Or they screwed up!? Denons can do it.
The trouble is it limits your BR choice; the Sony S350 you mention can't decode DTS-MA so the only option is to bitstream that and then no Audessy. If you move up to the S550, that will decode DTS-MA, you have another problem ---- the S550 doesn't give you the option to choose between bitstream amd LPCM --- if the reciever can take Bitstream, that's what it sends.
I'm not doubting the audio capability of the Maranz --- I've looked into them myself because of that. If the limitations don't bother someone, then they are a good choice. Personally, I don't like my other equipment choices being limited by an amp that was flawed in some part of it's design, whether it be the Audessy with the Maranz or the lack of 24fps on the Yamaha '61 series or the BTB, WTW issues on the Yamaha '63 series. There really is no excuse for these sorts of issues from established reputable manufacturers. Just my humble opinion.
I didn't know that about the BR players but you live and you learn from forums such as this and thats why it great they exist and we can share knowledge, imo
I don't think they screwed up, i believe they purposely didn't give it to you because they gave you someting else instead. All manufactuers, Yamaha , Marantz, Denon sony,etc all do that. 1 will have all the hd formats, another will have half but sounds better, another with features that the previous 2 didn't have but lacking in something they do, or have everything they have plus 1 extra feature and so on. I may prefer the marantz for its musical abiltites, you may prefer the denon for it bitstream decoding. Different options for different people with different needs. If want everything then you start looking at the high end AV's. There's always going to be a compremise at this price range.
All the AV's suggested here are of top quality for whatever reasons. It just down to the indivdual to sus out his/her partcular needs and go for the av that are most suitable for them.
The Denon 2309 is definitely a bargain for £450 and one to consider. with regards to Audessy on the Marantz, it can be set mauamally can't it or does this stll create a problem?
I had to set my 763 maually cos it weren't that great when it was set automatically. It didn't take long and i found it to be more precise for my seating position.