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Audio/video Receiver Line Fine-tuned to Custom Integrators' Needs

Aug 6, 2007 12:00 PM


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The me-too audio/video receiver just got an overhaul. Denon Electronics has revamped its complete receiver line for the first time in 10 years, from the flagship powerhouse down to the entry-level model, adding 21st century features including Wi-Fi, USB slots, HD Radio, and multiple HDMI 1.3a inputs and outputs. Custom installers take note: The top five models are labeled CI for special features and capabilities geared specifically toward custom integrators.

Leading the pack is the reference-grade AVR-5308CI ($5,199), which packs a who’s who of high-end features including the Silicon Optix Realta chipset. The 5308CI is the first audio/video receiver to boast Silicon Optix’s high-end processor, which promises advanced video processing of all sources—including analog—up to 1080p resolution.

The AVR-5308CI, slated for December delivery, and the AVR-4308CI ($2,499) also allow for second-zone video output via component with onscreen display for metadata from iPod XM radio and streaming audio. The AVR-3808CI ($1,599) uses composite to perform the same functions. Gearing for the future, all new models from the entry-level AVR-1508 to the flagship AVR-5308CI can handle 1080p signals with Deep Color via HDMI.

For installers, the top three models in the line include Ethernet jacks while the AVR-5308CI and AVR-4308CI add Wi-Fi connectivity. Both network protocols enable integrators to diagnose, correct, update, and perform remote maintenance without the need for a truck roll. In the case of error or lost settings, the integrator can remotely restore all of a system’s settings from the office. In addition, all CI models include “Secret CI Modes,” a feature set for certified Denon integrators which allows them to lock out certain settings so that customers can’t accidentally alter them. Other custom-friendly features throughout the line include RS-232 and assignable high-current DC trigger outputs.

The top four Denon receiver models feature three-zone, three-source capability, with the next three delivering dual-zone, dual-source functionality. The top two models sport discrete and independent tuners for AM/FM, XM, and HD radio.

Also part of the new Denon lineup is the company’s first universal remote control system. Due in August, the remote is designed to offer multi-room control of an audio/video system without the cost of additional components or networking products. The system includes the RC-7000CI IR/RF remote control ($299) and RC-7001RCI RF/IR remote base ($199).

When used independently, the RC-7000CI allows for universal command and control of all Denon remote-controlled products as well as products from other manufacturers. Users can connect the remote to a PC via USB and program the functions of all products in their system using an online infrared database.

When used with the RC-7001RCI remote base, the ZigBee-based RC-7000CI enables two-way communication and IR functionality, with the RC-7001RCI serving as an RF repeater. The system can accommodate up to 16 RC-7000CI remote controls and corresponding base units. The RC-7001RCI also packs an IR blaster. Up to six IR flashers can be connected to convert RF signals into IR codes for connected devices.



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