home theatre receiver under $1,000

hi...haven't posted here for a long time...more into hifi...got a Linn rig etc...
my question is what is out there for a home theatre receiver for under a grand, i don't want to go balls out on the home theatre but have as good as i can get quality wise for the dollar
What i want is a super simple set up,i'm NOT interested in these hall reverbs and jazz sounds that the Japanese receivers offer...i want a superb plug in and play deal,MINIMUM features and caters to the HDMI blue ray crowd...i am a bit naive on this subject but must emphasise on the MINIMUM front panel digital features(reverbs ect)..
i guess its 7.1 now isnt it??
anyway...sorry if this is confusing
NAD should meet your needs.
They have several AVRs to choose from. Probably at least a couple within your budget, esdpecially used here on A'Gon.
I admire your drive for simplicity and aversion to geegaws. Just keep in mind that HT is essentially complex and these receivers are designed to work like Swiss Army knives with all the options one might need.

At your price point it is tough to beat the Japanese receivers - Integra, Marantz and Denon lead the field IMHO.

A couple of thoughts to help reorient:

1) any of these receivers can later be used as a preamp so you can upgrade your power amp

2) all these products offer various DSP effects (hall, reverb etc) When your unit is in HDMI mode the DSPs are defeated/by passed so you don't have to mess with them or listen to them

3) You want a unit that is HDMI1.3 compatible. You need to think through your sources since you can get from 2-4 inputs

4) The only reason to be concerned about the video processor and scaling is if you plan on having legacy sources like VHS and LaserDisc. Everything new you buy should be HDMI - its much cheaper then the old sources...

5) You need to make sure (especially if buying new) that the unit is capable of decoding the new new lossless audio formats available on BluRay discs. Stunning.

6) Whether to go 5.1 or 7.1 is largely a function of your room. Technically 5.1 refers to three front speakers, a sub and a pair of surrounds about 3/4 way back mounted on the sidewalls firing across the audience at each other. 7.1 adds a pair of speakers on the back wall (usually raised) firing across the audience back towards the screen.

7) I would not buy a unit that doesn't have the Audyssey MultiEQ technology. This is truly breakthrough stuff and makes a remarkable difference to the sound of your room. As a purist you may be inclined to scoff but I assure you this is the real deal. If you decide you hate it, you can bypass it and use the 15 band per channel EQ to roll your own.

When you get the field narrowed down a bit, I highly recommend you download the owners manuals for the candidates and spend a little time looking at how the interface is designed and how you program the unit. Very telling.
look at the cambridge, you may be in wonderment...dwhitt
Ckorody: Excellent post!

Jroutensowhat: Spend a few more $$$ and go for the Onkyo-876 or, better yet, the 906.

I've been using the 876 ($1200 @ Amazon) for a few months now and am very happy.

Now if we can just talk Victor at BAT into making an AV receiver...
buy a denon 101 system, i own one and for watching movies and listening to music video it is great, simple set up ,good looks and does the job..i know it doesn;t cost enough. you can get one, the entire system for 600.00 incl.speakers, dvd,cd and subwoofer....check it out..dwhitt
(I just posted something similar on another HT thread)
The Denon 2809CI can be picked up at Sixth Ave Electronics (6ave.com) for $900 shipped. Its listed at $1199 but this coupon code gives you 25% off: AFLAUD25. I don't know why but it works for current model receivers including Denon and Yamaha.

6th Ave is an authorized reseller and listed on Denon's site as such.

I did a bit of research and narrowed my choice down to the 2809CI for these reasons:
7.1 (or 5.1 with a 2nd zone)
4 HDMI 1.3a inputs
Audyssey MultEQ XT for room calibration
115 wpc
1080p upscaling (but only for analog inputs, not HDMI)

The Onkyo's looked like a better value on paper but I didn't like some of the reviews I read (sorry, I don't remember which ones so I can't cite the sources).

Also, I'm upgrading from a Denon 3802 which has performed flawlessly but doesn't have HDMI inputs or the latest codecs.
I admire the NAD style but do they support the newest digital high def surround formats?
I just picked up a Marantz 7001 for 500 bucks and it will do absolutely everything you are looking for. For my 2 cents, I wouldn't get a receiver that supports hdmi1.3 - you should get one that does hdmi 1.2. Not only are they cheaper, they do nearly everything a 1.3 receiver will and you can get an amazing product for very cheap. If I were to get the "1.3" marantz, I would have had to spend over a grand for essentially the same reciever.

This goes the same for the Denon 4807's (or one of their older models w/ 1.2, I don't remember off hand). Or some of the older Integras, or whatever your poison is. In most cases, 1.2 will be enough for anyone.

The only drawback of HDMI 1.2 is if you have one of the new TV's with 120hz processing. Hdmi 1.2 will NOT handle that. But if you just have a good 1080p tv, you will be fine with 1.2
I hate to pop WSUs bubble, but I am not a big fan of sweeping generalizations.

There are some key differences between 1.2 and 1.3 that may be very important to some people who rely on these boards for research.

Source here is the Wikipedia article:

HDMI 1.3 was released June 22, 2006 and increased the single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s) which is roughly double the older standard.

HDMI 1.3c is the current version. It was released on August 25, 2008 (ie is probably not in the stores). 1.3c has no effect on HDMI features, functions, or performance - meaning that 1.3a is what you are looking for.

Here is a summary of the key differences:

Deep Color: 1.3 supports the deep color format. Agreed there is no software available right now and you also need a deep color capable monitor

xvYCC: this is another video signal specification

Both of these are made possible by the increased bandwidth. Color depth doubles from 24 to 48 bits.

Auto lip-sync: this is a truly useful function. took me exacty three seconds to select it - everything is in sync all the time. Not sure what the work around is for older HDMI formats, obviously there is one.

Dolby TrueHD bitstream & DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream capable
These are the uncompressed lossless formats that everyone on this board is raving about. There are two workarounds, both of which depend on getting an appropriate BluRay player with suitable capabilities.

1) some BluRay players can do the decoding locally, you will then have to run 6 or 8 RCAs to your receiver to hear the decoded signal plus running an HDMI cable for video if you want 1080p.

2)Some Blu-ray players can decode all of the audio codecs internally and can output LPCM audio over HDMI. Multi-channel LPCM can be transported over an HDMI connection and as long as the AV receiver supports multi-channel LPCM audio over HDMI, and supports HDCP, the audio reproduction is equal in resolution to HDMI 1.3 bitstream output.

Note that at present this is only an issue if you own or plan to own a BluRay player. If you do not have a BluRay source there is no advantage to the 1.3 standard.

Wsu is right about one thing. Standards are pretty firm now with the technology being ahead of the consumer for the time being - my guess is at least 5 years given the adoption rate of BluRay to date.

A contributing reason is that the software people (the studios) have not yet caught up with the capabilities of BluRay. There is some question about whether the mass market will move on to BluRay - DVD looks darn good on the right player.

Of course the economy is not helping much either...