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Wednesday, 07 January 2009 ,  Written by Douglas Bryant
Denon AVR-5308 AV Receiver
Audio-video receivers, more commonly known as AV receivers, are used chiefly used to enlarge sound from the many different audio sources that can come with the home theater systems of today. In addition, they also route video signals to the TV, such as from Blu-Ray or DVD players. Therefore, AV receivers like the Denon AVR-5308 AV Receiver provide the user with more control, including the ability to configure and program audio and video sources that eventually come out of your TV and speakers.The Denon AVR-5308 AV Receiver pretty much has everything that your home entertainment system needs. First, it provides 150W x 7 channels and up-to-date Dolby, THX, and DTS decoding. You will also find that it features HDCD, MP3, WMA, Dolby Headphone, and Neural Surround Mode XMCF processing. The latter decodes 5.1 or 7.1 discrete channels from Neural-encoded 2-channel ...
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Denon AVP-A1HDCi AV Preamplifier
Introduction The AV world has undergone an unheard-of number of changes in the past few years and, while many companies have been slow to adapt, Denon just released an AV preamp more up-to-date and with more features than ever before imaginable. The new Denon AVP-A1HDCI is described as an “Ultra Reference 12-Channel A/V Home Theater/Multimedia Preamplifier with Network Streaming and Wi-Fi” and that just starts to define what this piece can do. The Denon AVP-A1HDCI is designed to be the hub of an advanced AV system and can easily control two independent home theaters or one with up to three accessory zones. This AV preamp offers any feature you could dream of and has more flexibility than a Cirque de Soleil contortionist. Retailing for an even $7,000, it aspires to be the last AV preamp you’ll ever buy. We started with composite ...
Tuesday, 01 July 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Dynaudio Contour Speaker System (S 1.4, S C, Sub 250)
Introduction Last summer, my wife and I decided to put our condominium on the market and buy a house. As part of the process, we had our realtor walk through the condo and make recommendations for “staging” it to make it more attractive to more buyers. The first thing she asked me to do was to get rid of my large floor-standing towers in the living room and replace them with something smaller. I was mortified, as I really enjoyed having full-sized speakers in my living/theater room. I spoke with Mike Manousselis of Dynaudio shortly thereafter and explained my situation. Mike assured me that he had a system from the Contour series that would fulfill my needs. It was like a scene out of one of those fix ‘em up shows on the DIY Network, but I needed a bigger house ...
Sunday, 01 June 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
Denon AVR-988 AV Receiver
Introduction Before I begin, I must admit that prior to this review, when I last spent any significant time with a receiver as the heart of my audio/video system George W. wasn’t yet in office, although his father was. Yes, it’s been quite a while. Back in the day, all a receiver was expected to do was to pick up a few radio stations, switch a handful of analog two-channel inputs, and amplify them. How hard could that be? Apparently, it was pretty hard, because my memories of receivers are not fond ones. I remember treble best described as painful and bass that was weak and bloated. When I was finally able to afford separates, I did so immediately, forever swearing off the compromises in sound quality I had been forced to make for the convenience and affordability of an all-in-one ...
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
DirecTV HR21 HD DVR
Introduction My father is pretty high-tech for a guy in his early sixties. He has an iPhone and can make his Mac laptop jump through hoops, including wirelessly pumping music (and often vintage jingles from his days as a program director at WIBG in Philadelphia in the late 1960s) to his Wilson Audio and Krell-based audiophile system in his living room. His music students at the University of Southern California demand this level of tech savvy, but where he had admittedly fallen behind was with his home theater system. Installed in an odd niche in his house in Scottsdale, Arizona, this system was pretty state of the art in its day, with a big Sony CRT standard-definition television set, a DVD player and a custom installation in a nifty cabinet. However, by 2008 standards, a 40-inch standard-definition tube TV (which ...
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