Originally Posted by deewan
While you may have a need for this item, from a general population standpoint there is very little demand for an item like this
Where is the exhaustive market research to support this assertion?
The AV Receiver form factor is a sad dinosaur watching all other consumer electronics streamlining features to conform to consumer demand and miniaturization expectation as it stays the same. Its 50-year-old form factor should have evolved to serve the mass market a decade ago. I would say it seems to be the evolutionary equivalent of the horseshoe crab, but whereas the crab has shown how elegant simplicity can adapt to all changes, the AVR has done the opposite: Adding more useless bells and whistles at every turn and getting larger and bulkier as it keeps its legacy vestiges. The dinosaurs did this too, and when the landscape changed, they couldn't, leaving the door wide open for smaller, more agile animals to take over the world. I hope marketers also see the opportunity for slimlines to take over the AVR world soon, since I'm in the market now.
And to demonstrate that I'm not just some narcissist who thinks an industry should bow to my whim, here's an article titled "How to save the AV receiver," from a popular electronics media outlet, with myriad internet commenters who feel passionately enough about the issue to let their opinions be known: http://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-save-the-av-receiver/
Originally Posted by deewan
The Marantz SR1403 is certainly not expensive when you look at the power and features it supplies.
As mentioned in the thread starter, I am not looking for "power and features".
I am looking for a hub to connect my smart BD player and dish receiver box to via HDMI and then output to my TV. It will drive low-end stereo or 5.1 speakers so I can have 1 audio volume, source switch, and universal remote (hopefully the one that comes with the dish box or the receiver).
It's very simple, shouldn't be any more expensive than the typical Home Theater In a Box (under $200), but I don't want the usual HTIB's built in DVD player nor its typical lack of HDMI inputs. (Also have had bad experiences with these DVD drives breaking before the audio driving part of the unit, and I want better apps selection than what I've seen in HTIBs by getting a stand alone unit).
I do not want audiophile sound quality, nor its expense. It's mostly just TV we're talking about here. If my spouse's Real Housewives' voices come in any more clearly, I'll barf.
I do not care about web or blue tooth connectivity. If I want to play music, movies, photos, other files, the BD player will do this through DLNA from my NAS.
I have zero want or need for 10 vertical inches of RCA ports and banana plugs and optical audio lines, all for speakers and components I don't have and don't want.
I don't want to hear giant relays slamming closed and see the lights flicker when I turn on the TV sound. No need for enormous capacitors to buzz and crackle the night away if I forget to turn it off.
Just looking for a slimline to unobtrusively fit into the furniture, be a lower-powered energy sipper, and for a reasonable price (under $250).