I'm planning to buy either the Onkyo HT-S660 (5.1) or HT-S760 (6.1) home theater packages. I think I'll be satisfied with 5.1, but the HT-S760 has inputs for component video while the HT-S660 only has S-Video inputs. I have a HDTV monitor, HD cable box and progressive scan DVD player thus component video inputs are important to me.
So here is my question:
What is the actual purpose of running video cables into the receiver then to the TV? Is it more of a convenience thing or does the receiver actually do something to video?
The only real convenience is if you are limited with inputs into your TV. The receiver adds nothing and can actually have the potential as all additional connections do to degrade the signal and affect video quality (I say potential).
However, if your TV has limited inputs the receiver becomes a junction box allowing you to hook up all of your component video components.
Another benefit to using the receiver I see is it could save you on cost with shorter CV cables. That is, you will likely need a longer cable to go from your receiver or components to your TV than you will need from your components to your receiver.
If you run everything from your components to your TV, depending on what brand and level of component video cables you buy, an extra meter multiplied times 2 or 3 cables can add up.
If you go direct from your components to your TV it sounds like you only need 2 CV cables if I read your note right.
Running video cables is absolutely a convenience thing. If the types of outputs of your sources and types of inputs on your TV don't match, then the receiver can help that. For example, if you only have one Component input on your TV (like I do) and two or more sources that you want to attatch via component, you can see how running it through the receiver (and having only one component cable going to the tv) would help. It does nothing good to the video...in fact, in many cases (not all, but most), the quality of the video actually degrades by running it through the receiver. Some receivers claim to do "upconverting" such as composite to s-video, but from what I have read on this forum, the quality of this upconversion is kind of hit or miss. If you have enough inputs on your TV, I would strongly suggest bypassing the receiver altogether for video and going straight from source to TV.
Thanks for the help guys! I guess I was right about it all being a convenience thing. My Mitsubishi has multiple component video inputs and I already have 2 sets of monster component video cables. Now it's just a matter of deciding whether I can live with 5.1 or shoot for 6.1 home theater.