"Spectacular"on by hdduenas
Pros Crystal Clear Sound, Awsome GUI for set up, Audessey speaker calibrator works wonders for perfect surround sound effects. Upscaling works perfectly. No HDMI Sync issues.
Cons HDMI switching causes screen interruption.
Summary This is the first A/V receiver I have ever purchased, and I have to say this receiver has totally lived up to all of my expectations and the electronic media hype I have read about. I had my Denon 3803CI hooked up in about 1 hour and this is the first time I have ever hooked one up. The GUI is just incredible! It made the set up process so simple and easy, and I am no audio or video guru. I hooked up my PS3, Sony DVD player (no HDMI on DVD player) and cable box with ease. I hooked up my new KEF 3005 surround sound system (7.1)and still had connection terminals left over, including an HDMI input for another device, should I ever need one. The speaker calibration was a breeze with the Audessey system. It calibrated the speakers for me and did a perfect job. All speakers work in-sync and no speaker stands out when playing a movie or listening to music. The sound is crystal clear when I crank up the volume to the limit. There is no distortion of any kind.
The upscaling is great. When I play a regular DVD on my "old" DVD player, the image is all 1080p on my Vizio 47" flatscreen t.v.
I feared the notorious HDMI Sync issues i've heard and read about with the new Sony receiver, but i'm glad to announce that there were absolutley none with the Denon 3808CI. I have not had any GUI crashes of any sort or any problems and the receiver has performed awsome.
The only Con I could come up with was when I switched from DVD player to my PS3 or to my cable box. The screen goes blank for about 2 seconds and then the picture comes in crystal clear with pure HD video. I feel this receiver should have at least earned an 8.8 from the CNET review with all the toys this receiver has and its awsome performance.
I paid high price for my Denon 3808CI receiver, but it was worth every penny, after all, this IS a top of the line receiver. If your looking for a new receiver, look no further this baby has it ALL!! It's also future proof, so you can rest assured that you'll be enjoying this receiver for years to come. Relax, because you can't go wrong with the Denon 3808CI! Way to go Denon, you hit one out of the ball park with this one, TOTALLY AWSOME!!
Pros The reciever worked as expected for the first 6 months. It worked with my PS3, HTPC, Sony DVD changer and Popcorn Hour as HDMI inputs and a Wii as an analog input. The night mode (audio compression) helps level volume levels
Cons After 6 months the HDMI output stopped working. The unit has been returned 3 times for repair the first 2 times not resolving the issue. I am waiting for the unit to be returned now.
Summary The reciever does not fail to deliver when it is working. I am disappointed in Denon's abilty to repair their product. Considering that the main reason I purchased the unit was for the HDMI switching feature; the unit is a giant brick until repaired.3rd time was a charm. I have a feeling they ended up replacing the entire unit and putting the old S/N on the new reciever. Lets hope it lasts.
Updated on Feb 10, 2009
Overall I would say the reciever is 4-1/2 stars but the repair process was painful.
Pros Good power, great sound, good input options.
Cons Set up a bit geeky, remote is not your friend
Summary I have had the Denon AVR-3808ci for about 2 months and have been very pleased with the receiver. It is the center of my entertainment system, which consists of a Pioneer Kuro PDP-5080HD plasma TV, DirecTV HR-21 HD-DVR, Apple TV 160 GB, and Paradigm in-ceiling 5.1 surround speakers (the in-ceiling speakers keep my decorator, She Who Must Be Obeyed, happy). I use this to watch HD TV, movies and shows on the Apple TV, and listen to music via the Apple TV....this last is no doubt overkill with this receiver. I still have 2 HDMI inputs left for BluRay, a game console, or whatever I may decide on in the future.
Setup is easy. I agree with other posters that the Audessey setup improves the "out of box" sound. I did find that I could improve it a bit more with some tweaking of the subwoofer crossover settings, which may reflect my atypical speaker setup. The setup does take a while. What doesn't take long is the connections. Hook up the speakers (banana plugs would speed this up, but I was too lazy), plug in your HDMI inputs, plug in your HDMI output, and you're good to go. I guess it shows that I haven't bought a receiver since 1989, huh? HDMI hookups are simple, but, from my reading, these set ups can be tricky. The Denon has been flawless in HDMI switching...zero problems. This does not seem to be the case with other receivers.
I'm not audiophile enough to really describe the sound, although I find it to be excellent. The setup options are vast.
1. The included remote is not very useful, except during setup. I use a Logitech Harmony, which works very well after a bit of tweaking.
2. Be careful where you purchase this unit. Denon only honors their warranty if you purchase from an approved dealer, and they list these dealers on their website. Not all dealers to the upper right are Denon-approved...
3. I haven't hooked up the ethernet connections yet, but plan to do so this weekend. I will update this review when I have done this.
Pros Music Quality Top Notch, Surround Sound Awesome, Network Compatible
Cons Slow Component Switching, Sometimes Confusing Setup, Remote is kinda lame
Summary I did alot of research before purchasing this receiver. I like all the features of what this receiver had to offer so I jumped head first and bought it.
I knew there was going to be a learning curve before I got all the functions down but there are still things I feel like I'm missing out on.
The sound quality is top-notch but I have a feeling that i don't have it totally optimized to it's full potential. Switching to and from each setting takes a few seconds too long. The remote is kind of a headache to operate even though I know how to use it. One of my biggest complaints is that i still have a conventional T.V. set. I'm running on a HD Sony Wega 36" with 1080i compadibilty. The problem is, is that this unit is really only meant for new HD flat screens. When I try to watch DVD movies in HD (upconverted) the Denon shrinks down the image using only a small portion of the total screen size. i know I need to upgrade but it would be nice for it to use what's available still.
Things I do like, is the sound quality. The ability to listen to internet radio is one of my favorite features. Movies are so much better now, that I have this unit.
I would love to give this unit a much higher rating (like a 10) but it still needs some work. The manual is decent but it still leaves you a little in the dark when you don't have all the highest end components (DVD, HD, Blu-Ray, Game systems). So my recommendation is, if you plan on buying this receiver make sure all your other components are supporting all the newest technology, otherwise you might feel like me, coming up a bit short and not being able to appreciate all that this unit can do.
Pros Fantastic clear sound, no muddied signals
Plenty of connectivity
Internet radio with ability to add any stream URL
Can have 3 completely independent zones (2 if using 7.1)
runs much cooler than Onkyo; isnt at risk in your cabinets
Cons User interface and menus are annoying, but you rarely have to deal with them
1 remote is completely unintelligable
can have slow reaction times to remote input
pricier than Onkyo (but deals are out there. I paid $600)
Summary You can go to the top level AV reviewers to see it doesn't have the video geek's preferred chipset. It is has also been a consistent top choice of the review sites and I can attest that if you have some decent speakers this will make them sing. I bought mine for audio more than video, but movies (streamed, Bluray, DVD) have been fantastic though I'm no videophile.