't want to be running lots of cables around the room. I don't even really want a subwoofer, as I am in an apartment building and am reluctant to vibrate my downstairs neighbor's ceiling just so I can play Call of Duty with more realistic explosions.

The receivers I'm finding on Amazon all cost at least $200 or so... they also all have the capability of handling like 5 HDMI sources, driving 7.1 speakers, and doing all sorts of fancy stuff that I just don't need. Is there a simpler solution?
posted by allen8219 to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
People are always upgrading - those who had 5.1, now want 71.

Try looking for a used receiver on something like the Buy&Sell, Craigslist or Kijiji.

Or your local "pawnshops".
posted by jkaczor at 7:43 AM on June 8, 2010

(But - $200 for an AV receiver with HDMI switching sounds reasonable to me)
posted by jkaczor at 7:44 AM on June 8, 2010

If your projector has audio out ports on it I would recommend an HDMI switcher. Try monoprice for something like this
posted by BishopFistwick at 8:10 AM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: Hmm, I'll see what I can find on Craigslist etc. There's a lot of good stuff from the pre-HDMI era, but I think HDMI switching is still a somewhat rare feature in receivers.

Unfortunately, my projector doesn't have any audio out capability. That would certainly make things easier.

I am going to be setting up my projector basically on a coffee table in front of the couch, so it'd be nice to minimize the number of wires dangling from it. In any case, I think I may end up having to bite the bullet and buy a new receiver. I suppose I can justify it by saying that HDMI isn't going anywhere for a while, so I'll be able to use the receiver for a long time. I just hope 3D video doesn't get too popular, as I think most of the cheaper receivers can't handle that new video signal.
posted by allen8219 at 8:29 AM on June 8, 2010

I just had my mom buy this receiver from Newegg. $179 and it works great.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:38 AM on June 8, 2010

You could just get an HDMI switch. Many of those are able to automatically switch sources when you move from one device to another.

Also, the red/green/blue variety of cables is capable of displaying hi-def as well, if you want to get around the multiple HDMI issue. (its a fatter clump of wires though)
posted by midwestguy at 11:39 AM on June 8, 2010

Best answer: Yeah - I just checked Kijiji (Canada-only?) and could not find a single receiver which had HDMI inputs - plenty of "5.1", but no HDMI. I have seen some in pawnshops - but they were going for minimum $250.

Doesn't your projector have a VGA port in? I just picked up a BenQ 1080P last week and the VGA input will do full 1080P from the computer. I route the computer audio directly to the stereo (which I was doing anyways for music) and everything works great... Does the Xbox have any other "audio-out" ports, other than HDMI?

My personal plan is a PS3 - which in addition to the HDMI, has an optical out - and my older "5.1" stereo definately has optical-in. (I am not a gamer - but the fact that I can game occasionally with the kids, stream media to the PS3 in hi-def and watch blu-ray makes it a winner for me)
posted by jkaczor at 11:44 AM on June 8, 2010

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