Pck up a Rotel 1055. I did for 850 here on the GON. Great buy at 1000 even.
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Yamaha RX-V1400 also has video-up conversion. All features are similar. However, RX-V1400 has Dolby ProLogic II-X. MSRP is $800, which is lower than MSRP of Denon 3803. Internet value is substantially less. Unlike the Denon, it is THX certified. To some folks, it is meaningless. To others, it is a sale pitch of retaining higher resale value and possibly quick sale. Some prefer Denon. Others prefer Yamaha. You could probably tell that I am bias. Audition & buy the one you like or makes most sense to you. Good luck.
"Why tie yourself in to a receiver? It just doesn't make sense."
Not unless the receiver has an excellent processor built in, and then some. I cannot recommend the Yamaha RX-V1400/2400 more highly. Yamaha's Cinema DSPs are among the best, just add a separate amp to drive at least the main 5 channels. The receiver's amp section is fully capable of driving the last 2 channels of rear surround.
The DSP section uses 32bit processors and the 24bit DACs, while the vol control for all channels are matched to within 0.5db. Its a full fledged machine.
Denon 3803. The upconvertion is awesome! You can take any signal and the Denon outputs in RGB, one cable. It also has a great sound and the DACs are better than the Yam's as Yamaha produce in house where Denon goes out and buys the best and uses economies of scale to get the costs down. I feel safer with a Japanese made piece that that made in Malaysia. I have heard from a lot of audiophiles that there is no such reciever that is good at $1,000. I got the Denon...I like it and down the road I will add a power amp and use the Denon as a preamp until I can afford a really nice preamp. The 3803 also has more inputs that you know what to do with so you are not really limited to options.
Just add a seperate amp? Well I guess that is what I have been trying to say. And why on earth would you want to put a Yamaha in the chain? Look, I am just trying to save the guy some money in the long run. Most people end up going through several upgrades during their trials at HT. Sure know I did. Now if someone is looking to just have a nice little HT setup, then sure, go ahead. Run on down to Circuit City and get yourself a nice little Yamaha or HK (spit) or whatever brand name receiver you want. But if you want a true brute of a system. And at a reasonable cost, then buy used and do yourself a favour. Go seperates! I don't care what kind of DSP modes (?) any receiver has. Why would you want some jazzed up DSP modes anyways? You only want, DTS, DD, and stereo.
I've been there, done that.
Used to have a receiver, some Marantz unit, then later upgraded to the now-discontinued Sony TAE9000ESD(pre/pro), which was not far short of some of the higher end pre/pros costing 5x.
I moved out of that giant-killer Sony unit to the Yamaha, and can safely say that the Yamaha better the older Sony in every area- bar none. Details, transparency, soundstage, sound & image panning cross screen, front to back, what I would call cinematic scope, is just done so much better. Plus the dirt-cheap Yamaha comes powered(!)
The only separate pre/pro that I would consider an upgrade from there would be one of the Meridians (8x $$$$).
Even using the Yamaha in stereo mode, I find its transparency amazingly good. Used in hi-res digital playback(DVDA & SACD), I don't find myself lacking in dynamics, soundstaging or blackness of background.