I am so far behind the learning curve. I haven't even looked at receivers in a decade and researching is going very slowly. I'm hoping you folks can help me speed this up a bit with a few specific model recommendations.
I've got a number of reasons for wanting to upgrade my old Yamaha R-V1105. The deal breaker is that the subwoofer output seems to have died. I would also really like to move into the world of HDMI switching and Airplay/DLNA for music (ideally with FLAC support).
I only need 5.1 (and that's probably all I will ever need in this room). The speakers are fairly new: the Pioneer SP-PK21BS package (BS21 for front and rear; C21 center; SW-8 powered sub). They sound very good in the room (till the sub died anyway) so modest power requirements.
We mostly use it for movies/TV/XBox but that's partly because using an iPod with the Yamaha is so darn inconvenient. The point is that music is a consideration; so Airplay for sure. The master music collection is all FLAC files. Being able to play those would be fabulous. I could convert to Apple's lossless format (ALAC or whatever they call it) if necessary so FLAC isn't a must but it would be nice even if I have to put it all on a USB drive or something.
I'd like to keep the cost down around $400 and would be fine buying a factory refurb or last year's model. I do not have any particular brand loyalties but I would like to get something solid and reliable and avoid no-name junk brands.
I've been looking at some Denon models and see that they have removed AM radio tuners in 2013. That's a noteworthy minus IMO especially since out here in the sticks streaming radio over the Internet is an iffy proposition (don't get me started).
I've been reading about the various versions of Audyssey - is that still such a big deal with 5.1? I'm sure there are other whiz-bang features that I don't even know about. Would love to have those too! :-)
So, what's your favorite good quality AV receiver for $400 that has 5.1 (I know, I'll probably end up with 7.1 just because that's what's available), Airplay, FLAC, and AM/FM radio?
Thanks in advance