The AVR-1912’s v1.4 HDMI sockets make it ready to pass 3D pictures to a compatible TV, decoding HD audio soundtracks along the way. The unit also supports HDMI video conversion and deinterlacing, but sadly it won’t upscale SD sources to HD resolution. Although it’s not essential, as most displays and players can upscale to 1080p these days, it does make the AVR-1912 seem dinosaur-like in comparison with Onkyo’s TX-NR609, which offers 4K upscaling.
The Denon does, however, bring you an impressive array of networking features. AirPlay is the obvious star of the show, allowing you to play music from Apple devices or a PC/Mac running iTunes to the AVR-1912. This can be done over your wireless network, although the Denon itself needs to be connected using a LAN cable as there’s no on-board Wi-Fi or optional dongle.
The AVR-1912’s Apple-centric outlook continues with news that owners of an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad can control the Denon wirelessly over their network with the relevant app, which is great if you want to keep remotes to a minimum.
The AVR-1912 also allows you to stream internet radio, Last.fm, Napster and Flickr, as well as music files from DLNA devices on your home network. It supports a clean sweep of music formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC HD and WAV, plus it’ll also display JPEGs. These formats can also be played back from USB devices.
Elsewhere the AVR-1912 decodes all the soundtrack formats you’d expect from a midrange amp – Dolby True HD, DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus – plus it throws in Dolby Pro Logic IIz for good measure. This, alongside the presence of an assignable power amp, means you can add front height channels to your setup instead of surround back speakers. Alternatively you can use the assignable power amp for bi-wiring or to drive zone 2 or ‘B’ front speakers.
The SHARC 32-bit floating point DSP chip opens up a range of sound modes designed to add extra flavour to music, such as Rock Arena, Jazz Club, Matrix and Virtual, but after a quick flick through you’re better off sticking with Stereo or Multichannel Stereo. Two Movie modes are also included – Mono Movie and Virtual.
Additionally you get Cinema EQ, which corrects over-emphasized high frequencies to make them easier on the ear, and Audyssey Dynamic Volume, which offers real-time volume level adjustment to keep it consistent and prevent any nasty surprises.
Those are the highlights – dig deeper and the AVR-1912 offers up a wealth of less glamorous functions that aim to make your home cinema life a little easier.