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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a few options when I eventually upgrade my existing AVR so I can finally enjoy the full sound of the newer audio codecs available.

I currently have a PS3, Toshiba HD-A2 (and Rogers 3250HD box).

As far as I'm aware, both the PS3 and the A2 can internally decode all of the new audio streams and output it as multi-channel PCM. So... I gather all that I really need is a receiver that can handle 5.1 PCM over HDMI, is this correct?

I currently use an HDMI switch, so the number of HDMI inputs isn't really that important.

With this in mind, does anyone have any budget-friendly suggestions of receivers that would fit my needs?
 

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Great idea, but please define "budget-friendly" (<$300? , <$500?) and that will narrow the field :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would peg my budget at around ~$400.

Any more than that, then I may as well bite the bullet and get something more full-featured such as the Pioneer 1018TXH. Basically, I'm trying to find what the mininal requirements are to get myself 'in the door' to hear the benefits of the newer audio codecs.

I believe the Pioneer VSX-918 would be one such receiver, but I was trying to find what else is out there in a similar price point.
 

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sony strdg720 $350 msrp (onsale currently for $280)
yamaha 6060 $450 (last years model)
yamaha 6150 $499
yamaha 6140 $399
pioneer 918 $349

these are the cheapest ones (<$500)
 

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Off the top of my head Denon 788 and 888 will meet your criteria. Both are last years models, stocks a dwindling so might be hard to find.
 

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Tezster,

I personally would not go lower than 1018. Especially with reported street prices of only around $540.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Tezster,

I personally would not go lower than 1018. Especially with reported street prices of only around $540.
A bit too late, unfortunately. ;)

Believe you, me, I was sorely tempted with getting the 1018 during FS' recent online-only sale, and weighed that decision in my mind for quite some time. Ultimately, I feel that I made an informed decision based on what my needs were, and what I was willing to spend. Now if I had bought the 1018 instead at the outset, I would probably be saying the same thing.

The lack of DTS:NEO surround modes is really the only element I'm disappointed with the 918, as I prefer how it matrixes 2-channel sources compared to the pro-logic surround modes. The addtional features offered with the 1018 I can live without (that is, apart from any sound quality differences that may be delivered between the two units).

Another concern I had during my research was that I had read a few online discussions elsewhere that mentioned a review reporting the 918 already begins clipping at ~36 watts when outputting to all channels. After checking an online SPL calculator, which reported my system would still deliver a peak 110 dBL to my listening position, I wasn't overly worried about it.

So whether it was ultimately the right or wrong decision, just wanted you to know I put some thought into it, and have no regrets so far :)
 
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