Originally Posted by andy_puiu
I haven't researched this yet, but I'm planning to get them a nice harmony universal remote.
There are a ton of Yamahas listed at A4Lfrom 150 to 300. Anything I should take a hard look at?
What about integra brand? They are cheap, but I've never heard of them.
The Harmony 650 is cheap and works great. I have one - I had an 1100 prior to the 650. Sometimes simple is better and I like the 650 much more than I did the 1100.
As for Yamaha AVRs to look at up to $250 the TSR-5810
is a good buy IMO. It's 'same as' the RX-V581 and a hundred cheaper and has more bells and whistles than your parents will ever need or want from an AVR. An even better buy IMO is $50 more - the RX-V779
is the same as the higher premium RX-A850, I think. I have the RX-V773 which is a couple of years older than the 779 and has been solid as a rock. I've been using it in the bedroom for the past 2 years and have owned it 3 years now. The CX-A5000 for a year now and it too has been a solid and easy to use preamp processor. I have my HTPC connected to the Yamaha and my 55" display so having the ability to do just about everything I want to do right at my fingertips.
Integra is Onkyo's 'premium' brand. In reality the Integra is no different internally than the similarly speced Onkyo model they are fashioned after. You do get 3 years of warranty vs 2 for the Onkyo. Those Integras are cheap for a reason - HDMI board failures, and most AV enthusiasts know enough about them to be wary of buying one, especially if you are looking for something reliable. I don't know if Onkyo/Integra's current offerings are more reliable since I haven't had much interest in their product after being crapped on 3 our of 4 times in ownership. Read the sticky here
for more info. Since those Integras on Accessories4Less.com have two years of factory warranty if I were looking for something cheap - and you are - then the Integra might be a great purchase. But you have to wonder how much money Onkyo put into those AVRs in order to peddle them for as cheap as they are. Something more reliable such as Yamaha (my first choice) and Denon - second choice might be a better choice for your parents. Last thing they need is to have to try getting around having an AVR in the shop and not working.
I've owned 4 Onkyo/Integra products in the last 10 years - got bit on all but one and that didn't have an HDMI board since it was a stereo receiver. Those Integra units look like a great deal and if I were shopping for a cheap AVR I might bite on something like the DTR-30.4 or the DTR-40.4. With 2 years of manufacturer's warranty about all I'm out if the thing craps out is shipping to a repair center.
You're asking about different audio & visual formats - maybe you should post the audio/visual gear that this receiver will be integrating with and what is expected in the near-term as far as upgrades such as a new TV or additional speakers - Atmos? Dolby Vision?
Your wanting to shop at A4L.com is a good one IMO. I have no interest in A4L - don't work there etc - but I do like good deals and IMO buying refurbished is a good one. I've bought from them 10-12 times for myself as well as friends and family. Only one AVR had problems and they took that back and promptly sent out a working one to replace it. In this day and age when an AVR can be outdated before it hits the market 2 or 3 years is a long run. I still can't figure out why - if an AVR is more computer than amplifier why the manufacturers can't deliver a product with more than 3-4 years as a lifespan!
I've been building computers for friends and family for over 20 years. One of those computers I built about 15 years ago is still being used. The only saving grace for it was Linux! Linux has drivers and software for just about any computer part thats been manufactured in the past 25 years - since the start of the PC craze. Try loading Win 10 on a 10 year old laptop. Good luck even getting it to start loading. It's called planned obsolescence. And MS and big companies like Dell and the like work hand in hand to make sure that planned obsolescence will never go out of style - just like the AV market.