After reading a number of good and fairly good reviews, I decided to pick one of these up to replace my older Yamaha receiver. My other one had served me very well but it was time to move up to HDMI.
My criteria for a new receiver were the following: - Ability to take all my input devices: PS3, XBOX360, XBOX, DVD Player - One HDMI connection to the TV to avoid having to change TV's input back/forth - At least a 5.1 system, with ability to go up to 7.1 - Ability to watch the inputs with the Receiver on or off - Since my older Yamaha receiver had it, the ability to tune the speakers automatically
Reading the reviews, there were some comments about Yamaha having cut out the support for pre-out. As long as I was concerned, this receiver still has a "pre-out" for the sub-woofer and any other pre-outs aren't necessary. Pre-outs aren't needed for somebody who wants more than the basic home theater systems offer but is not an audiophiliac. This receiver is great for all I wanted. - 6 HDMI inputs for all my devices - Ability to pass through the HDMI even when the unit is in standby. This is off by default and has to be turned on - Ability to upscale Component input to HDMI so the old Xbox can be connected - Comes with a Yamaha microphone for setting up the speakers automatically. This is a nice feature since it tunes the output to speakers to adjust for audio level, delay, etc - It supports 7.1, but isn't really needed. As far as I can tell, all my xbox360 and ps3 games are 5.1. - This receiver also supports either a second zone, or "presence" speakers. Neither of which I care about .
Couple of nice surprises after hooking up the receiver. - After hooking it up to my home network with an Ethernet wire it detected that there's new firmware available. Downloaded and upgraded itself in 15 minutes! No fooling around with finding it, copying to USB, etc, etc - My Vista/Win7 machine detected the receiver and asked me if I want to share my media with the Yamaha receiver. If you have audio files on a windows machine, this receiver can play them without any crazy configuration Anyways, from opening the box and unwrapping the receiver, remote, etc to having a full setup: 30 minutes. Run an hdmi cable to the TV Run an hdmi cable to each of the devices Run a component cable (with optical for audio in my case) to the old Xbox Connect an Ethernet cable Connect the speaker wires Plug everything in Done