"Nearly perfect"on by mattutter
Pros Power, sound, build-quality and connections
Cons HDMI/HDCP issues with Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
Summary I researched this receiver for a while before purchasing and it's everything CNET said it would be and more. Setup can be a bit challenging unless you have some basic knowledge. Denon support was very helpful whenever I have called them. Sound quality in my 5.1 application was noticeably better after setting up the Audyssey MultEQxt Room EQ. (That process took about 45 minutes with the included microphone but made a huge difference in sound quality, speaker level, crossover, etc.)
Like most people, I am working through HDMI/HDCP issues with my local cable company and am currently unable to use the HDMI upconversion from cable box to receiver.
"So far so good..."on by Grady001
Pros Works well with all of my components
Cons Internal Temperature gets very hot, shuts down
Summary I have a Panasonic 58" plasma, Tivo HD DVR (with two Time Warner cable cards inserted), Sony DVP-NC85H DVD player, external XM Radio from Pioneer, KEF KHT3005 speakers. All work flawlessly. I get all my basic and premium cable channels with no issues.
I have the Tivo & CD player HDMI cables plugged into the Denon HDMI inputs 1 & 2, and the HDMI out from the Denon into the HDMI in on the TV. I still have an extra HDMI input that I can use for another component.
I also use the Harmony 880 universal remote. I can control all components with the Harmony. I can control most not all of the functions on the Denon with the 880. The most important for me is power on/off, switching inputs and volume control, all of which I can do with the 880. Makes life so much easier
The only issue I have is that the Denon gets so hot. It kept shutting off after about 10 minutes. I had it sitting in the BDI AVion 8529 entertainment center. There are plenty of ventilation slats built into this furniture but not enough for the Denon. I currently have it sitting on a very secure stool. Since I took it out of the BDI it stays on but is very hot. I don't like to have my components out since I have animals, so I am going to try a small fan in the BDI and see if that works.
Any suggestions are more than welcome.
Setting up the Denon was not too difficult. You can get very detailed in the configuration and I thought the instruction manual was very thorough. The on screen system setup menus come up on my TV so that made it a lot easier.
All in all, I would definitely buy the AVR-4306 again even at the high ticket price.
Pros Best sound for under $2000, 3 HDMI, and network audio
Cons Setup can be confusing
Summary I have this receiver matched with a Denon DVD-2930ci, and the sound and picture they deliver together is truly phenomenal. I auditioned several other receivers in this price range, including the Yamaha RX-V2700 and the Pioneer Elite VSX-84TXSI (plus a Sony or two). Nothing even came close to the pure, transparent sound of the Denon.
I originally bought the AVR-3806, but the lack of a third HDMI port made me rethink. I would say the audio quality between the 3806 and 4306 is pretty much the same to my ears, but I can crank the stereo just a little louder now. I noticed that during a particularly bass-heavy track from Moby the amplifier shut off to protect itself (that was with the 3806), which is always nice to have. I'd rather have to turn the amp back on than send a square wave to my speakers. Mind you I had the sound obnoxiously loud when this happened, and it was purely for experimental reasons!
Another reason I chose this over the 3806 is the video upscaling feature. The 3806 does HDMI switching, but it will not do scaling of video. The 4306 upscales to 1080i very nicely. The quality of the scaling was excellent as well. I played the War of the Worlds DVD on both the Denon 2930 and a decent Toshiba DVD player to see how well the receiver would scale the video. The 2930 uses a Silicon Optics processor to output 1080p, which I must say is amazing. Hard to tell you're not watching a Blu-ray disc. Anyway, the 4306's scaling did an excellent job of outputting the video at 1080i. Not quite as good as the 2930, but a huge leap over just watching the DVD through the 3806.
One of the features that I was most interested in was the network audio. I have a very large collection of high-quality MP3's that I ripped from my CD collection, and I wanted to be able to play those directly from the receiver without adding a separate component. I have been using a Slim Networks player for years now, and it does a great job of streaming audio, but it doesn't have an on-screen menu. I have a 60" Sony TV, and I like to be able to see what I am doing without having to walk over to the stereo cabinet and peer at the very small text on the Slim player. The 4306 does have an on-screen display for the network audio, and the responsiveness of the display is acceptable. Not fast by any measure, but enough not to drive me crazy. What was disappointing is that do access my MP3 collection I needed to install Windows Media Player 11 and load my entire collection into it, then set the "share library" feature. I still haven't managed to get that to work right, and I was really hoping that I could just point the 4306 to my network drive, but it is not to be. If I ever get the collection online I'll be happy, but I may just forgo that functionality and get a separate product to handle it (hopefully one that doesn't require me to run a Windows box all the time).
Overall, though, I couldn't be happier with the 4306. More than enough power to shake the house while maintaining crystal-clear sound. Remember that all the HDMI inputs in the world doesn't matter a bit if the sound is muddy. Skip the Yamaha and Pioneer and try this one out.
Pros HDMI switching and upconversion from component and other sources
Cons Primitive on-screen display and menu navigation
Summary I have not yet had an opportunity to put this receiver through its paces, as I just finished setting it up and doing some basic testing. I was eager to post at least a limited review to be sure people know that the HDMI problems that some other users have complained about are not present on my unit. I have a high-definition DVR from Dish Network, and I have it connected via HDMI to the receiver, and the receiver connects to my home theather projector via HDMI. No problems to report.
Setup is slightly clumsy due to a primitive menu and navigation process, but the manual has a good schematic to show the flow of the menu options, along with page references for details on each feature set accessed through the menu.
HDMI on-screen display is far from seamless, since any video signal one is watching gets abruptly interrupted and the on-screen display from the receiver shows up instead. Since this process interrupts the flow of data to the video monitor, it can take a few seconds for the monitor to detect and lock onto the new signal for the on-screen display from the receiver to show up and for the video content to return when done with the receiver's menu functions. But I am happy to have HDMI switching and upcoversion, and I could not really expect the receiver to do a semi-opaque overlay of its menu.
One consumer reviewer lamented in his review the fact that there is no line level output suitable for connecting wireless headphones. This is not completely true. First, there is a headpone jack, of course. And while on the back of the receiver there is no line level output that says "Plug in wireless headphones here," I quickly found a workaround for my own wireless headphones: the secondary zone output can be used for sending any audio source--including the one playing in the primary zone--to that line-level output. Problem solved. I did discover, though, that HDMI audio would not get passed along this way, so I had to plug in a secondary set of analog left and right audio cables from my high-def satellite DVR to the receiver and then send that input through to the zone into which I had connected my wireless headphone transmitter.
The remote control would be tough to see in bright lighting, but many will not have a problem, since this sort of receiver is likely to be installed in dedicated theater rooms in many instances, where lighting is controlled.
I look forward to getting better acquainted with this beast of a receiver in the weeks ahead.
"SIMPLY SUPERB!"on by mukhta
Pros AWESOME CONNECTIVITY AND EXCELLENT AUDIOPHILE SOUND QUALITY
Cons UNFRIENDLY MANUAL, IPOD CONNECTOR CABLE NOT INCLUDED,SPEAKER POSTS NEED IMPROVEMENT
Summary This is a fantastic A/V receiver.
Sound quality is on par with my denon 5800 (used in another location).
My set up for the 4306 is as follows:
dvd: denon 3910
display: samsung hp-s5053
speakers: definitive technology mythos4 (fronts) mythos 3(center), mythos gems (rears), mythos super cube 2 (subwoofer)
digital cable receiver.
zone 2 : speakercraft mt1 (in wall)
In all aspects sound quality is superb.This set up has a sweeter tonal balance than systems costing much more.
You will not be dissapointed with the 4306.
I have not had any "HDMI" issues in 3 months of use.
Go ahead and put this on your :"Must have before I die list!!"