Looking for recommendations for a decent AVR

I was using Onkyo HT-RC 180 AVR to drive the center and rear speakers as well as video processing, hdmi, etc. For the fronts and subs I am using Peachtree Nova 125 (damn good value by the way).
So about a week ago, the Onkyo started giving trouble related to HDMI processing. I am running my Blu-ray and Apple TV (mainly for netflix and youtube) via the Onkyo hdmi port. Basically, the picture disappears after a few minutes (replaced by a green screen), and sometimes the sound is there and at other times its not. I did some research and found out that its a common problem with the Onkyos built in the last 5 years or so. Most people are reporting similar issues after 3 years of use. I can attest to this fact because mine went out after about 3.5 years (right after my warranty expired).
So now the choices are to deal with Onkyo customer service, get the usual run-around, pay a substantial amount to get it fixed, etc. You guys know the drill ... Or just bite the bullet and buy a new unit (anything but Onkyo). One thing is for sure: Never buying an Onkyo again. This unit was not exactly cheap and its sad that so many people are reporting the problem and Onkyo does nothing about it.
So my dilemma is that since I am planning to continue to use the Peachtree to drive the fronts and sub, I don't really need a powerful receiver just to drive the the surrounds (2 rears only) and the center. But I do want good quality, video processing, several HDMI inputs and outputs, and definitely pre-outs.
I am open to either new or used but don't want to spend a lot of money ( < $500) because I'll just be driving three speakers with it.
Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated.
Cambridge Azur AVR
They stress audio excellence over features
Goggle the Reviews
I'm disppointed to hear about the quality control problems with ONKYO on units under 5 years old. That's not right. I purchased a brand new Integra surround sound processor last year which is manufactured by the same parent company as Onkyo so now you have me concerned. For a brand new AVR under $500.00, the only brand that offers new units would be Denon and those would be their lower end AVRs. Even Marantz's least expensive new AVRs are in the $800.00 area now. I'd look at preowned for under $500.00. Relevant to quality issues, I have to say that in my years with this hobby, when it comes to electronics, the brand that stands out to have the least quality problems if any in the mid-fi area is Rotel. Solid build. I've had two Marantz components in the past several years that I've had to bring to a service center under warranty. Several NAD CD players I've owned ended up skipping and had to be repaired. I even had to return a B&W powered sub-woofer under warranty which was defective and get a brand new replacment. Unbelievable.
One thought before you take the plunge, you might consider checking your HDMI cable as they do sometimes fail over time. Maybe buy a cheap one from Monoprice or something just to eliminate that possibility.

If it's not the cable, of the reviews I've read over time it seems that Denon consistently gets high marks for video processing and also seems to be pretty reliable. Pioneer also seems to be pretty reliable, but not sure if their video processing is quite up to the level of the Denons -- I'd read some recent reviews to see if that's the case.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

I haven never heard an Onkyo that I liked, the best sounding receivers are the high end European Models Arcam, Anthem, Primare, Cambridge Audio.
Soix is correct. First, check the cable. Monoprice Redmere cables are excellent HDMI cables.
Thanks for the cable advice. I can try a new hdmi cable but since the problem is persistent in both the blu-ray and apple tv which use different hdmi cables I doubt that the underlying issue is the cable, unless both cables went bad at the same time ... I wouldn't rule out the possibility so i'll give that a try before buying another unit.
Currently, my thinking is that since I will be using Peachtree to drive the fronts and sub, I can go with a cheaper Denon to drive the surrounds and center.
I really like the Cambridge Audio AVRs but they are a bit pricey for my needs, i.e. only driving 3 speakers.
How would you compare Denon to Marantz? Since both are owned by the same company and built in China, I don't know if it matters anymore.
Hmm, seems like the once highly recommended Onkyo brand has settled on its laurels or taken advantage of the world market manufacturing.



I replaced a perfectly working non HDMI Integra 6.1 with a Pioneer SC-07.
I remember that my Onkyo 805 was made in Japan and verified that last night. If they are now made in China, that explains it. My unit is absolutely bulletproof and has worked flawlessly since I turned it on. No hard resets or errors. I was thinking of getting a new one to try out the Audyssey XT32 and height speakers. Now, I'm not so sure.....