Here are my questions/thoughts...What if I don't want the receiver to do the "intensive" video processing stuff (up-scaling, etc.)? What if all I want is for the receiver to up-convert any 480i stuff to be able to be passed through the HDMI cable, and just let the HD resolutions (720p, 1080i,p) etc. pass through unprocessed to the TV? This would allow the TV to handle the de-interlacing and processing of the various source resolutions. This may be preferred (at least in my opinion) for several reasons. For example, CNET stated in their Onkyo 605 review that they are generally underwhelmed by the video processing capabilities of receivers (granted the 605 is a lower end model, w/o the Reon chip). Also, if the receiver (e.g. the Onkyo 875) processes the video, and then the TV also processes the video when it receives it from the receiver, there is going to be a delay due to the redundant processing, and possible video downgrading by the TV processor (if the receiver has a better video processor than the TV). Thirdly, in one of the new Onkyo (805 maybe) manuals, the THX people recommend turning off the video processing of the receiver for the best result.
I have never owned a receiver, but am looking to get one in the $1000 range that has a certain combination of the "new" capabilities of this year's models (described more later). The Yamaha 1800 seems to be the lowest priced model of the new ones I have seen from Onkyo, Denon, etc. that gives you the new dtsHD, Dolby TrueHD, etc. audio capabilities while also having 4 HDMI I/P's. The only other one I have seen with 4 HDMI I/P's is the Sherwood R-872. The Onkyo 805 is tempting, barring the "popping" issues noted in other threads. The Denon 2808 is a joke by only having 2 HDMI I/P's, especially at the price they want.
I have been researching all of the new models (Onkyo 605-875, Denon 2808-3808, Sony ES3300-5300, etc.) for an eventual fall 07 purchase, looking for the lowest priced models that give me the HD audio capabilities as well as at least 3 HDMI I/P's. I was initially woo'ed by the 875's Reon chip, but not the 875's price, and I am starting to question if I would want to use the receiver in lieu of the TV's internal video processor (especially the newer LCD models coming out, such as the new Sony XBR4's, and the Samsung 71/81 series, which I would also be purchasing in the fall). I think the biggest advantage of the 875's Reon would be for SD television content, but if the TV does a good job of that then I can forgo the increased cost of the higher end new receiver models that handle the video processing capabilities. Plus, it seems more natural to let the display devices (TV, HiDef DVD players, etc.) handle the video processing, and just use the receiver for audio processing (as well as cable organization/optimization via the HiDef inputs (multiple HDMI and component I/P's--> 1 HDMI O/P to the TV)). Also, a lot of the new HiDef DVD players have the same or better quality Reon chips to handle upscaling of SD DVD's (in fact I think one of the new Toshiba HD-DVD players got excellent marks for SD DVD playback), again leaving only SD television content to be the wildcard.
Therefore, stripping out the importance of the receiver's video processor (e.g. the seemingly sub-par 1010 chip in the new Yamahas) leaves you with two main things in my opinion: sound and future (i.e. HDMI) connectivity. The new Yamahas seem to have the sound covered because they have Burr-Brown DAC's (which I believe the Onkyo 805-905 also have) and the new HD audio support, while also having the 4 HDMI I/P's, all in the ~$1000 price range I am looking for.
Anyone else have any thoughts on the importance of the receivers video processing capabilities, in light of the video processing capabilities of the newer TV's (e.g. Pioneer's KURO line, Samsung 71/81, Sony XBR4/5's) and HiDef DVD players? As mentioned before, the only wildcard in my opinion when weighing the necessity of buying the Onkyo 875 for the Reon chip instead of say the Onkyo 805 is for SD television content (which will hopefully be fading away, thus further rendering paying more for a higher end video chip in a receiver less and less appealing). Sorry for the longwindedness...I just want to make as future proof a purchase as possible at a reasonable price (for me at least) of ~$1000, having the most HDMI connectivity and sound quality for my money.