Also, I heard word of Harmon Kardon (otherwise excellent sounding receivers for the money!) releasing some new receivers in their line-up -But see nothing on their website. Any input here?
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The cheapest route to full HDMI 1.3a pre/pro capability is an Onkyo TX-SR705, because--even though it's a receiver--it has 7.1 ch. pre-outs. It lists at $799 but can be had for as low as $599. It can decode Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. It also has HDMI video up-conversion with DCDi technology, HDMI V1.3 repeater (3 in/1 out, 1080p compatible), and an RS232 Port for Audyssey MultEQ XT Interface Control. I believe it comes with a microphone and the Audyssey software.
Looks like the Onkyo TX-SR605, the model down, has everything you're looking for. It has HDMI V1.3 repeater (2in/1out, 1080p compatible), HDMI video up-conversion with Faroudja DCDi, and decodes Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. It also has Audyssey room optimization software built-in.
I believe I saw these on Amazon for $399.
Well, I think I'm going to hold off for another 6 months to a year, until things the next batch comes along, and/or prices drop. I'm really looking to see what companies like Harmon Kardon do with the new formats, and/or some cheaper pre/pro's come out, with what I want. I dunno. Right now I'm very pleased with my cheapo setup in a small room, with a system I have set up suprisingly well! I'm using a cheap "yester-year" Kenwood receiver I paid $10 for (has direct bypass feature and DD) , with an 8" sub I paid $20 for, with some speakers that are worth about $25 ea (Infinity TSS-750's), and an old DVD player (Panasonic DVD-A310) worth about $40!! It's not a mega buck processor system with state of the art anything. But it sure sounds pretty glorious in my tiny space, all acoustically decked out and tweaked! Lovin it!
However, I would like to uprgade to EQ's, HD-DVD and Master, and HDMI 1.3 switching hear soon...