I have not heard the SACD Standard for myself. I read a review somewhere/sometime while traveling (I travel a lot) where the reviewer, who owned a Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player, thought the Krell compared favorably to the Tri-Vista. As I remember it, this review was favorable to the Krell. I simply hadn't heard anything bad about the player, but I really hadn't heard much at all either. I don't think it is even on Krell's website.
Regarding HDMI; it just seems more flexible for the future compared to DVI...that's all. I'd take either though, especially if it had a very good deinterlacer and scaler built-in.
Anyway Keith, it sounds like you're not much of a fan of Krell...at least for source components. "Hate" is a strong word.
What have you compared it to?
My ongoing problem with various components is the lack of ability to try things in my own system. I hate stringing along a sales guy then having to tell them "I don't like...take it back," even if I had the opportunity to do such a try-out. But I do believe that a side-by-side comparison is the only way to evaluate this stuff.
Case in point: when I got my HTS 7.1, I had an Anthem AVM-20. I got a killer deal on the Krell and fully intended to flip it on AudiogoN or Ebay for a healthy profit. Even when I got the Krell home, I was not impressed by the unit. For one thing, it was much lighter in weight than the Anthem (the first thing you notice when you pick it up). However, my tune changed dramatically once I hooked it up. The expanded sound from the Krell was a huge difference right away. And that was using the analogue pass-through! I cannot explain any of it, but it was a fair back-to-back comparison, using the same interconnects and other components. Thus, I kept the Krell and unloaded the Anthem.
Many AVS Forum members advised me against the Krell saying it was a waist and implying it would be no better, or even worse than the Anthem. This was not the case.
I hope that a Krell universal player would be good. I at least would like to audition one for myself before passing judgment.