May 21, 2008
| by Kim Wilson
Continuing to focus on the networked home, Denon unveiled ten new A/V receivers for 2008 during a line show in Dana Point, CA on May 20th. All models are designed to provide consumers easier and more feature-rich solutions at surprisingly lower prices. Five of the new models are part of Denon’s all-new Retail Home Theater series featuring a new and stylish cosmetic design. The new models will be available at authorized Denon dealers in July.
Every model includes HDMI 1.3a inputs with support for Deep Color. The majority of models offer 4 HDMI ports, with the lesser expensive AVR-689 ($399) and AVR-789 ($599) providing three ports and the AVR-589 ($299) offering a total of 2 ports.
The AVR-2809CI ($1,199), AVR-2309CI ($849), AVR-1909 ($649), AVR-989 ($1,199), AVR889 ($749) and AVR-789 offer 1080p upconversion and scaling from all analog video sources. Additionally, several models provide support for the advanced surround codecs Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. As one of the first manufacturer’s to adopt Audyssey technologies into their AVRs, Denon continues its unwavering support with the incorporation of Audyssey’s MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume in all ten new models.
Dynamic Volume is Audyssey’s latest technology and it works in conjunction with Dynamic EQ and MultEQ. MultEQ is, of course, the in-room acoustic measurement system that fine-tunes the entire listening space, not just a narrow sweet spot. Dynamic EQ provides loudness correction, while Dynamic Volume is a volume leveler.
A major issue when listening to movies and music at lower volumes is that voices can become inaudible during soft passages, bass disappears and the surround stage is less enveloping. With Dynamic EQ, the frequency response and surround levels are adjusted moment by moment because it carefully combines information from incoming source levels with actual output sound levels in the room. The addition of Dynamic Volume in all of Denon’s new AVRs addresses the issue of dramatic and disruptive changes in volume level between program material, particularly TV shows and commercials. By constantly monitoring the volume, Dynamic Volume is able to maintain a set listening level for all content while optimizing the dynamic range.
During the demonstration at the Denon line show, Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey showed several movie clips where the dynamic range was extremely wide. By engaging Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, all the power and impact of the film remained intact including the relative volumes between voices, music and effects, however, the overall volume stayed constant.
Models with the CI (Custom Integration) designation indicate these units have special features and capabilities that can be unlocked by a certified custom integration Denon dealer, providing advanced functionality that is not available to the end-user. CI models offer other custom installation friendly features such as a RS-232 port for integration with automated control systems, assignable 12-volt triggers, and integration into existing home networks.
To meet the growing demand for AVRs that provide the capability of delivering audio and video to multiple zones in the home, the AVR-2809CI offers three-zone, three- source capability, while all other new models feature dual-zone and dual-source operability. All new models feature a connection for Denon’s dedicated iPod docking station, which allows users to command and control their iPod from the on-screen menu.
It’s Denon’s desire to be the #1 brand of AVRs and to that end the newly redesigned AVRs were created to provide real-life solutions that allow consumers to get more enjoyment from their home entertainment systems, providing advanced feature sets not previously found in lower priced AVRs. The entire line reflects Denon’s commitment to whole-home. multi zone entertainment, making it easier for consumers to tap into a variety of content, from packaged media to streaming content. According to Denon, these new models set new standards for convenience, flexibility and expandability.