So, I bought this on sale on Cyber-Monday for a steep discount. I can return it until January, and I probably will unless I can figure out some issues.
First, I can't configure the input organization in a sensical way. I have 4 HDMI devices, one of which (my Macbook Pro) can't do audio over HDMI but does have optical out. I also have an Airport Express with digital audio out. With 13 input labels on the remote, you'd think it'd be simple to find a good way to handle each. Except: BD, DVD, and SAT/CATV can handle HDMI video but NOT HDMI audio, while the HDMI-labeled inputs cannot be paired with optical audio under their own label. That is, I can't press the "HDMI 4" button and get HDMI 4's video with an optical input's audio. I also can't pless the SAT/CATV button and get HDMI 1's video and audio together. BEFORE YOU BUY THIS RECEIVER check the input assign chart on page 87 of the manual (available on Sony's site as PDF). All of this would be less of a problem if there were a way to cycle through inputs, with some disabled, and the real ability to name inputs (see below).
Also, since I've told it that SA-CD/CD has no video input ("NONE" in the input assign menu") when I switch to SA-CD/CD it gives me the video of the last video source. If there are no active HDMI sources, it sends no signal to the TV, which is a pain since it isn't smart enough to let me turn off just the TV when using that input. My temporary fix is to assign it to an analog vifdeo source so that it just sends a black screen to the TV. Still a waste of power, but at least I don't get mismatched video or a blue "No signal" screen. Same for the FM/AM tuner, although it just displays the barebones tuning interface on the TV. Forever.
While I'm (still) on the topic of inputs, let me point out that naming an input is pretty damned useless. Although you can type in a short ASCII name, that name will only appear in the on-screen GUI. It doesn't appear on the TV or receiver when switching between sources. Why bother naming an input if you'll never, ever see that name except for a deep submenu.
My second problem, which is actually my biggest dealbreaker, is that this receiver adds 40-50 ms of delay to the video. The receiver includes an audio sync feature so that you can re-sync (to the nearest 10ms), but for video gaming, this is horrible. I'd consider running the HDMI and Audio separately if not for the limited number of optical inputs and the need to then switch the video and audio separately.
The third problem, which is more of annoyance than a problem, is that this thing takes a very long time to start up (and switch inputs). My roommate couldn't figure it out while I was gone because the TV displayed "No input signal" for so long that he figured I hadn't hooked it up.
The fourth problem, also more of an annoyance than a problem, is that I can't playback the audio from multiple sources. This is a feature of analog receivers that you don't know you miss until it's gone. Gone is the ability to play music or listen to a sports game in the background while I game (unless I make my gaming machine handle the music as well, which is less-than-optimal). I guess this is due to the expense of including extra chips to decode multiple audio signals and mix them?
Note: For the second and third problem, I've tried to turn off every possible video processing feature I can, to no avail.
Any suggestions on how to fix/bypass some of these issues?
Looking around, a lot of annoyance seems to be common to modern digital receivers. At this point, I'm leaning towards returning this receiver (and the speakers I bought with it) and sticking the money in a savings account until I buy a newer TV that can output 5.1 over optical with a receiver that can mix just 2 optical inputs (the TV's output and the Airport Express's music).