Marantz has a history of creating insanely high quality audio and video components, even "State of the Art," and the SR8002 receiver is no exception. This 125 watt/ch monster seems to be a bit bi-polar in that it has a powerful presence but a quiet side too. Unlike many other high power receivers, the SR8002 has the grace and finesse of a ballet dancer. The quietest passages of your favorite Jazz musician or romantic drama are further enhanced by the dead silent background that Marantz has ensured using it's solid copper chassis which just seems to absorb all the extraneous noises that you didn't previously know were there. Conversely, the powerhouse side of this very capable amplifier will jar you out of your Lazy-boy, given the proper source. From Death Metal to the hardest Hip-Hop and from Die Hard to The Hurt Locker and Transformers, this unit's dynamic contrasts are intense!
Video quality on the SR8002 is very good if your sources are to be passed straight through without the need for processing. The only video processor is a very high quality de-interlacer for converting 480i to 480p. This receiver doesn't offer the most current chip sets for video up-conversion so if your BluRay or DVD player doesn't have a stellar processor, your picture may suffer from digititus when playing standard DVDs. Garbage in / garbage out. On the other hand, if you are purchasing an audio piece of this caliber, you probably aren't planning on wimping out on your video sources and display device. In addition, since the jury is STILL out on 3-D and what you will need to make all the 3-D formats work properly, you should have any concern that the HDMI through-put is certified for v1.3a.
VQ=8/10 strictly due to Marantz's philosophy of "Simple is Best" and not including a scaler.
This receiver has some of the most usable features of any unit at or near it's price. Being able to remotely change the transcoding parameters (analog to analog, analog to digital both or neither) input by input is very handy and being able to switch from HDMI 1 out to HDMI 2 out so you can have either your Flat Panel -or- Projector on is a brilliant convenience.
All of the current audio formats are included. You can even play back SACD or DVD-A sources through the HDMI connection. Excellent for all you Audiophiles out there.
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