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Denon AVR-1911 - Connectivity and Setup

By Danny Phillips

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

On the back, the socket selection is fine but not quite as abundant as we expected for the money. You get four HDMI inputs and a monitor output, which is great news for owners of multiple HD sources, but you only get a single set of component inputs and no outputs, plus two composite inputs and one output. On the audio side, the choice of two digital audio inputs (one coaxial, one optical) is unusually limited too, although the five analogue inputs should suffice for the rest of your audio kit.

The speaker terminals for all seven channels use binding posts, not springclips for some channels like the Pioneer VSX-520, while the surround back terminals can be used to send a separate stereo signal to a second zone. There are aerial sockets for the built-in FM/AM radio tuners, a single subwoofer output and two ports for connecting a Denon iPod dock. Alternatively, you can use the USB port on the front to play music directly from an iPod, iPhone or USB storage device. The Denon accepts WMA, MP3 and unprotected AAC from USB devices.

Denon AVR-1911 back

Setting up the AVR-1911 is a piece of cake. There’s an Audyssey auto setup feature that chooses suitable settings for your room based on its acoustic properties. For that reason, you’ll find a microphone in the box that plugs into the front panel and picks up test tones played by the receiver. It takes six separate measurements to calculate the best overall settings for the main listening position. After it’s completed, Audyssey’s MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume keep tabs on the sound, not only maintaining the auto calibration settings but also keeping volume at a respectable level. They can be bypassed in the setup menu if you wish.

Talking of which, it’s great to see that you can view the AVR-1911’s setup menu on your TV screen. It’s an incredibly rudimentary menu though, using chunky old-school text against a murky grey background. Thankfully it’s responsive and easy to follow, plus it covers every manual tweak you could wish for, including speaker setup, for those who want to give their sound settings a more personal touch.

Denon AVR-1911 remote control

Aside from sound optimisation, you can set how the HDMI outputs behave and easily assign inputs to certain sources, plus there’s a range of options relating to the AVR-1911’s built-in video upscaling to 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The unit also features video conversion, channelling video fed into the component, S-video and composite inputs to the HDMI output. When watching video through the S-video or composite connections, a status display pops up on screen every time you change input or change the volume.

The newly designed remote comes with a preset code memory for controlling other components, and sports banks of 'Glo-Key' buttons that unsurprisingly glow in the dark. As such the buttons boast large bold lettering so they can be read within the glowing buttons. The central cluster of menu controls is ideal, with the volume controls conveniently placed just above them, but the bottom section is overly cluttered. Last year’s zappers were much better.

Michael McG

September 17, 2010, 1:16 pm

hi guys, apart from the HDMI 1.4 how does this compare to last years 1910?

2db

September 17, 2010, 1:37 pm

Have to say, I considered the 1911 side by side with it's predecessor the 1910, and give the much better input selection on the 1910, can thoroughly recommend that instead. Clearly you loose the 3d capabilities, but if you're ok without that, in my view, a much better buy.

PGrGr

September 17, 2010, 5:58 pm

Been doing some web searching, trying to decide between this, and the Onkyo TX-SR608. It seems they're very similar. When I say I've been doing some web searching, what I mean is that I've spent the entire morning on an obsessive hunt for information to differentiate the two items. What I've come up with is this:





1) there seem to be a few reports about poor Onkyo QA and customer service. Of course, that's impossible to cover in a review unless you are unlucky enough to get a faulty unit in the first place, but it's enough to make me nervous.





2) Some people are complaining that the HDMI throughput (or whatever it's called) degrades video quality in the Onkyo.





3)A lot of reports say that the Denon just sounds better. I am drawn towards the fact that the Denon uses Audyessey's MultiEq system for adjusting the accoustics to the room, whereas the Onkyo uses the cut down 2Eq version. I can't help but think that any audio processing that helps take account of the fact that I am going to be using this in a relatively small cluttered living room, and also helps eliminate sweetspots, is going to be of disproportionate value. I'd be interested in the opinion here, of anyone who has had experience of both Audyssey systems.





4) I note that the Onkyo has better connectivity. For me, that's not an issue. I have one PS3, and one TV. Maybe in the future I'll have one YouView box too... I think four HDMI inputs should cover it!

LetsGo

September 18, 2010, 1:19 pm

@Bluepork I was in the same situation a couple of years back, The Denon got my cash even though it was the more expensive solution.





I trolled through AVforumns, then travelled to Shropshire to listen and decide which unit to buy.

septimus1

January 8, 2011, 5:10 pm

I read the reviews on the SR608 and the Pioneer in the same price range,decided on the Onkyo, but got a listen to the SR708(didnt have an SR608 in stock) the pioneer and the 1911 in the shop. It was a close call between the the Onkyo and the Denon, the pioneer had no bass through stereo speakers only, didnt do surround sound with a sub for the comparison. The Denon had the edge though, more clarity at all frequencies. As a bonus, the Denon ended up being ~£100.00 cheaper when it came to pay, there seemed to be a round of discounting on that unit at the time. now it's home, I'm totally happy, the auto setup works well.

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