Butrflynlambie,No Receiver has preamp outs,that I know of. Look at Audioadvisor.com. They sell a few AV receivers in your price range and they are very helpful with any questions you have. Marantz,NAD,Cambridge,NuForce AVP-18. This NuForce is a digital preamp/processor 7.1 channel, this unit might be just the ticket. good hunting.
Mattmiller, most av receivers have preamp outs.
The pass through is not equal on all units. Some are finicky, most only pass through the last hdmi selected. Some only pass through video. Denon along with a few more sell optional ipdod docks.
If it's in the closet, make sure it has an IR input so you can run a remote eye. Keep in mind that some receivers handle 7 channels better than others. Marantz cannot handle 5 or 7 channels below 8 ohms if I'm correct. I think Yamaha had a lower limit of 6 ohms on multi?
Finally, more than 7 channels? That's a lot of speakers.
I'd look at either the emotiva umc-200 or outlaw. Both are about $600 and would leave a ton of room for a nice used amp. Now you are in separates, better quality, with everything you ever wanted.
If your in the closet (no pun), then you likely have no ventilation if the doors are closed. And, if movies only, that sounds like a perfect candidate for a DIGITAL AV RECEIVER! That equals low heat, and likely no fan or issues. Again, since it's movies only, any pickiness on ultimate sound quality preferences would be more of a moot point, as long as it's clear sounding and offers good enough dynamics and power for the speakers you're driving.
The Panasonic SA-XR55 and JVC RX-D20 are Class D digital Amplifier units, and will do what you need, likely.
If you go the tradiational Class A/B type power amp route, you can also go with very efficient horn loaded Klipsch loudspeakers, and that will draw much less current from your AV reveiver, making it run cooler than standard 86-88db loud speaker designs. It's a thought.
What gear are you using besides the receiver?
closet is more like basement. I would eventually like to load all of my blu-rays on a media server device and be able to send it to my bedroom and living room... depending.. without having the electronics accessible to the kids.
All speakers are 8ohm speakers, bookshelf size fronts, sub, center, two surround and a back. I also have two additional bookshelf speakers I could use for an additional front, all matched. The bookshelves are 200watt the surrounds at 120watt.
Butrfly, one other thing that would come into play is the size of your theater room. But being that you have bookshelves that are 8 ohms, you should be in good shape unless they are unusually low efficiency, like 85db.
Wanting pre outs(you'd need 7.1) for an amp down the road limits your choices to more expensive options as various brands do not include them except in their higher end models. And since you want to place it in a closet, models that might run hotter should be avoided. Onkyos used to run hot and might still plus they have a spotty record for reliability, so that leaves Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, etc.
I know Onkyos best as I've had 2 and still own a TOTL 5 yr old. Wanting to get the latest features, I'm looking to upgrade too, and I'm looking at Denon. They seem to have more refinement in the implementation of functions, from what I've read, and have better customer service and reliability. I don't know the other brands too well, except Marantz is priced significantly higher for the same feature level.
If you don't need the latest greatest you could opt for a discontinued Denon and save a few hundred. The Denon AVR-3313CI is a pretty good option, loaded with technology and good performance all around. You should be able to get it for 850 online. I want the TOTL Audyssey room correction and Low Frequency Containment, so I'm waiting to get another Denon, the AVR-X4000, which has both but it's much more money.
Good luck with your hunt.
with the pre-outs, what I don't understand is why there isn't a middle ground for seperates. Something like the UMC-200 looks enticing but doesn't have nearly as many wiz bangs as the X4000. Given that the amp itself is a large expenditure why is it only in the high end units have the preouts.
Basically you are paying for the an internal amp that you don't use for a plus 1k receiver with all of features wanted.
I am considering the x4000, UMC-200, Marantz 6008. I have had a low end Onkyo before that I liked and it did run warm (not sure what "hot" qualifies as but it did heat up abit).
Looks like I just need to make a decision, setup and try if I like it.
Also what I find interesting is that no one is really saying that I need to spend more money than I have set for the price range.
If there was a compelling reason to spend more, I would rather do it now for a particular feature than find out I did not spend enough and then rebuy something.
Yeah, it seems odd that you have to spend more to get a unit with pre outs when you won't use the amp section anyway!
I think what has the biggest possible benefit on an avr is the room correction, and since you can now get the best Audyssey there is with your budget, there's no need to spend more, given your priorities. Plus with the Denon( or say, Onkyo 929) you have the latest video options like 3D and 4K should you upgrade your TV.
If you are ready to buy now, I've been advised that Denon dealers are willing to go below retail. I'm waiting for black friday as it suits my budget better.
Which speakers do you use? The limitation of Marantz are there transformers. They are quite small compared to Onkyo. So you miss the speed and control Onkyo can give. The difference between Onkyo and Denon is that the focus of instruments and voices is sharper with the Onkyo. Onkyo has made big steps in the last few years. It depends about the speakers you use but Onkyo is the only brand in this pricetag which can give depth. Other ones is what we call 2-dimensional amps. I sold all these brands for many years and I have done hundreds of tests with them. Audyssey xt32 is the way to go. This sets new levels in surround.
They pride themseleves on providing vastly superior audio performance at they exclusion of knobs, knicknacks and generally useless features etc.
Google CAMBRIDGE AVRs for their superior reviews and then actually physically go audition them.
The top CAMBRIDGE AVR convinced me enough to actually buy it and create a discreet 7.1 system with Martin Logan FRESCOs independent of my 2 channel audio kit.
IMO you may be quite surprised at this kit ...highly recommended.
have you considered seperates? since you want a pre amp out, you must be considering upgradability in terms of power amps. I would consider getting a good processor in the $1000 range and perhaps a used multichannel amp in the $300 range. I actually did just that for a second surround system in basement with a Parasound 5 channel amp and an Integra Prepro and I'm very happy.