Opinion on Denon AVR-686 or 687

Could use some recommendations on modern equipment based on what I have described below.

Not doing much with receivers in the last 20 years or so, I hear that Denon is considered one of the best for home theaters. About a year ago I was led to the AVR-686. It seems to have everything I want, but it is quite a bit less than many of the other Denon recievers. Many of the Denon home theater receivers seem to jump to over $1,000 for reasons I don't seem to see.

I want to have the 7.1 capability (although I will probably start with setting it up as a 5.1). I have 2 DVD players (one that goes between my Motorola DVR cable box and everything else) and a separate one that I don't use much. I have a VCR and a CD. That's it. I use an old Kenwood KRV-107R receiver with Bose 2 speaker/subwoofer combo now. The reason I am looking at a new receiver is that I have a devil of a time understanding the words on TV programs. Part of it is age, I know. But it is also room acoustics and the sound content of many of the programs (with built-in background noise and holographic effects) I am thinking that the receiver does not handle the new "processed" sound coming from the new shows very well. Older movies are easier to understand the words.

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