So back to the original question, "Do you 'need' a HDMI receiver?" The answer is still no, but today's HDMI receivers are so cheap it might be the best plan after all. But if you already have a really nice old receiver and love its sound, a cheap and cheerful $300-$500 receiver will probably than what you have now. The new receivers are so loaded with features like auto-setup, GUI menus, AirPlay, iPod/iPhone/ compatibility, home networking, HD radio, Bluetooth, etc., that sound quality usually takes a hit.
If you are building a new surround sound system and looking for the best value in an HDMI receiver, the and the should be on the top of your shopping lists. Both offer an abundance of clean power with an unbeatable combination of advanced features, making them a perfect centerpiece to your home theater. Combine one of these receivers with high-quality, value-priced speakers from companies such as and and you will have a home theater with sound that belies the price.