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Denon S-101 DVD Home Entertainment System (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

3.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
About the Product
  • System features two speaker panels, PC-sized subwoofer, DVD player, and remote control
  • On-screen guide helps switch between functions, position speakers, and more
  • System connects to and controls your iPod for easy access to stored music and photos
  • 100-watt subwoofer delivers crisp sound
  • Progressive-scan DVD loads in less than 20 seconds
This item’s packaging will indicate what is inside and cannot be hidden.

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Product Description

Product Description

Life may seem difficult but Home-Theater is easy with the Denon S-101 Virtual-Surround Sound System. All you have to do is connect the speakers to the subwoofer, connect the subwoofer to the control center, connect the control center to the TV, and plug the subwoofer into a power outlet. No wires to run all over your room, no complicated connections. The speakers come with table stands, or you can wall-mount them for an elegant, space-saving setup a perfect complement to today's flat-panel TVs. This streamlined system offers crisp DVD playback and uses Dolby Virtual Speaker technology to create room-filling sound with just two speakers and a subwoofer. You get remarkably simple setup and operation, along with some special conveniences like a front-panel connection that lets you play and control your iPod or an MP3 or other Digital Media Player. iPod compatibility can control and charge iPod (connect using supplied cable) / Compatible with docking iPods (not compatible with iPod Shuffle) Analog miniplug for MP3 and DigitalMedia player connectivity Connections - 1 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio input / 1 optical digital audio output / 2 audio/video inputs (composite and S-video) / Video output for TV (composite, S-video, 480i/480p component video) / Selectable progressive-scan mode for smoother video with HD-compatible TVs (via the component video output) / Composite-to-S-video, S-video-to-composite, composite-to-component, and S-video-to-component video conversion 2 Video shielded 2-way speakers Subwoofer with 8 Driver 50 Watts RMS per channel x 2 Channels 100 Watts dedicated to subwoofer iPod and USB Docking Port


The Denon S-101 is a rock-solid DVD home-theater system that's easy to set up, easy to use, and easy on the eyes. But what really sets it apart from other systems in its class is its ability to bring a very big sound -- and even big pictures -- out of Apple's tiny iPod.

The attractive S-101 home-theater DVD system delivers big sound and big pictures -- even from a tiny iPod. View larger.

Shoebox-sized DVD player takes up very little room. View larger.

Back panel includes plenty of inputs and outputs for all your home-theater component needs. View larger.

Handy, well-designed remote control. View larger.
The first thing you'll see upon opening the box is Denon's language-free quick-start guide, which breaks set-up into seven easy, illustrated steps. We were able to get to a DVD menu within about 10 minutes of cracking the tape seal on our box. The system is comprised of two speaker panels (including hardware for table or wall mounting), a desktop PC-sized subwoofer, the player, a remote, and all the connections you'll need for a basic video set-up. The player itself is about the size of a shoebox (15-by-4-by-10 inches) and includes inputs and outputs for composite, S-video, component, and optical connections. Three auxiliary ports allow you to add game systems, disc writers, or other home-theater components.

To finish the set-up, the remote's help button summons an awesome on-screen guide to help with everything from switching between DVD and audio functions to positioning the speakers. The remote is well designed; the most frequently used buttons sit in uncluttered arrangement while specialty buttons and a number pad hide behind an access door underneath. Play, pause, track, search, and volume buttons glow in the dark and are easy to feel--a must-have while watching movies in a darkened home theater.

The most interesting feature of this system, however, is its connectivity to the Apple iPod. More than just playing music, the S-101 can actually control the device through the system's remote and allow you to browse music files or watch iPod photos on your TV -- all while recharging your iPod's battery. The system even includes a stereo miniplug port for connecting other digital music players.

Audio from the unit is outstanding. The system puts out a crisp sound, even at ear-splitting volume, thanks largely to the 100-watt subwoofer. Denon eschewed the myriad cords of satellite speakers in favor of Dolby's Virtual Speaker technology, which was designed to create a virtual sound field using only two front speakers. The effect is quite nice once it's fine-tuned with the on-screen audio set-up, but we found it lacking the fine spatial details of 5.1 surround-sound systems. Note that it also lacks the complicated set-up and wiring of those systems, which makes for a more even trade off.

The S-101 has at its heart a progressive-scan DVD player that loads commercial DVDs in about 19 seconds and recordable DVDs in about 21 seconds. A little bit of DVD spin noise leaks out of the top air vent, but placing the unit in a cabinet or a bookshelf could easily baffle the sound. The unit's ability to tune radio and play Kodak picture CDs makes the S-101 a bit like the Swiss Army knife of digital entertainment.

It's not without some faults, however. We were able to play MP3 and Windows Media (WMA) files from a data CD-R that was burned through Windows Media 9, but another data CD-R burned with Roxio software was unrecognizable to the system--even though the disc had been verified in Windows XP, Macintosh OS X, and an older, low-end KLH disc player. We were pleased to see the system's FM tuner supports Radio Data System (RDS)--a way of sending station identification and other snippets of information over standard FM waves--in its front panel display, but it neglects to use that same display to convey song IDs from digital music files being played. To see song titles, you must turn on the TV. --Porter B. Hall

What's in the Box
Player, left and right front speakers, subwoofer, remote control unit, iPod cable, AM and FM radio antennae, speaker stands, speaker wall brackets, instructions, warranty, system cables, RCA-type component video cable.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 64.4 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000AZ925Y
  • Item model number: Denon S-101
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,931 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Camblor on September 5, 2006
Verified Purchase
Under entirely different circumstances, I would have agreed wholeheartedly with the two other reviews posted for the Denon S101 DVD Home Theater. While the product works, the picture and sound are wonderful, the units are compact and a joy to look at.

But something has happened after a few months of owning my S101 which is making me rethink my opinion of it as a product and of Denon in general.

First, the remote control died. I tried changing the batteries, but to no avail. Then, one fine day, my unit simply stopped turning on. The little red light ring around the "Power" button would shine, but there was no way of powering up the unit, either by pressing the button or by using the remote control.

I called Denon a couple of times to ask about sending the unit in for inspection and warranty service (remember, I had only owned it for less than half a year). Those phone calls involved my spending some very irksome half hours on hold, listening to tinned Haydn and Vivaldi and automated messages. On a third attempt, I managed to get a real human being by hitting "0". I finally got instructions as to what I had to do to get my S101 looked at.

I spent $75 to send the unit to Denon via UPS for warranty service. The unit was repaired and sent back to me before two weeks were up.

My happiness with this first outcome wouldn't last very long. Next thing you know, the S101 is dead once again. I try e-mailing and calling Denon about it. It takes some doing--days of doing, in fact, for me to get another human being on the phone, who arranges for UPS to pick up the system at my home and promises me satisfaction, apologizing profusely for the many phone calls I had to make and e-mails I had to write to get some service.
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This is the last piece of Denon stereo equipment I will ever buy. Bought mine last February. It quit working in July and has been in for repair ever since. They have told the dealer 5-6 different dates for the part ETA. Finally the dealer contacted the rep who then gave them a new replacement part number and requested that they order that. I about went through the roof. This could be the best sounding stereo on the planet but I would never know since it has been in for repair for so long. I have a pretty high level of tolerance and understanding. I have had things break early in ownership before but never have I had such and issue getting something repaired. The sad things is it has been out so long the I finally bought a replacement, if i ever get it back it will go up for sale as I am tired of dealing with the headaches.

Update. I got it back after being in the shop for 6 months. I was bound and determined to sell it after getting it back but for what I would probably get out if it ($300) I might as well keep it as anything in that price range does not sound as good or have the features. My only advise to buyers is to take or send the unit to and Authorized service center if there are any issues. I bought the unit from a big box retail store that is Authorized to sell the units but evidently not and authorized service center so if they need parts they have to go through a 3rd party.
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I have ALWAYS LOVED Denon products, especially their receivers. When I was looking for a bedroom system, I spotted this thing for $500 at the local retailer (which was 50% off). I almost ripped my wallet trying to get my plastic out! I brought it home and it sounded AWESOME after some minor fine tuning. I am an audio nut, so I knew better than to expect surround from 2 speakers, but it was definitely stereo on sterroids. In comparison to everything else, sound was a landslide better (esp better than Bose) Well here I am a year and 35 days later - just barely out of warranty - and I have a blown speaker. After reading all the disastrous reviews, I'm not even going to bother with it. I've changed out the speakers to a pair of old Polk satellites (which seem to survive anything) and life will go on until something else breaks. As of now, I'm FURIOUS with Denon and my days with the main unit working are probably numbered.

My review (as of now) makes more bad reviews than good. Take that as a hint from an audio nut who's worked in the industry for quite a while.
Avoid this product!
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I also purchased this unit with the intention that it was trouble free--But what a surprise. I didnt believe others as to it failability and numerous problems--but after 5 monthes it happened to me. This unit failed not only mechanically but the company and its representitives as well. I am sick and tired of retuning this unit {3 times } and getting it back to work for a little while. You would think a respected company would care for its customers and correct things to their satisfaction----DO NOT BUY this unit it only brings TROUBLE
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Verified Purchase
I wanted a simple integrated system for my 2nd tv, a 35" Vizio LCD. I have exclusively used Denon receivers for years, and was excited to see this product. I ordered it and was blown away by the intelligent design and functionality.

First, set-up is a breeze even for a novice. I was glad to see Denon included a high-quality progressive scan DVD player, and that the receiver has hi-def output in the form of component (red, blue, green). It as several aux inputs, and can handle a digital optical or coax input from another source. The heart of the system is actually in the subwoofer, which makes most of the cords stay hidden in the corner.

By far the coolest feature of the unit is its integrated Ipod functionality. Just plug your Ipod in with the included cord, and you will see the familiar Ipod menu screen on your TV. Then, just use the extremely intuitive Denon remote to control you Ipod as you would with the actual Ipod itself (it doesn't have the same wheel, but it is extremely easy to use). In seconds you are jamming to your entire music library without having to do any loading of songs (as with the Bose system).

The remote itself is awesome, as all the necessary buttons are on the front, very large, and in the right place. If you want to monkey with settings, the back opens up for the more technical buttons. This helps avoid the dreaded scenario where a child manages to change all kinds of settings playing the remote control game.

The sounds itself is good, not great. Tons of powerful base, it does very well for the average movie. By no means is it comperable to a true 5.1 soundstage with 5 or 6 speakers, but then that system costs thousands more. I'll put it this way, it sounds better than you would expect.

All in all this is about the best design I have ever seen in computer electronics. The Ipod interface and remote make you wonder why everyone else produces such complex systems.
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