So, I got my 818 installed today (which took a helluva lot longer than I anticipated) and I just wanted to bring up some very initial observations; I am coming from a Yamaha RX-V1800 that has been a fantastic amp, but it does not do dual HDMI output, lacks really good room calibration, no HDMI 1.4, no DLNA or internet radio, etc.
Unlike many of you I don't have this in a dedicated theater room. I have a large family room that is perhaps 20X22'. Speakers consist of Boston reference center and mains, SVS cube subwoofer, and cambridge rears in my ceiling.
1. With six reference points for Audyssey the sound quality is pretty good. I want the ability for Audyssey to dynamically set the volume so I can listen at lower volume levels and still hear the surrounds, etc. It seems to do this but I'm confused about the settings. Also, my subwoofer does not seem to be nearly as strong with the default Audyssey settings as it was with the RX-V1800... I see an LFE menu in the settings maybe it's something I can adjust.
2. I figured out how to get dual HDMI output working, however I noticed that for the 2nd TV (which is on a patio) there is no audio provided through HDMI, I had to wire analog outputs from my source (TiVo) to the 818 to get audio working out there (through the zone 2 speakers obviously).
3. Sometimes when I turn the TV on in the 2nd zone, both TVs go pink and I have to power off and on the 2nd TV to get the picture normalized. Very annoying. I also see no settings for video for the 2nd screen, it is a small 720P LCD and obviously I don't want it to have the same settings as the large 65" plasma in the family room so this is a confusing point.
3. I could not get the STB/DVR input on the 818 to work in Zone 2. O-remote also does not have a choice for STB/DVR, I had to re-wire so that I was using CBL/SAT instead.
4. DLNA/Pandora work extremely well, even in Zone 2, O-remote really shines for this.
5. The Onkyo remote is TERRIBLE. Really horrible. I actually thought something was broken for a while after I selected a source and the "home", etc, buttons no longer worked (have to hit the "receiver" button again to regain function). I have done initial programming on my Harmony and will have to keep tweaking. I was pleasantly surprised that the 818 was in the Harmony database.
6. One early problem I've hit that I have not found an issue to is, with my TiVo, I have had some really weird problems with the 818. When the TiVo (quad tuner elite model) switches between the on screen menus and the full screen playback there was always a short audio dropout on my Yamaha, but with the 818 I lose audio for a good solid 3-5 seconds, it is really annoying. Also, I get messages on the front of the 818 with many programs that say "resolution error". WTF?
I suppose you could say that the biggest "issue" I have with the 818 is that, even with the manual in one hand and the remote in the other, it is an extremely overwhelming experience trying to set it up... and I'm not even a newb at this... coupled with many of these problems with my TiVo, etc, I am sort of wondering if I made a mistake buying this.... I was expecting to be a bit bowled over with the upgrade, but right now it's very hit or miss for me. Maybe with time I will become more satisfied with it.