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I'm looking for a new AV receiver for my small rec room. The TV area is about 12'x15', with TV-to-couch distance about 11' apart.

Due to the small room size, I'm not doing any surround speakers -- it just seems like overkill -- but I am going to have left, right, and centre speakers.

I have three HDMI sources; Rogers PVR, Apple TV, and a Sony Blu-ray player (which may be replaced with a PS3), so I'm planning on using the HDMI switching in the receiver for all video and audio.

I was looking at the Yamaha RXV567 but since it's a 7.1 and I don't have surround speakers, I started looking down the list for less expensive models. Interestingly, the RXV367 looks like it will do everything I need. I don't need the 7.1 and I don't need any analog-to-HDMI up-conversion.

So my questions are basically as follows:

A) Is the RXV367 a reasonable receiver for my needs -- is there something important I'd miss if I went with this model instead of the RXV567?

B) Is the sound quality for music and movies going to be noticeably poorer on the RXV367 versus the RXV567? If so, what makes the difference? Both seem to be practically the same machine except for some decoding and upconversion features.

C) I was also considering the Marantz NR1501. Is the 50W per channel on the Marantz going to sound better than the 100W per channel on the Yamaha RXV367 (or RVX567)? If so, what makes the difference?

D) Regarding HDMI switching ... if all my HDMI sources run into the receiver and then there's one source from the receiver to the TV, is it critical for the receiver to be on to watch/hear the TV? I'm thinking about my wife -- if the receiver has to be on and set correctly, it might confuse her. :)

Thanks for any help!
 

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A. Here's an FAQ on AVRs and their features:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76082

When I looked at the specs it was difficult to determine if this AVR decodes the HD audio formats - it doesn't look like it. This may be something you want to "future proof" yourself, even if you think you don't want it now. Even in a small room surround sound is important. I would not watch a movie without it these days, especially considering how inexpensive it is to have.

D. Some AVRs have audio passthrough in standby, some don't. You'll have to read the operating manual/specs very closely to see whether it does. Most do not have this feature, especially in this price range.

Here's a post useful for those new to the forum - FAQs, Search tips, Optimization, etc:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=57741
 

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D. Some AVRs have audio passthrough in standby, some don't. You'll have to read the operating manual/specs very closely to see whether it does. Most do not have this feature, especially in this price range.

Thanks for that info! Looking it up, I see the RXV367 does not have this functionality, but the RXV467 and RVX567 both do. Thanks very much for the help.

However, I do notice they both say:

* HDMI standby through functionality
* Ability to change HDMI input while in Standby Through mode

I think what I'd really need is for Standby Through mode to automatically detect the active HDMI input rather than have to select it. I'll have to check the manual and see how it works.
 

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I must say, after you set them up, the Yamaha's are REALLY user friendly with the use of the Scene buttons...ie, with the receiver off, you press the TV Scene button, and the receiver comes on and goes the TV input (for example, your Rogers PVR). Then you turn the TV on and you are done. The sound quality will be virtually the same between those models.
 
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