The receiver has both optical and also coaxial audio connection, this is also true with the player as well (digital output). Or you might also use the stereo output in the player then using the simulated surround feature of the receiver. It might not sound as good as digital but surround none the less. That's how I look at this.
I finally bought myself a 5.1 Surround receiver for my birthday (good deal from eBay--Insignia NS-AV511) and have put it in the living room. I have two Sony DVD players and will probably put the one that also plays SACD in the living room now (it had been in my studio). It is the newer of the two (DVP-NS425P), but they are similar.
I have been reading how you cannot play SACD unless you hook up the player with HDMI (player does not have it) or via the multiple audio outputs. The receiver does not have a matching plug-in for the 5.1 (6 RCA cables) as they come out of the DVD player.
I only have a few SACD CD's. Does that mean I can't listen to the SACD audio signals with this receiver? I looks that way. Neither of my other two receivers are 5.1 (they are Dolby Surround Pro Logic). If that's the case, then I guess there is no sense swapping them.
I just found this on another forum:
My ancient Sony DVD player is connected to my newish Sony receiver via
coax, but will only play SACDs in 5.1 via 5.1 analog output, and the new
receiver doesn't have 5.1 analog input.</i>
His previous receiver DID have 5.1 input, both of mine are pre-5.1. Considering how few SACD's I have, I'm not going to obsess over it. Just wanted to make sure. All of these new-fangled connectors and what-not. Mainly wanted to finally hear DVD's in 5.1. Still need to get a subwoofer.
Maybe my buddy will luck out and find me a cheap receiver some day at a garage sale than can connect to the SACD player.