AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kanata, Ontario, Canada
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currently, only a bluray player / disc offer lossless 7.1 mixes so potentially, that's the only unit that you would need an hdmi to receiver connection for the appropriate decoder....BUT wait... :-) you don't even need that connection as you can get a bluray player with analog outs (to plug into external ins on your receiver... hopefully, it has those). I ran with a similar setup using a denon 3805 for a few years. Worked fine. In fact, I probably wouldn't have changed if I didn't a find a "cheap" 4308 locally. One of the advantages of a external hdmi switcher is that they are getting cheaper, can be replaced easily as technology improves along with improvements of the protocol itself. On the downside, you need to switch two things (or more) when you need to select a source so "wife factor" (ie. complexity) is an issue. Related to that though, is you can have video playing independent of your audio source... some find that useful and usually not available if you go with an HDMI connected receiver / display setup.
So basically, all your existing connections via optical, coax, or otherwise are ok and for lossless bluray plays, you could get a player that has analog outs and you are good to go.