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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
I have been waiting a while for "the perfect receiver". However, I have come to the conclusion that this is as close to perfect as I am going to find for my needs right now. I am using all 4 HDMI inputs (PS3, Oppo 980H, Directv HR20, and a Sony Vaio computer). The Denon has worked flawlessly with SACD, DVD-A, and lossless audio sources from my BluRay movies.

For sound quality, it is important to get the speakers setup properly. Denon's auto setup with the included mic makes this a very simple setup. I have heard that it helps to take measurements from all over the room, so I setup 5 listening locations. The sound quality is fantastic. I do have an spl meter, but I have not had it out to fine tune the setup just yet. It already sounds fantastic. The Oppo has the ability to send out a DSD multi-channel signal for its SACD and these sound fantastic on the Denon.

I am not really using the video upscaler very much since most of the signals I am inputting are already HD. In other words, the Denon mainly sends out the signals untouched, so it is hard to complain.

The ability to update the firmware over the internet connection is what I believe sets this receiver apart from the competition. For me, this was the deciding factor. With all of the new tech in these receivers, I do not want to have to carry the thing into a service location every time it needs an update.

I should mention that I played some music coming from my computer using the network interface and it worked okay. It did take a few seconds to retrieve license information for Yahoo Music DRM files, but I bet they improve on that in the future.

The downsides are small, but should be mentioned. The remote is okay for setting up the system, but it is going into a drawer with my other remotes now that I have my Harmony 880 universal programmed for all of the general functions that I need. Also, the GUI takes some getting used to. I like the ability to rename the inputs and choose what video inputs go with the audio inputs. However, it was not something that I picked up and setup in a few minutes. It is better than my old Denon AVR-3300, so at least they are going in the right direction!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
I bought this receiver because it has 4 HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. The back side seems spartan with only 4 HDMI cables and one subwoofer cable attached, and now I don't have any use for a half dozen sets of high quality RCA cables!

The sound quality and video upconversion of this receiver are superb. The new GUI interface is aesthetically pleasing, but some actions are several menus deep, and it is difficult to navigate and find exactly what you're looking for. This receiver is not for the technically challenged. It is a little difficult to set up, and you really do need to have a TV hooked up for the programming.

After living for a few years with a $200 receiver, I'm amazed at the sound details I've been missing.....it's great to have a high quality AVR again!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2007
Verified Purchase
Once set up the performance and operation is all that could be desired with two exceptions.
1-When using this with a DVD player and D-link to send SACD signals in DSD format to the AVR, the unit takes a while to recognize which signal format is being sent. It can take a couple of attempts to play the SACD before the two units talk to each other. Sometimes while this is going on the DSD signal is routed to analog resulting in loud while noise that could damage speakers.
2- There must be a less intuitive user friendly remote control unit somewhere but I don't know where it might be. I does perform all the functions it should --- once you figure it out. The user guide is of some help.

Now the good stuff. There are an amazing number of devices that can connecr to this besides the usual phone and disk players (XM radio, iPod, USB drives (MPO3, WAV, WMF files), internet radio. There are even recorder outputs although the tape monitor of old is no more.

The most impressive feature for me is the auto setup and room EQ. I've spent a lot of time and effort doing this manually with other products. I was dubious about the feature but the Denon gets better results than I ever could even with SPL meters, RTA etc. I've never heard a sub-woofer integrated with the main speakers this well. The software must get the distance and delays and phase difference just right as the imaging turned out better that I would have thought my motley collection of speaker capable.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2008
I have had this unit for 9 months now and really like it, but its sort of a love/hate relationship. First the love: the unit has excellent sound with my Klipsch RB-61 speaker system and has a very nice easy to use menu system. Setup was a piece of cake with the Audyssey calibration too, but there is hate: The remote. I still haven't figured out the advanced features and the biggest issue is it isn't compatible with Sony. I also have the DirecTV DVR, Sony Blueray BDP-S500 and XBR5. Every now and then, probably only once or twice during a movie the Denon blanks for a few seconds and resyncs itself. Calling Denon support they blame the Sony TV, but when connecting the DVR or Blueray directly to the XBR5 I never have the problem. I've tried countless sets of cables but to no avail and Denon has nothing to say. If the unit worked with my TV I would give it 5-stars, but for now its a love / hate relationship.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2007
Denon's 3808CI has outstanding build quality, a new easy to use GUI, and the latest and greatest in HDMI switching. I am using it to run my Aperion Audio 633T's, 632LR's, 634VAC center, and a Aperion 12" powered sub. The power from the Denon is more than enough to drive these speakers to levels that require ear protection, yet with no clipping or distortion. Denon has a reputation for making bulletproof AV receivers, and this one is no exception. I highly recommend it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2008
This unit is the real deal. It provides the granularity a semi-technical person will inevitably want. Other AVRs sound just as good, but the cutomization and outstanding GUI is the difference, and the video scaling is solid. The negative posts I see regarding the genesis chip are not from those who own this product. This thing runs rather cool compared to what I have observed with competitors such as the Onkyo 875. And for those who are hung up on THX certification; look at any of the high end speakers, THX is rarely even mentioned as a variable. Not to mention, who really has a THX certified room...good luck with that!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 31, 2008
[Before purchasing this receiver I highly recommend going to the Denon web site and downloading the user manual]

I am using this receiver in our bedroom for TV and music. I purchased after weeks of careful study. It was a close call between this unit and the Yamaha RX-V3800BL Yamaha RX-V3800BL 7.1-Channel Network Home Theater Receiver (Black), but the Denon won out for the following reasons: (1) Yamaha made me register with them to download the manual (2) The Denon has better video upscaling (3) In October Denon is supposed to release a firmware update which will add HDMI-CEC support, a feature I really like. If this had been primarily a music system, or if I didn't need to up-scale my standard def satellite box, the Yamaha might have won out.

As the Internet will tell you, the main remote which comes with this unit is annoying to use, and I am expecting to receive a Denon RC-7000CI two-way remote from Amazon sometime today. (NOTE: You need the RF unit (RC-7001RCI) if you want the two-way feature to work.) From downloading the manual for this remote I suspect that it is being outsourced from Universal Remote. It is PC programmable, and I hope it will be a good controller for my 3808 and my other home theater components. I will post a review on it when I know more.

I am a very technical person so factor that in to the following. Initial setup was fairly straightforward and was done with very little reference to the manual. I did have to restart the receiver to get the network to come up. While it is easy to get a little lost in the menu system, there isn't anything that is overwhelmingly obscure, and after a couple of weeks of use it becomes less of an issue.

When my son and I first set the receiver up we were a little unhappy with how unstable it was. Too many lock-ups, especially when controlling the receiver over the web with my Mac. Updating to the latest firmware has greatly improved stability, and made some small refinements in the interface. Also, I lost my OSD until I fully powered down the unit and powered it back up.

Things I like:
Internet Radio (but then I like shortwave radio too)
Nice Upscaling
Flexible Configuration and Labeling
Web Interface (wish all my components had this)
RS-232
Phono Input
XM
Functional auxiliary remote

Things My Wife likes:
iPod Interface

Things I don't like:
Miserable main remote
XM User Interface Needs Work
GUI could be better

What's Missing:
HD Radio
3D (9.1)
HDMI-CEC (promised in October, and I'm naively counting on them to keep their word)
NOTE: HDMI-CEC currently passes through, so my TV and other components CEC just fine, it is just that the Denon ignores it all.

Most Amusing Feature:
Has a jack for Denon's $500 cat-5 cable Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable. Fortunately I don't need this feature, so I don't have to figure out if this is just a plain old cat-5, or if it has some sort of non-standard pinout. (I know if you have other Denon equipment this may be a nice feature, but you have to poke fun at that cable)

My Setup:

Samsung 40A750 (CEC supported) Samsung LN40A750 40-Inch 1080p DLNA LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color

Denon AVR-3808CI (CEC planned)

Denon RC-7000CI two-way remote Denon RC-7000CI IR/RF Remote Control

RF unit Denon RC-7001RCI RF/IR Remote Base Station for the RC-7000CI Remote Control

XM mini-tuner (Integrated with AVR)

iPod Interface (Denon ASD-1RBK iPod Docking Station (Black Finish)
(NOTE: You probably should just buy the basic iPod interface. As I understand it, the wired networkable interface Denon ASD-3N iPod/Network Connectivity Client Dock (Black) and the wireless Denon ASD-3N iPod/Network Connectivity Client Dock with Wifi (Black) duplicate some of the functionality of the receiver.
(If anyone knows otherwise, please leave a comment and I will correct my review - thanks)

Panasonic DVD Recorder (CEC supported) Panasonic DMR-EZ28K 1080p Upconverting DVD Recorder with Built In Tuner

Samsung BD-UP5000 HD/Blu-Ray (CEC supported)
Samsung BD-UP5000 1080p HD-DVD Blu-Ray Disc Combo Player

Boston Acoustics MCS 130 5.1 Speaker System Boston Acoustics Horizon Series MCS130 5.1-Channel Surround Speaker System (Black)

Boston Acoustics MCS 130 Additional Surround (x2) Boston Acoustics MCS 130 Surround Single add-on rear-channel satellite speaker for MCS 130 system Midnight

Apple-TV (CEC Not Supported - time for an update to HDMI 1.3a/CEC capable product Apple!) Apple TV with 160GB Hard Drive - MB189LL/A

Load Balanced Dual DSL (CEC N/A) Netgear FVX538 ProSafe VPN Firewall 200

(I've exceeded Amazon's silly 10 product link limit, so you'll have to cut and paste the last few if you want to view the items - sorry)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2009
We upgraded from a Yamaha RXV-1070 to move into the HDTV world last year ago when this receiver was released. It has been an excellent choice. The receiver has allowed us to simplify the set up by connecting all our components - from cable box to the old turntable - to the receiver with just one simple HDMI output to the plasma HDTV (for video only). The receiver is able to automatically set the parameters for each device - from the 5.1 channel sound for the HD channels to stereo sound for the turntable. It does an outstanding job of upscaling the picture from our old Sony DVD player to our HDTV's 1080p resolution. The sound is fantastic thanks to the Audyssey microphone that recognizes the speaker setup and optimizes it automatically for all viewing / listening positions. The Internet connection allows for all software upgrades to keep the system current. The connection is however very slow when it accesses music on the Internet or on our PC with a long lag between the command and the action. The remotes are complex and consequently, you cannot realize the full potential of all the features unless you are technophile [hence the one star penalty!]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2008
Pros:
1. The on-screen menu is easy to use, and all settings can be controlled from it.
2. The networking functionality is excellent. Once you get it working, you will love this feature.
3. The USB connection is great as well. Get an 8-16GB USB key, place your MP3 files on it, and enjoy. It even has random play!
4. Full 1080p looks flawless, and the units ability to upscale is excellent. Any video source is going to be served well with this unit.
5. 4 HDMI connections

Cons:
1. Not really a con per say, but this receiver is definitely aimed at the video crowd. While music sounds great, the real power with this receiver lies in its video.
2. The auto speaker calibration. It did a fair job, but in the end, I took the time and did it myself. Not really that difficult if you are patient.
3. The remote. It is not terrible, but you will be getting an all-in-one in short order.

However, none of these cons would keep me from buying this unit again. It is hard to beat the price with this feature set.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2008
I received my 3808CI last week. What a great value! When I was younger I worked as a sound engineer and even though I have moved on professionally since then I have always chosen my audio equipment with an emphasis on quality and value - bang for the buck. I found myself wanting a new AV receiver with lots of HDMI inputs after setting up a high definition video system. The 3808CI sure fits the bill.

What impresses me most, aside from all of the flexibility and internet features, is the quality of the sound. Plenty of power, very clean, with the wonderful Audysey automated EQ software. This unit as far as I am concerned is the best value on the market.
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