Processor only - No preamp?

Here's a twist on several of the questions and answers I have seen here lately. I have a Cello music system (two channel) that I am thrilled with. Instead of using a (Cello) preamp, I use a Cello Etude which is a passive attenuator. The Etude blows away every (active) preamp I have compared it to (short of the Cello Pallette), and I am content with the system as is. Additionally I own an old M&K satellite & subwoofer system, and a couple of 200 watt amps. that are collecting dust. Here is the fun part: I would like to pick up an inexpensive DVD player ($300 - $400) to watch movies and be able to listen to the sound tracks in 5.1 audio. This therefore means that a 5.1 decoder is required. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the DVD format issue, I don't feel it's wise to spend a large sum of money on a killer cd/DVD player/transport with all the bells and whistles since no one knows which format will eventually come out the winner, and to put thousands into a good pre-amp for DVD (movies only) looks to be a waste. A local dealer has suggested a Marantz DPH-70, which is a "processor only", not a pre-amp. The unit is re-conditioned from the factory, does NOT have DTS, but will only cost me $360.00! This sounds like the way to go; my stereo system remains untouched, and the only other pieces of equipment I need are the DVD player and a center speaker. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK OF THIS? Any feedback would be very much appreciated. - Ken
Consider a Sony EP9ES also. It is digital only (no analog inputs) but functions as a pre-amp and It sounds better than the Marantz piece. You can pick up a used one for around $250-300.
The correct model for the Marantz unit is: DP-870. Sorry for the error.
Got no help on the pieces you mention---BUT--- DVD is here,make no mistake on that.Not saying that 5/6 years things will be the same.there are sooo many titles.I also think you'll hate the sound from a "budget"SS processor.They all muck up the sound a bit.The cheap ones are bigger offenders.Did you know HDTV KILLS the picture from DVD?---BUT---The sound is 100 miles behind.Budget dvd player;yes.Try to get the same brand of center speaker(as your present fronts)A decent used ss pre/decoder;yes.There is a glut of good used processors here.Get one that new, was 4 grand ; 2,used.Use your on hand amps and speakers for the rears etc.I feel if you buy cheap ,you'll be back trying to score better in no time.High end SS is d i n o mi t e !!!ALL ss decoders have a pre built in.How you gonna change the volume???
Buy an inexpensive decoder only.Luxman f-116 can be had for 100.00.Its all you need.You have the right idea.Sit back.HDTV is comming in 3/4 years.its already hear but every broadcastor will be broadcasting in HDTV by 2004.Its worth the wait.You will never get the two channel sound out of HT.But lets put things in perspective.Why do you need to spend 2/3/4 k to hears bombs go off and dialog.