Pop Picks or Best HDMI AV Proc under $1500...

Hello All,

As I'm considering going to a dedicated AV surround processor which has HDMI 1.3 I thought to ask here which maker provides great audio, very nice video and for a reasonable price around $1500, new or used.... maybe less.

Mandatory items:
State side support
Remote control
HD audio & video codecs
Audio only needs be way good
RCA outs
Trigger outs
2nd zone support w/vol
back panel layout should have adequate space for better ICs

a tuner would be nice but not a deal breaker

I've seen the proposed EMOTIVA PROCESSOR due out a couple months ago but has yet to be released. Never heard it or know anyone who has.

I see the Integra & Onkyo models too. But haven't delved deeply into them. I have an Onkyo TX SR 805 now and hope to improve upon it with this move.

Any other's come to mind which do fine jobs and present very good value to performance ratios?

Do the processors of the same brand recievers do a better job by some good ways over the associated recievers they maike?

Thanks for your help
There are no other prepros under $1500 and the Onkyo/Integras are creeping up in price. Along with the Emotiva, there is also a promised one from Outlaw.

Thanks Kal

Still operating under the assumption the dedicated, if not uber expensive, processor is a higher performing device than it's associated receiver brethren...

Would you say then, ‘Among that lot it is a 'pick em' situation as there is no clear cut winner?’ Possibly making tangible support and their particular 'bells & whistles' listings more pertinent to given preffs or needs, and the tact better taken here?

Or must one move upwards substantially to gain overall better performance over that of a likewise outfitted receiver which is being used solely as a processor?

My thinking as I alluded too is or was, a dedicated AV processor outfitted on par with it’s receiver cousin, should be the higher performer of that pair.

I suppose a better question, if so, might be, “OK, by how much?”

Marginally? Noticeably? Night and day? The latter assessment would give me enough motivation to secure one and sell my reciever. I simply can not justify busting that move for just a couple ‘perhaps’ benefits they provide over what is already paid for and on hand. Namely HDMI OSD info during playback, and Audacy functionality with an outboard amp.

Others in the $1500 give or take price range, new or used, are the Anthems of course, but now the sister co of Denon, Marantz has a nice unit that can be had for around 1700.00 new, and Parasound too has a substantial offering. The Marantz supports local networking file playback too.

so it seems there are more than just a couple processors to consider in the $1500 or so, neighborhood.

I don't think the Parasound has HDMI 1.3A though.