well its tough to get just an AR these days, especially one with full support for all HD audio formats.. pretty much everything is a AVR.
but how many people really want video processing, upscaling, etc?
it should decode and play the audio, and perhaps offer very basic video switching (as in a dumb passive switch, no analyzing the video, just switch the conductors).
it seems to me that the dudes who designed HDMI made it necessarry for the receivers to strip down every component of the HDMI signal, extract the audio stream and play it, then rebuild the hdmi signal from scratch, and output.
obviously to do this, the receiver will need to recognize every type of signal in order to break it down and rebuild it. which means new audio receivers, everytime a new video format is added to the HDMI spec.
but i just don't get why they designed it this way. if we get a new audio format in a hdmi spec, and you want to use it, you would need a new receiver, and that's fair. but if we get a new video format in a hdmi spec, and you want to use it, you need a new receiver too?! the guys who invented HDMI really fracked us all over on that one.