I'm buying/installing a surround sound setup for my father for his birthday. I'm gotten all the speakers and was about to purchase the receiver when I realized that I needed to upgrade my receiver as well and if I just upgraded mine and gave my father my old one (a Denon AVR-1911) it would be better than what I was planning on buying him anyways. Moral qualms with not spending more on the man that gave me life (and giving him a used receiver) aside, this is the path that I chose to go with, but time is short and I need to figure out my new receiver within the next day or so.
My main reason for updating is needing more HDMI inputs, and my plan was to buy the newer 1912. That is until I saw that Denon had actually released an even newer model, 1913. Then I saw the extremely lackluster reviews on the 1913 on Amazon and second guessed my plan. I combed through a number of the negative reviews to filter out those that are just uninformed complaints ("this receiver can only be 7.1 OR Zone2!! 0 STARS!!" and the like) but still a bunch of them were complaining about HDCP/Handshake issues which I had with my unit at one point (I'm pretty sure it was traced back to a Sharp TV but I'm not convinced it wasn't a combination). This in combination with what is listed as the highest rated Receivers on Amazon got me thinking that I should really see if there's a better option.
Normally I would do a plethora of research myself and come back to the forum for a suggestion between a few models but as I stated, I do not have the luxury of time. What I absolutely need:
1) More than 4 HDMI inputs (more the better obviously)
2) One upscaling Component input (not sure if this is the correct terminology, I need the receiver to take one component in and send the video over the one HDMI out).
3) 3D capabilities
4) 4k passthrough (while I'm buying, might as well future proof myself a bit. Though on second look, I don't think the Denon's have this. Is this something that's worth buying w/o having a 4k tv?)
5) It to cost between 400 and 550 USD
6) More features the better (i.e. Airplay, 2nd or 3rd Zones, Front HDMI ports etc)
And that's really it. I have 5.1 surround in that room and I have a PC (soon to be a Mac as well) hooked up to the receiver so Airplay isn't imperative. Also I used to use the Zone2 out to push music outdoors but the need of an analog source and my horrible soldering skills forced me to abandon that and just use Airplay upstairs on a MacMini to play "networked" audio. But I"m pretty OCD (read: weird and compulsive) and like to have those types of extra features even if I don't have an immediate need for them (I know I'm trying to get help). Basically I'm just looking for any suggestions from the super knowledgeable/enthusiastic people here for anything else to look at. I don't know anything about the feature dispersion among different models in any brand outside of Denon (and not THAT much about Denon itself). But some I'm looking at:
Denon 1912 (~$440)
Denon 1913 (~$525) - I can't tell what it has that the 1912 doesn't...
Onkyo TX-NR717 (~525) - highest rated on amazon, has 7 (!) HDMI inputs and 3 (!) zones, this is the one that really made me think. Seems too good to be true and I've heard they aren't as reliable or have as good of sound in general as a Denon. Also I can't tell if it includes a microphone to set the Audyssey settings...
Yamaha RX-V673 (~$550) - also very highly rated on amazon, similar features to the Onkyo
Anyways I don't know much about any of these specific receivers or the individual brands specific lines (i.e. what the difference between the RX-V673 and the RX-V671 or if there's even a RX-V672). Any and all suggestions/information would be highly appreciated.