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I'm pretty late to the HDMI-equipped receiver party. So far, I've just been connecting sources directly to my displays. This obviously isn't the most convenient way to go, but at least you know that you're getting an unadulterated signal.


Now that I'm setting up what will be (let's hope) my most permanent home theater yet, I'm starting to see that there would be installation advantages to using HDMI for both audio and video and having HDMI switching capability.


Still, with all the handshake issues and potentially degraded video quality I'm reading about, it doesn't sound like the promise of convenience and quality is always borne out. Specifically, I've placed an order on an Onkyo TX-SR508, but I've since read about handshake issues and unintended changes between PC/video levels . Thankfully, I don't expect it to ship immediately, but I'd like to get this figured out in time to either reassure that decision or else make a move towards something better.


So, given the possible headaches, is it better to just rely on a simple HDMI switch? Are there brands and models that are known to handle HDMI with no degradation? My budget is
 

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I never saw anything to indicate my receiver does anything to the HDMI signal, unless I turn on certain options.


Some people have said they thought their receivers were altering the signal, with no way to stop the alteration. They have even said this, when their receiver had no real HDMI video processing, so I have not trusted some claims.
 

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I wouldn't buy an Onkyo no matter what. Cheaply made, hdcp issues. But for $400, it's a crap shoot. Make sure the return policy is liberal.
 

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Noah: I've been using my Onkyo for only a few weeks now, but I can tell you I have no regrets. It sounds great, and I think it offers features that can only be found elsewhere for a considerably larger investment.


Keep in mind, though, if one of your goals is to eliminate direct connections to the display, the 508 will not upconvert analog signals over the hdmi output; you need to move up to the 608 for that.
 
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