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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm close to finishing up the DIY speakers in my new Listening Room / Home Theater, and my attention is focusing on getting a new AVR, as my old one (Sony STR-DE695) lacks HDMI.

I've been looking in the Sub $700 range, and the possibility of going with a factory refurbished unit.

Candidates include:

Marantz 5003 or 5004.... at the risk of POD.

Pioneer VSK32 or 1120K

Onkyo NR-7008 NR-8008

Yamaha 667

.... but I'm not clear what features I really need.

I currently listen to FLACs in 2 channel PCM via Optical SPDIF off my old Computer running XP, but am building a new Windows 7 PC for the new room that will have HDMI output capabilities as well as the SPDIF.

I plan on using the HDMI out to play lossless multi-channel content, under the assumption it will sound as good as the SPDIF currently does for 2 channel content. If it does I dont see any real need for the Ethernet connection, other than for firmware updates.

Currently the Directv feed and Bluray player bypass (video wise) my non-HDMI receiver, and that setup allows me to listen to music from my computer while the TV is on but muted. Will I still be able to do that if I run all the sources through my new HDMI receiver?

My new surround speakers will dip down to 4 ohms. Out of those receivers I am considering, only the ONKYO promises to handle 4 ohm speakers. Do you think I might run into protection issues with the other receivers?

The ONKYO seems to be the only one that knows what a FLAC file is as well, and I really want to let the Receiver's DACs do the decoding for me, in lieu of my PC motherboard's DACs. I am assuming the AVR's DACs are better. Can I pass the FLAC data directly from the PC to the AVR via HDMI, or will I need the USB or Ethernet options?

I am also assuming the PC's HDMI output will allow me to play computer games in surround modes. Is that a fact or will I need an AVR that has 7.1 analog inputs?
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