Originally Posted by wes
It all depends how much you want to spend here are three options, but first forget AV receivers and go with separate.
Wes, I don't fault your thinking, but things aren't always so straightforward. My 2-channel system is made up of separates and I wouldn't change a thing, but my TV room, definitely not a home theater in any sense, is very cramped for space. It is configured poorly, with windows on 3 walls and no wall on the other side (the missing wall, a soft floor and big couch attempt to balance the dominating surface reflectivity). The only place to put the electronics for a system is in a small corner cabinet. I have lots of problem with setup (for example, L&R speakers are too close together, or they block windows).
What I really can't imagine fitting in is separates. I have a Denon rcvr (old 5.1 DD/DTS). If I go to HD, I'm stuck at 37" unless I use the small bezel models from Mitsibishi or Toshiba, which would allow 40". Good thing I don't have bezel envy!
As in the original post above, I'd like to network to my PC, where I have lossless files for part of my CD collection. I'd transfer them all if I could get them to my 2-channel system effectively and inexpensively.
If I get a new rcvr (or whatever) I'd like to minimize the rats nest of cables, which HDMI could do. I see separates as adding to that problem (I have the cables for separates, but the current cables barely fit behind my receiver).
I do see Marantz as a bit behind with networking. Denon and Yamaha are options. However, I am concerned about Yamaha sound (not heard any I like, though I'm out of date and haven't heard the latest) and also with the mixed reviews of the Denons (the remote, the menus, the price...). Which leaves me where? Buying separates with no HDMI, few HDMI inputs and/or the inability to up-convert analog composite or S-video to HDMI at full resolution; this is about what I can afford, and purchasing such a setup seems pointless.
There was a time when picking up "out of date" audio equipment was a smart investment, but I don't think this is holding true with HT and all of the changes in digital signals and processing.
So, we little guys need an alternative, because we would like at least an approximation of good sound and pictures.