"No HDMI problems here!"4.5 starson by mdifanis
Pros: HDMI switching and upconversion from component and other sources
Cons: Primitive on-screen display and menu navigation
Summary: I have not yet had an opportunity to put this receiver through its paces, as I just finished setting it up and doing some basic testing. I was eager to post at least a limited review to be sure people know that the HDMI problems that some other users have complained about are not present on my unit. I have a high-definition DVR from Dish Network, and I have it connected via HDMI to the receiver, and the receiver connects to my home theather projector via HDMI. No problems to report.
Setup is slightly clumsy due to a primitive menu and navigation process, but the manual has a good schematic to show the flow of the menu options, along with page references for details on each feature set accessed through the menu.
HDMI on-screen display is far from seamless, since any video signal one is watching gets abruptly interrupted and the on-screen display from the receiver shows up instead. Since this process interrupts the flow of data to the video monitor, it can take a few seconds for the monitor to detect and lock onto the new signal for the on-screen display from the receiver to show up and for the video content to return when done with the receiver's menu functions. But I am happy to have HDMI switching and upcoversion, and I could not really expect the receiver to do a semi-opaque overlay of its menu.
One consumer reviewer lamented in his review the fact that there is no line level output suitable for connecting wireless headphones. This is not completely true. First, there is a headpone jack, of course. And while on the back of the receiver there is no line level output that says "Plug in wireless headphones here," I quickly found a workaround for my own wireless headphones: the secondary zone output can be used for sending any audio source--including the one playing in the primary zone--to that line-level output. Problem solved. I did discover, though, that HDMI audio would not get passed along this way, so I had to plug in a secondary set of analog left and right audio cables from my high-def satellite DVR to the receiver and then send that input through to the zone into which I had connected my wireless headphone transmitter.
The remote control would be tough to see in bright lighting, but many will not have a problem, since this sort of receiver is likely to be installed in dedicated theater rooms in many instances, where lighting is controlled.
I look forward to getting better acquainted with this beast of a receiver in the weeks ahead.