Originally Posted by KP2
I originally thought that an upscaling AVR would make my nonHD Channels coming from my cable (480i/p, 720i/p) show everthing in 1080p...thus making it look better. I guess this is not the case.
More accurately, it MIGHT be the case. The question is whether the scaling in the AVR is better or worse than the scaling built into your TV. In most cases, the TV is likely to be better.
Check out CNet's reviews of the video processing in Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon receivers. They run HQV test suites and have reviews posted for Yamaha 663 and 665, Onkyo 606 and 607, and Denon 1909 (plus others).
The 1910 adds a new chip and the ability to scale digital video in addition to analog video. It's still uncertain whether this new chip makes a difference in the video processing equation.
I think I may be better off getting last years AVRs (w/out the upscaling/upconverting)
last year's models DO have upscaling ability; conversion to HDMI output and some form of scaling has been a feature of mid-level AVR's for a couple of years now.
that being said, in general most people on a budget are DEFINITELY better served saving money on the AVR and putting it into their speakers instead. If you have a limited budget, you should get the least expensive receiver that has the features you need and put more of your money into speakers/sub, for sure.
Will you only be running 5.1? Do you need Zone 2? If not, you may be well served by a step-down model like the AVR 1610/590 which can be found for around $300.