July 22, 2008 by Gordon Jones
Based on my very unscientific research (friends and family asking for advice) the biggest winner in the Blu-ray push might very well be the receiver manufacturers.
My logic? This time last year, the majority of questions aimed at me were either about screen size, TV type, or “best” speakers for under $xxx. Fast fwd 12 months (post format war) and now my inbox is filled with long lost school mates wondering if Faroudja video processors are all they’re cracked up to be.
My own quest for a new receiver is probably a factor. My old workhorse still chugs along, but couldn’t dream of handling the new HD sound formats nor the 42 HDMI cables i want (need) to stick into it. Yes, I’d love to go separates, and before wife/kids I would have recommended the same. However, budgets being what they are, the new generation of receivers being pumped out by companies like Denon and Onkyo are really enough for all but the fanatical (and single) home theater enthusiasts.
In case you just landed here, Denon has long been a top name in the arena and their reputation is good on both quality and user-friendly features. Their AVR-988 7.1-channel home theater receiver is no exception, according to the reviews I’ve found. Pros include: 110 watts per channel with 7 equal pre-outs, AL24 Processing Plus to help capture low-level nuances, Deep Color up to 36 bit, 1080p video pass-through, analog video-to-HDMI scaling up to 1080p, and 12-bit video encoding/decoding, and Faroudja DCDi video processing, which uses removes jagged edges from interlaced video sources.
The 988 also covers the latest sound formats as well as a Cinema Equalizer that corrects for the placement of your speakers vs. the way they’re placed in the movie theater.
Add in the other perks like two-zone/two source capabilities and it’s support of HDMI v1.3a, and you’ve got a very up-to-date workhorse for your growing home theater.
Sale price: $679.99
Deal ends: n/a
Buy now: www.amazon.com
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