Originally Posted by Kilian.ca
Yamaha RXV-2500 has MCH analogue inputs and you can simply use a BDP with MCH analogue outs.
PS. The SPDIF route for a 2CH PCM downmix from a HD track would give you some idea of what it's like.
I agree with the SPDIF route, but also agree that it's not going to be a very "real" difference (if you notice anything at all).
Regarding the multi-ch analog inputs, ensure that whatever player you purchase has sufficient management/configuration options to make this worthwile - very few receivers will do bass management or other processing of their multi-channel analog inputs. That said, it would give you the lossless audio, at no different quality than if the receiver was decoding it from HDMI. I don't know what kind of room correction or EQ features that Yamaha has, but that's probably going to be the "big" difference between it and a modern AVR or SSP (regardless of whether or not you use the multi-ch analog inputs).
If you want a new toy, I agree with the suggestion towards a new, more modern AVR, with pre-outs. Replace the V2500 and get something "smarter" to put in front of your amplifiers. I think overall you shouldn't expect world-changing results, but there's a few features that will give you incremental benefits (room EQ, more sophisticated bass management, things like that).