I am in need of some guidance in choosing my first receiver. This is also my first post here, and I'll greatly appreciate any help I can get from the knowledgeable folks that are part of this community.
After much reading I have found much of the advise here is great, but a bit outdated.
This is what I care about in this exact order:
1. Sound quality - Measured by the way the receiver plays music in 2 channel stereo mode (including possibly bi-amping as well), which is my 1st priority. Movie watching to me is secondary when determining audio quality.
2. Power - I've read many manufactures overstate the output. This bothers me.
Maybe the best solution is one with bi-amping as an option. I don't plan on playing music extremely loud, but I want the best sound possible, and I have read the more powerful the receiver, the better (less strain) it will sound at lower levels.
4. HDMI - At least 4 or 5 inputs. I'm not sure why receivers need to "process" HDMI, why not just let the BR player signal pass through as it is? after all, isn't that what BR players are for? Either way, if the receiver does process, at the very least it should not lower the image quality. I would like the best possible image. I don't care much about 3D at the moment, but I guess it can't hurt to have it.
5. Either 5.1 or 7.1 - Most likely I'll have a 2.1 or 3.1 setup (with center channel), but it can't hurt to have options. Is there a 7.1 that will let me bi-amp using the side channels instead of the rear ones? My goal would be to have a 5.1 setup with bi-amping on the fronts (for music) if I ever do it.
6. On screen GUI through HDMI - I've read some GUIs don't work through the HDMI signal, requiring a separate video connection to the TV. This is out of the question.
This is what I don't
1. Video upscaling - I'm looking at the future, not the past.
2. Secondary zones.
3. Airplay, bluetooth - As long as I have a USB to plug in directly.
4. Internet radio - I already have Roku, and will probably purchase the Sony TV box. Shouldn't this already cover internet radio options?
5. Controller App (iPhone,iPad) - I plan to get a harmony universal remote anyway.
I'll leave it at this for now. These are some of the models I've been considering:
Yamaha V471, V671 or A800.
Pioneer Elite 52
The reason I'm considering these models is because at this range they seem to be rated higher as far as power output than <$300 models. Some also suggest better sound the pricier the receiver is.
I've read Yamaha overstates power, Denons don't play music that well, and Onkyos have become unreliable. Is this true?
For speakers I'm looking at the Polk TSI 400's or Klipsch RF-52s. As far as room I live in Florida, living rooms are usually open areas (kitchen, dining, living) all one big room.
Thanks in advance for your help!