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AVR Video Processing: Denon 3808CI or PE SC-05 / VSX-94TXH


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   gcarroll

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Posted November 23 2008 - 03:46 PM

In my search for AVR with network capability, power, good video processing, and 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs, I'm down to the Denon 3808CI vs the Pioneer Elite SC-05 or VSX-94TXH. Can you experts please clarify the Pioneer Elites video processing capability? Both the SC-05 & 94THX are listed as having Faroudja DCDi up-res/scale capabilities even via HDMI source, but on the forums it appears that people are saying it doesn't? I just want whatever makes my terrible looking Barca games on Gol TV watchable (knowing I run from my HD-DVR to my receiver via HDMI cable) and my DVDs look best on my X360!! Would the PE's treat it any differently from the Denon? However, for all of the Denon fanboy love, it appears the 3808CI gets an EPIC FAIL for video processing from Home Theater Mag (Google 'Putting the "V" in your AVR) That raises the whole question on if holding out for the HQV Reon tech vs. the more standard Faroudja DCDi. The Onkyo has HQV and it performed much better than both the Denon & Yamaha. However, the Onkyo's are just too boxy and run too hot for me, which is just not an option when looking at a cool-running ICE amp. And the Yamaha 3900 is $500 more expensive than the comparable PE or Denon, so that's out. The Denon's upgradeable firmware is nice, but seems a little over-rated. And then I have to keep in mind all of the great audio features that made me pick a Denon or PE in the first place...its going to drive me crazy. Would love any opinions. ____________________________________________ Samsung HL-S5687W 56-Inch 1080p DLP HDTV Dynaudio Audience 40 fronts PremierAcoustic PA-6S rears & center Motorola HD-DVR Sub (downstairs neighbor) X360 Elite PS3 Metal Gear LE

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted November 23 2008 - 11:53 PM

The Elite 94-TXH will not upscale 1080i or 720p source signals, according to the manual. I can confirm that 1080i upscaling does not work. The receiver simply passes the 1080i signal on to the receiver, but it will send a 1080i component video connection out through the HDMI output -- this is how my cable TV HD box is connected. The manual does not stipulate restrictions on HDMI vs. analog video signals. I do not have a 480i/p HDMI source to confirm this, though. My component-video attached Panasonic RP-91 DVD player does upscale to 1080p through the receiver.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Adam_R

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:00 AM



Wow. Surprising about the 3808. I wonder if those are things that can be fixed in firmware. I am assuming they are since the chip they use is capable. I am glad all I use is HDMI 1080p passthrough. Posted Image

Look at all those F's:

http://www.hometheat....testden38b.jpg
Guess what...

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   gcarroll

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:18 PM

Went to Magnolia for a listen tonight, and listened to the SC-05 vs. the 3808CI. Paired with Monitor speakers which were the closest fit, as they don't carry my Dynaudio shelf speakers.

While both were decent, the Denon appeared to be stronger for clarity and the Pioneer was a little bright and bassy both on 2-channel stereo and in 5.1 surround tests. I'm a bit disappointed as the Pioneer Elites are SOOO pretty, and worthy of my Death Star system. Denon needs to step up their human factors design. But with the 3808s upgradeable firmware, lower distortion, Audyssey balancing, smaller footprint, and video upscaling over HDMI, I guess the choice is clear.

I mentioned the PE 94TXH but the guys were clearly ICE fanboys and that the TXH couldn't stand-up to the new SC ICE amps, which made the Denon's performance that much more impressive. Just wish I felt better about it. Then again has anyone spending $1000k plus for any A/V equipment ever walked away without some buyer's remorse?Posted Image

One final question, I have 4 ohm front speakers and while I know a separate AMP would be the audiophile way to go, can't swing it in this economy. Both receivers and brands seem to have the power & street cred to drive my speakers effectively, but wanted to make sure there was no advantage from either.

Let the price shopping begin.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted November 24 2008 - 11:43 PM

That's funny, because the salesman at my local dealer felt that the ICE amps in the SC05 did not justify the $500+ price difference between that receiver and the 94TXH. I went with the latter due to the large price difference. The 94TXH runs a lot cooler than my old Elite VSX-47TX, and there seems to be just as much power available -- at least with my setup.