Have to say, I am a bit bemused by your comments on when you had an AVR. So you had an AV receiver - were you bitstreaming the HD audio soundtracks to it via HDMI or outputting over analogue multichannel outputs? And if so, how was this then being translated to stereo? And why?!
well, i always had a 5.1 setup, i had my fronts connected to a stereo amp which was connected to my avr's pre-outs..
my bdp was connected by hdmi to the avr. the avr was doing the hd decoding and was driving the centre and rears, and feeding my active sub with it's signal, while also sending the decoded hd audio to my stereo amp which was driving the fronts, and all was well, full hd audio from blu-rays that had hd soundtracks..
then i sold my centre and rears, so in effect my avr was only being used to feed the sub and decode the hd soundracks, it was only acting as a proccessor, my stereo amp was still driving my fronts..
now, with this setup i ran the avr's auto set-up, using the supplied mic, and it set the levels of sub and fronts, but here's the question, was the sound i was then getting in a 2.1 set-up hd sound? because if it was, i can't see why it would be any different to the sound i get when letting my bdp decode the hd audio, and sending the info to my stereo amp..
i've since sold my avr as it wasn't really needed, so i'm trying to find the best set-up without it.
i wonder if the avr was downmixing to pcm in the 2.1 set-up? or sending decoded hd stereo to my as-500? if it was the latter i can't see why my bdp couldn't do the same thing, send decoded hd audio to my as-500 in stereo?