Hi, it's my first post, please be kind.
I need some help upgrading my system, and I'm a bit out of touch with what is the norm these days. Here's the background:
About 10 years ago I bought a fairly good "future proof" system based on the Denon AVR-5800, a full M&K 7.1 speaker system (S-150 LCR, 4 Tripole surrounds, SW), and Faroudja scaler/Runco projector. All component video based of course. It's been fine for watching DVDs, of which I've gone thru several players and currently use an older upscaling Oppo.
Then came plasmas, then DVI, then 1080p, then Blu-ray, HDMI, 3D etc, and I've never upgraded because what I had was good enough, and the standards were still being sorted out. Well it seems like we are finally there, that HDMI and 1080p Blu-ray will be standard for some time, so I feel comfortable upgrading to a system that'll last another 10+ years.
I've got an Oppo BDP-93 coming, I bought a Panasonic 58" plasma last year, and I'll probably get the new JVC projector. My room is about 12x16, so from the couch it's 4-5' to the rear wall and an 11' viewing distance.
I need a new receiver or separates, but I'm at a loss to figure out which direction.
Here're my dilemmas, in no particular cohesive order:
Is there an advantage to using the Oppo's video output instead of running it thru the processor? IOW, where should the scaling take place? Do Blu-ray discs get any processing anyway, or is it just pass thru? What about DVDs? I've got tons, and I'm not abandoning them or replacing them with BR versions.
Do most processors transcode component/S-video/composite to HDMI? It would seem like I'd only want one cable going to the projector. So how do legacy items like my VCR fit in? Laserdisc player?
Do I stick with 7.1 or move to 5.1? I've never been that impressed with my 7.1, but then again it isn't real 7.1, it's Denon's take on turning 5.1 into 7.1. If I go 5.1 it'd be cheaper buying a 5ch amp. How much is actually in 7.1 these days (real movies where it makes a real difference, not Transformers XIV to demo the effect)?
Here's what I'd like ideally: Anthem D2V or AVM50V and Emotiva XPA-1s for LCR, then their 5ch for the surrounds. Is that overkill? And it seems like the Anthems are due for an overhaul, so I wouldn't be surprised to see entirely new products soon. Do I just buy a low to midrange receiver for now until Anthem reveals their hand, or do I just start building a system on something else, say an 80.3?
I know this is a lot of q's, but I really don't have a clue which way to go, and I'd appreciate some help.
Also, this system is only for watching movies from disc and my Mac Mini, plus some legacy composite and S-video, I doubt there will be any legacy component. I have an audio only system in another room, Sonos throughout the house, so I don't care about how well the DACs handle CD audio, any streaming solutions, Netflix integration etc, except for PCM concert movies. iPad control would be nice though.
I care about built-in room EQ, good backlit remote, decent interface, couldn't care less what it looks like, everything goes into an equipment rack in a closet and is never seen.
Thanks for any help.
Oh, I most probably will move the plasma to another room and only use the projector; I just bought it as an interim solution. I want a fixed screen with the speakers behind it, and there's nowhere for a plasma that size to hide, not even motorized.