The real question is whether you care about the HD audio codecs on BluRay. If you do, analog output is the only way for you to get them. If you don't (and never will), then coax/optical digital out will be OK.
You will get the same benefit through 4.1 as you would 7.1... the big difference of the new lossless formats, is just that, lossless, no compression of audio signal. Just keep in mind that you are using the DAC's of the blu-ray player instead of the receiver, and many BR players does not include the best dac's... Denon makes a very expensive model that sounds amazing through analog outputs, but Oppo BDP-83 sounds really decent for not too much money, I would recommend that one highly
Thanks Audiojan, that's what I was wondering. I'm using an Oppo DVD player now and I'm very happy with it, particularly considering the price to performance ratio. I've considered the BPD-83 but the Panasonic players are very well rated and considerably less money. Plus it matches my Panasonic Plasma. I’m not really looking for the best player out there, I’m more of a 2 channel guy, but I do want something that will give me decent sound while watching music videos.
Jaffeassc; I think that the Oppo would be well worth the money then. I've done a direct comparision between the Oppo BDP-83 and the Denon 3800BDCI in my own home. (comprising of Magnepan all driven by Krell amps and a KrellHTS7.1, so very a reveling system). Yes, the Denon sounds ever so slightly better through analog, but keep in my that you can buy 4 Oppo's for one Denon... even now when you can get a used Denon 3800 for $1000, it's still not enough to make the Denon worth the difference.
I've heard the new Denon A1BDCi and that does sound better, but that a $4500 player so it should.
I would not be a bit surprised if you buy the Oppo and find it better than most CD players you have around in pure 2-channel. It definately kills my old Rotel RCD-971 (which is not a bad player), my old Rega Planet 2000 (which I sold, also highly regarded by many). It won't beat out my Wadia 830, but only because I can run that balanced. With single ended RCA connections, the difference is barely noticeable.
I'd love to find a BD player that is worthy enough to allow me to sell my Audio Aero Capitol CDP, particularly since I'm more into vinyl than digital. However, every time I think that something else is adequate, I listen to my Capitol and the thought of a compromise is not something I’m willing to do right now. I’m surprised to hear that the Oppo comes close to your Wadia. I may end up doing the Oppo anyway, and then I’ll have the opportunity to see for myself.
The Oppo is great, but only close to the Wadia. Via single ended connects, the difference is minute (the thing notice the most is the lack of air around the instruments, not necessarily the primary tones of the instruments themselves). It's noticeable when I run the Wadia balanced though, but that is also because my Krell is designed to run balanced and I'm certain they added the RCA inputs just to make it convenient for people, not that they would ever recommend you using them