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I am looking for a budget receiver ($400 - $600 to spend). I want minimum of 3 HDMI inputs, good quality sound, upconversion. I will be using it to connect my Verizon DVR (Motorola box) and Samsung Blu-Ray player to my Hitachi LCD HD TV. I have looked at the Yamaha 663, Hardan Kardon 253/353 and Pioneer 1018. Yamaha has only 2 HDMI inputs and reviews I have read aren't that great, Harman Kardon has had many firmware issues and some reviews on Pioneer indicate sound quality is not on par with other manufacturers. Any ideas of a unit that would meet my needs?
 

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I am in similar budget scenario as you $300-$500.

Have Panasonic 50pz85u Plasma & Comcast DVR. Plan to add PS3 for gaming/blu ray/DVD and Mac Mini for digital audio/movie library/PC use. So in total 3 HDMI in one out.


Had my eye on the Onkyo 606 as the best budget receiver, but starting to wonder with the new AVR out since then, if any thing beats this receiver in this price range. The 606 could use better video upconversion. The Onkyo 606 will cost me about $310 as a warrantied refurb from onkyo. Can I do better?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackBeanstalk /forum/post/15649887


The Denon 1909 (aka 789) is a very good option also. Can get at Circuit City closeout stores for 10-20% off right now.

The 1909 does not have pre-outs if in the future you decide to add an amp.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-K /forum/post/15446593


I am looking for a budget receiver ($400 - $600 to spend). I want minimum of 3 HDMI inputs, good quality sound, upconversion. I will be using it to connect my Verizon DVR (Motorola box) and Samsung Blu-Ray player to my Hitachi LCD HD TV. I have looked at the Yamaha 663, Hardan Kardon 253/353 and Pioneer 1018. Yamaha has only 2 HDMI inputs and reviews I have read aren't that great, Harman Kardon has had many firmware issues and some reviews on Pioneer indicate sound quality is not on par with other manufacturers. Any ideas of a unit that would meet my needs?

In that price range, I don't think that you can beat the Pioneer VSX-1018AH. It wins hands down. That's why I got one. It is an excellent receiver. There are plenty of people who are quite pleased with it. It seems that it is so popular that it is on back order or sold out at many suppliers. Check out the forum. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1042314


Perhaps Circuit City would still be in business, if they carried it. Just joking, not even the 1018 could save such a poorly run business.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdog81 /forum/post/15649739


Had my eye on the Onkyo 606 as the best budget receiver, but starting to wonder with the new AVR out since then, if any thing beats this receiver in this price range. The 606 could use better video upconversion. The Onkyo 606 will cost me about $310 as a warrantied refurb from onkyo. Can I do better?

You have a BD player that will upconvert better than any AVR in this price range or even higher. I'd say don't even think about buying the AVR for it's upconverting capabilities. You also have a TV that will upconvert better than any of these AVR's. If you're going to use a PS3 for DVD's and BD's then you have no reason for an AVR that supports DTS HD or Master Audio because the PS3 will decode them and pass it through as PCM which your AVR will leave 'untouched' and send to your speakers. Buying an AVR for a PS3 really mostly requires an AVR that will allow video and audio passthrough and those come alot cheaper than some options you're looking at (ie. Denon AVR-788 from ecost for $215 which also has Audessey support, Marantz 4002 etc.)

I'd say the same applies to John-K, I see only one device you have that requires an HDMI input and your BD player will upconvert better than any of these receivers. Maybe I'm wrong but who knows....I'd read up on the 606 thread before you even start thinking of jumping on it.
 

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The Pioneer 1018ah has identical amplification and core features as the Elite 01THx and 03TXh... the minor features is lacks are 12v trigger, rs-232 port, and THX processing. The 1018ah would be my first choice if you have a small-medium room, efficient speakers, and/or plan to add external amplification later. If you're in a very large room, have inefficient speakers, and/or have no desires for external amplification then you may want to look at some of the deals available on last years Onkyo SR805... this is a beast of an amp and fully-featured on the audio side with basic HDMI video scaling (upconversion from analog to HDMI, deinterlacing from 480i to 480p)... it fits a nice niche with being very audio-oriented with high-end amplification, DACs, and Audyssey XT without the added cost of unnecessary (for most) high-end video scaling.
 
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