"Great value, HDMI swiching and upconverting"4.0 starson by acr10014
Pros: Value, HDMI upconversion
Cons: setup, remote
Summary: I picked one up at J&R yesterday for $350. For the price this unit can't be beat. Since I live in a small apartment in NYC the sound is really great, and the midnight mode really helps at night. The automatic speaker adjustment is a real help, did a great job on the first try. I set it up for 5 speakers, but the unit can do 7, and it has a simulated Surround Back mode that really works. OK not as good as real speakers, but it does improve the sound. I had to reassign some of the inputs, which was a bit of a pain, and had to tweak the settings for Dolby pro logic a bit, but once that was done the system works great.
I set it up as follows:
Scientific Atlanta HD-DVR cable box using HDMI to the VCR input reassigned to DBS
Sony 5 disk HDMI DVD/CD using HDMI
Sony VCR (an old basic unit - but I don't use it that much) using L R and composite video (surprisingly the picture and sound got better)
An I-Pod dock set to TV input using L R and S-video
Everything works and sounds great, and it all comes out thru the HDMI to my Sharp Aquos HDTV. Much less cabling than before.
The down side: except for the speaker calibration it is not that easy to set up. The manual is a bit confusing and you have to use the remote and/or the receiver to set different things. The remote's buttons are a bit small and there is no light so it's a bit hard to use, especially in low light situations. But my cable remote can be programmed for it and performs the most common procedures, so I'll just be using it for special things, not a real problem.
Overall, once I got everything set up (a bit of trial and error and common sense helped) the system works great.