Pros LOTS OF CAPABILITIES . 4 hdmi inputs -2 0ut -GUI interface.
Cons A little ahead of its time. Can't enjoy hi def audio via bit stream YET!
Summary Well i finally got my true next generation receiver.I have to admit that cnet definitley help make up my mind when it came to chooseing the right one.I originaly had the yamaha rxv-2600 and i was very happy with it's sound performance but its hdmi features were a little off. the # 1 problem was the hdmi spec was 1.1 only.I was still able listen to PCM sound tracks but it had syncing problems with my hdmi xbox elite via hdmi .An irritateing noise would be produced from the yamaha when trying to listen to sound through hdmi.Problem solved! The denon avr-4308 works flawless with the xbox elite and the ps3.My guess is because the hdmi 1.3 on it is the just more up to date.Anyway set up on the receiver was fairly simple.After i hooked up all my speakers and components i was curious to see the new GUI display denon was raveing about.I will just say that with out a display like this it would be very difficult to set this up.The menu is very slick.When you activate the GUI you can still see and listen to the program on the TV . The menu is categorized very well and should make things alot easier for home theater newbies.performance wise the machine is brilliant. i had the luxery of being able to compare it to a great reiver in the yamaha rx-v2600 and i have to say that in terms of sound i would say there neck and neck.Now in tearms of video features the denon takes the lead and never looks back.It has four HDMI 1.3 inputs More then enough four anyones hi def epuipment. I love the two hdmi outs also .This would be good if you had an lcd and a hi def projector in the same room. I listen to some hi definition radio and thought it sounded great when i actually got a good singnal.I would recommend getting a very good antena so you can enjoy the radio feature.Another feature that i thought was great was being able to listen to internet radio all over the globe through denons own radio website.Its pretty cool to listen to radio in area that you did not know existed. Now in tearms of movie playback performance,The Denon rocked the house.I realy enjoyed watching the film 300 on blueray in 1080i via my PS3. but the best part was the reason why you would want to buy a peice of equipment like this.DOLBY TRUE HD 5.1 or PCM 5.1 movie sound tracks! I would compare them to the difference between stadard def television and hi def television.They just sound fantastic.The down side is,(depending on how you look at it) is that no player sends the hd sound formats via bitsream at the moment so the display on the denon reads muti channel in.thats because all player right now convert the signals to pcm before being sent to the receiver. Just dont dont expect it to say dolby true hd on your shiny new receiver just yet. There should be new players that send the hd sound stracks via bit stream by the end of the year but keep in mind that by doing so you loose the option of enjoying all of the interactive features that blue ray and hd dvd offer.If you want to see them you must let the player do the decodeing. It realy makes no difference which device does the decodeing. IT sounds great either way. Denon once again put out a fantastic receiver and a i can truly recommend it to any one who loves and is serious about his or her home theater center.
Pros Just about everything
Cons Clunky web interface and it all comes at a cost
Summary Over the years I've had a number of excellent hi-fi units and, more recently several AV receivers. The problem with the latter was their good AV sound performance, but relatively poor stereo music performance.
That all changed when, based on reviews and demos, I bought my first Denon a couple of years back -- the AVR 2805. The AV sound performance was outstanding, even without a subwoofer, and the stereo music performance was also excellent. For the first time I had it all in one box.
Unhappy circumstances left me with none of my old kit, so I started shopping for a replacement and settled on the AVR-4308ci.
Honestly, I've only begun to scratch the surface of its extensive capability. However, the most important things to me -- it's audio performance for both home theater and for stereo hi-fi remain outstanding.
The 4308ci adds a third independent zone and also extensive video switching and upscaling capabilities in just about every format and resolution you can think of. Again, with so many features and so much capability, I haven't explored everything.
One main lure was the addition of networking capability -- both wired and 802.11b/g wireless. I have an extensive home LAN with locked-down WPA-2 security and, once configured with the hidden SSID and WPA keys, the Denon connected immediately. More interestingly, my Windows Media Center on my Vista Ultimate PC announced that it had found a network media player and did I want to give permission for it to access the WMP files -- which I did.
Using either one of the two included remote controls, or the Denon's web interface, I was able to stream audio from MP3 and WMA files stored on my PC. I was also able to play Internet-based radio directly through the Denon (without the PC). I still haven't explored how the Denon gets its list of Internet streams but it may have something to do with the Denon 'vTuner' Internet site which I haven't had time to investigate yet.
My biggest complaint so far is the clunky, awkward and somewhat buggy web interface. Although the various displays and page layouts are pretty intuitive, the navigation is not -- pages lack a 'home' or return link for example forcing you to use the back key on the browser. Also, when you select the 'net audio' link from one of the zone control pages, it launches in another tab and the interaction between the pages is awkward -- almost like they're fighting with each other for control of the receiver. I've also had problems trying to stop a stream in progress -- this seems inconsistent.
No doubt the issues will be fixed in fireware released to come, but still they detract from an otherwise great product.
Having said that, I'm very pleased overall and look forward to exploring the AVR-4308ci features in depth and enjoying my sound and video library output in high quality.
Pros Good Sound and Vision
Cons Poor remote, wished it had more HDMi inputs
Summary The DENON 4308CI is one of the best receivers I've used so far in the past 20 years. Being an audio enthusiast and hobbyist myself, i am an extremely satisfied user of this great product. I believe this is the only receiver which has Satellite radio+HD radio+internet radio in one unit. THe Sound and Vision off this unit is also exceptional. 4 HDMI in and 2 out will handle most of the components. I have a Bluray+PS3 doing 1080P, Sat TV etc all hooked up using HDMIs and it's the perfect setup. Ample audio output (140W/Ch on all channels is also a + point).
Internet Radio is something which made me curious to explore..years back when we were all streaming using our PC's, the sound quality was the real turnoff. So i decided to play around with this unit with the same mind set. I was wrong! the quality of some of the foreign stations received here in the US (like from France, Russia and great Indian music from India and UK) was excellent. This would really help when shortwave radio reception is poor and with access to 100's of stations, you can listen to your taste! HD radio and XM is also great!
The only drawback was its remote which is cryptic and takes time getting used to. Overall an excellent receiver, sound and vision wise! Great Job Denon
Pros Sound quality aside, everything works beautifully. Lots of really useful features.
Cons Sound quality is completely unnacceptable for this price range.
Summary I must preface this posting by saying I am not some 2 channel snob that's not happy unless I have inneficient, buzzy tubes etc.. I have been selling Denon for years, and for basic surround duties they have always been OK. Now more and more we are trying to incorporate solid 2 channel listening into the home theater environment. I also sell Sunfire, Bryston, Parasound, Onkyo etc. I thought that when you spend $2500 on a receiver it should at least give average two channel performance. WRONG. Terribly harsh, gritty, and sibilant with a condensed soundstage. Surely it would be better in preamp duties with an external amp you ask? Yes. Slightly. The desire to make this receiver sound dynamic and super treble heavy to draw the average joe (that doesn't realize his ears will bleed after a few days of subjecting himself to it), has ruined what should have been a solid performer. By the way, we used to get away with using 3805s and 3806s for preamps. what happened? Anyway, hope this helps. If you want it for Blu Rays, the new uncompressed formats it supports sound OK, especially with the Audyssey properly calibrated. But, if you want to do some music listening, you should loook elsewhere.
Pros A single box/hdmi set up
Cons Sound quality
Summary The instruction is poorly written. The remote does not always work. The worst part is the sound quality. Virtually no mid range. The unit needs plenty of cooling room beause it runs hot be careful where you place it. I have had horrible luck in getting the HD radio to hold a signal even with an outboard antenna.