I picked up the SR605 for two main reasons:
1) The ability to accept TrueHD and DTS MA and lossless PCM bitstream or raw code from a player transport it via HDMI 1.3 and decode it in the AVR.
2) The possibility of some improvement in SD picture quality from my Moto 3416 cable box.
1- THD & DTS
This ojective is unfulfilled but not due to the receiver. My Tosh XA2 simply will not pass the bitstream to the 605. The XA2 will decode THD but its max is 5.1, DTS is core only. The feed is MCH PCM 5.1. Thats OK, I like PCM, I'd be fine if the XA2 did 7.1 this way.
Since my other Onk will accept and do a fine job with THD over analog Multi I'm not really any further ahead.
2- SD PQ
The 605 will process 480i into 480p or even 720p. I do notice a modest improvement in PQ on some SD channels. This is good. Whats not good is that I can't just connect the STB via HDMI and let the ONK work on the 480i signal and just leave the 1080i HD signal alone. To me that would be the best of my expectations. The fact is that HDMI is Pass Through so it won't allow this. On the other hand if I come out of the STB with a component input I can see my 480i going to 480p (or 720p) with some PQ enhancement. But, my 1080i HD signals are now going to the TV advertised as 720p. I ran some comparisons this morning and although the 720p out is pretty okey dokey, the unadulterated 1080i signal does have more detail.
There are workarounds but they are a bit cumbersome. I wouldn't call the cumbersome part a deal breaker its just that it didn't work as I would have thought or hoped. I pray someone else can show me a good fix. I'm a PQ fanatic (I do have to re-tweak my new component in port) so I've always been an audio folks for audio, video for video) so the whole idea of running many in one or two out isn't the best in my opinion but I'm trying to work through it.
3- However I did get some features I didn't count on.
a) The Audyssey EQ2 is simply FAB and this is the lite version compared to the other models. Surround has never been better. Fuller, great participation from the surrounds, much more bass out of the surrounds and a seamless experience. Just supah. And yes you can manually tweak.
b) Its a little thing but they have broadened the volume scale to allow finer adjustment. I love it.
c) The OSD works well and if you are in any resolution below 1080, things like surround format, volume, etc. show up as overlay. Sweet.
d) The remote has a few new buttons. Small wow.
e) Audio performance is excellent in my view. I think this has as much to do with the EQ more than anything. Don't know - don't care, it sounds good,
I was prepared to return the unit today and use the (was it 27 or 30?) pieces of silver to pick up the new Panny bd10A that has all the audio goodies including 7.1 analog outs. Now I could almost have it all. A great HD DVD machine with superb video (SD & HD) processing and fair audio support. A new BD player with a VG rep for BD PQ and advanced audio capability. Hell of a plan.
However, I was just pointed in the direction of a post by a fellow who pointed out that a firmware upgrade by Tosh was expected to take advantage of HDMI 1.3 and pass the bitstream and/or internal support for THD and DTS MA. I had read that before, so I was very glad to see it again.
Bottom line - The SR 605 is now part of the family. Its stayin.
Now, on to work on the work-arounds, come up with a pre-TV video calibration scheme by device, let my family watch some TV and start saving returnables for the Panny.
I do recommend this component.
Very good luck to all in your discerning decision making.
Some days it's hardly worth chewing through the restraints.