I've read many of the other forums on this subject but have some questions. So first let me explain my situation.
My application is an backyard theater (BYT). I currently use a PS3 as my source, the HDMI goes to an Optoma HD71 and the audio is broken out and sent to a Behringer mixer. From here I run xlr cables to a pair of mackie SRM450v2 powered speakers. Speaker wire run is currently about 25' and should not get over 40'.
This set-up obviously works rather well, but unfortunatly does not allow me to upgrade to 3.1, 5.1, or even better 7.1. This has put me in a hunt for a rack mountable pre/pro with HDMI support and at a reasonable cost. Reasonable being around $1000 new. This gives me a reasonable used price.
So now some of the questions:
Do I really need a pre/pro with XLR out's? That is, is it going to make a difference if I simply use an adapter from the xlr to something else? is that even possible? My Mackies accept balanced and unbalanced signals.
The list of equipment I've found to date includes: Denon DN-A7100, Outlaw Audio 990, Integra DHC 9.x. Are there others I'm missing that fit my needs?
If the XLR out's really aren't vital and I can just use an adapter what equipment would you recommend that can do 7.1 and hdmi.