The closest I got for DVD/BueRay with HDMI was an Oppo to a Halo P7. That also sounded really good. It was a long time until I had a processor (Anthem) which could compare in sound quality to the Oppo’s analog outputs.
Not sure I understand. I’d say running a good-quality 2-channel source/DAC into an good-quality stereo pre/amp combo or integrated would be superior to running it through the Anthem and probably comparable or even better than the Theta as there are dedicated power supplies, less noise, etc. that the stereo signal gets subjected to. Anyway, that was my point and not sure where you were going with HDMI.