Originally Posted by tsb
anything from Denon like the 1909 with a Realta SOC instead?
No unfortunately - that's a chip you wouldn't see until higher end models. Right now Denon is between product refresh cycles where their lower end AVR's are getting the refresh to the latest/greatest audio and processing features; their higher end models to be refreshed in 2009 likely. Keep your eyes on Cedia in September for announcements.
That said, I don't get hung up on upscaler chips anymore - I want the AVR to just pass my 1080p signal through to the TV since I'll be delivering all my signals to it at 1080p anyway. My whole desire in building "the ultimate HTPC" is to do away with physical optical media, DVD and Bluray players, etc. - all my media is "soft stored" (ripped) and so the HTPC is doing the upscaling of anything less than 1080p anyway. The HDMI output on the HTPC is always talking 1080p to the AVR. My DTV DVR (Sat TV) outputs at 1080i but I could care less about processing 30fps up to 60fps - still the same crappy TV programs.
For grandpas that like to go to their DVD shelf, pick out a disc, put the disc in the player, press play, and they have a nice HT setup with a good investment in A/V equipment, then yeah a high-end upscaler in their AVR benefits them. For the rest of us (HTPC enthusiasts) as time goes on the HTPC will be taking over all video processing exclusively and will continue to get better at it as the GPU-based UVD/ClearVideo/Purevideo engines continue to mature.
Hell, when Asus releases the analog daughtercard for the Asus XONAR HDAV card with its Burr-Brown DACs, you technically won't even need an AVR anymore - just an HDMI switchbox and a fat 5 or 7 channel external amp! I understand the romance in having a big AVR with that big volume knob on the shelf though and that will be tough to give up for many, especially with other video sources that need audio routing like XBOX360/PS3/stand alone optical players/Tivo/etc.