GFR-700HD Receiver Columbus IN
Audio / Video, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Security / Access Control / Surveillance / Gate Access
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Robert Smythe, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
South Bend, IN
Acoustical Design, Audio / Video, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Lighting Control
Acoustic Innovations, Atlantic Technology, Audio Control, Canton, Crestron, Denon, Integra, LG, Lutron Lighting, Matrix Audio, Meridian, Panasonic, Pioneer, Runco, SharpVision, Sonance, Stewart Filmscreens, Velodyne
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Eric Blackburn, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
Audio / Video, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Multi-Room Audio
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Chris Chopp, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
September 1, 2007 By Marshal M. Rosenthal
For an audio receiver to be worth its salt today, it must be able to handle the intricacies of video with the same precision as it does audio. So rather than waxing poetic on how nicely the GFR-700HD's controls blend into its industrial-tech black and silver finish, I'll start instead with the integral video scaler. It accepts video signals from legacy sources such as VCRs and DVD players, converts them into whatever resolution your video display prefers, then outputs the video to your display through an HDMI digital video jack. The downside to this scaler is that it only works on 480i standard-definition signals; video at resolutions of 480p or greater is ignored and output as-is. (A planned video board upgrade won't have this limitation.) But 480i signals are the ones that need the most work.
There are many options for controlling the picture, such as deciding upon the aspect ratio and fine-tuning vertical/horizontal positioning of the image. Scaler settings for each input are stored, so they'll change automatically when you switch from your VCR to your DVD player. And while upscaling a VCR to the 1080p resolution of my Samsung LED rear-projection display might seem crazy, the image from the videocassette of My Fair Lady, upscaled through the GFR-700HD's National Semiconductor video processing chip, looks smooth. I then switch to my Oppo DV-981HD DVD player (set to 480i and using component output), and try Enter the Dragon and the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Dragon looks steady and smooth despite its gritty film grain; Bruce Lee's ruddy skin tones are realistic to the eye. Pirates' many panoramic vistas actually seem more detailed than they would on a standard-definition display. (Of course, neither looks as good here as the Blu-ray versions of these movies do.) Using the HQV Benchmark DVD—a much more demanding test than normal program material—I find Adcom's upconversion scoring high marks indeed. Just for fun, I also connect a Nintendo Wii video game console and set it for 480i output—and to my surprise, the graphics actually look better than when I use the Wii's 480p output directly.
A nice touch is that the remote has a dedicated lip sync delay button. Often in high-definition cable and satellite TV programs (and even on some DVDs), video and audio can fall out of sync. Most receivers and surround processors make you go through a menu to adjust lip sync, but it's easier doing it on the fly as the GFR-700HD allows.
As important as video capabilities have become in receivers, audio performance remains paramount. I believe that a receiver's "build" plays a huge part in its sound quality. (The "Massive Linear Toroidal Transformer-based Power Supply" that Adcom touts doesn't seem like hyperbole when you consider the receiver weighs 50 pounds.) From the moment I turn it on, the GFR-700HD projects an aura of solidity and confidence. It's equipped with the usua...