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Denon 4810CI Thoughts


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#1 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 24 2009 - 01:58 PM

Ok, I just finally received today, and I'm having all sorts of mixed feelings before I setup.  The unit itself is a monster, the manual is nice and thick, typical denon, and the build quality is fantastic.  This is an upgrade for me from my (dying) 4806CI, which suffered at the hands of my kid (who spilled something in it, that will NOT happen this time, glass doors go up now)

That having been said, it's interesting to note that while the 4806CI was THX Ultra2 Certified, the 4810CI is not.  I know, I know, THX is somewhat of a sham certification, but still, it is one of those things that will nag at me as to what was missed.  Still, I will judge the reciever by what it's worth.  I'm going to take tonight and get it setup, and then try to write a review up over the weekend.  It'll be great to test with the Oppo 83 :) :) (thanks HTF!) and see how well it performs.

One other (minor) dislike: I dislike the inclusion of WiFi, and hope it can be completely disabled.  While it's a neat feature, I can't imagine having a radio transmitter inside the receiver does great things for clean audio... the two things just seem to be at odds with each other.  But that's just me.  :)

One other note:  The front HDMI is a brilliant idea.  This makes connecting up the camcorders, etc. way easy when I want to use it, considering all five in the back will now be committed (HTPC, DirectTV, PS3, Oppo, XBOX)


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#2 of 24 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted November 24 2009 - 02:25 PM


Quote:
This is an upgrade for me from my (dying) 4806CI, which suffered at the hands of my kid (who spilled something in it,

 
Ouch! /img/vbsmilies/htf/frown.gif . But hey, you got to buy a new toy! /img/vbsmilies/htf/rock.gif


Quote:
it's interesting to note that while the 4806CI was THX Ultra2 Certified, the 4810CI is not.
 

I'm sure the 4810 could have received THX certification if they wanted it to have it.


Quote:
I dislike the inclusion of WiFi,
 

Eventually WiFi will be in everything whether we want it or not.


Quote:
The front HDMI is a brilliant idea.
 

Front HDMI ports will also be included on most components. Not sure why this is taking so long.

Quote:
It'll be great to test with the Oppo 83 :) :) (thanks HTF!) 
You lucky son-of-#%&*()&^!  /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif .       I had to pay for mine! /img/vbsmilies/htf/angry.gif  But it was worth it! /img/vbsmilies/htf/drool.gif
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 24 2009 - 02:35 PM

I personally think the THX Certification is something to look for and not a sham. But it also not something to worry about not having in a fantastic receiver. From the looks of the unit it is a beast and paired with the Oppo (you are welcome) it is going to kick some serious ass. Especially with the Dolby Digital Plus IIz and the Audyssey Dynamic Sound Expansion with front height and/or expanded width channels in a great 7.1 to 11.3 setup. 

Now it is time to just set back and watch how great your Blu-ray discs looks with the great Anchor Bay's ABT VRS chipset and how clean your audio sounds in full Dolby Digital and DTS MA. 

Enjoy!





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#4 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 24 2009 - 03:28 PM

 I will say this, I've just started my test, but the video output is an absolute stunning upgrade... no matter what I put out, whether to my TV (Samsung DLP) or using the projector.. phenomenal.  I haven't yet gone to a 9.3 setup... but now I'm tempted!  

The menu system is much improved, and I had no problem figuring it out.  

Unfortunately, my living room is now scattered with open boxes, manuals, styrofoam and opened Blueray cases, and the wife is giving me the evil eye.  So, I'll continue over the weekend :)

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#5 of 24 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted November 24 2009 - 06:36 PM


Quote:
Unfortunately, my living room is now scattered with open boxes, manuals, styrofoam and opened Blueray cases, and the wife is giving me the evil eye.
/img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#6 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 25 2009 - 07:52 AM

I am in heaven.  I've owned a lot of hardware in the past, but rarely does something get me as "wow" about re-experiencing films I've already seen.  I have a test that I run through on all of my receivers.  It's a test most home theater owners don't do, but is live-or-die for me.. this morning, I hooked up my Technics 1200MPK turntable and put on some classics.  Bing Crosby.  Nat King Cole.  Iron Butterfly.  :)

Absolute perfection.  It's almost like re-experiencing the music again.  Whatever Denon has done with this unit, it is as close to perfect as anything I've ever owned.  I was impressed when I bought the 4806CI, but this unit is a major step above & beyond.  While I was "eh" with the upscaled output from DVD on the 4806, here I am just absolutely blown away.   The new video processing is incredible stuff and the overall polish in every area of how this reciever functions is phenomenal.


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#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 29 2009 - 05:31 AM

As you can attest to Anchor Bay's ABT VRS chipset is a fantastic piece of electronics. Now that you have made such the analogue side dialed in you need to spin up some DTS MA and Dolby Digital discs. My current favorite is Heat.

Damn it. Now I going to have to go listen to In-A-Gadda_Da_Vida.




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#8 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 29 2009 - 04:24 PM

I've been taking photos, playing with menus.  Dear god, my review on this is really long.  I'm trying to break it down and make it sensible.  I thought I had it last night, and realized I had left out multi-zone features (including 1 that is INSANELY cool that I haven't seen anywhere), the programming website that's built into it (which btw has a mobile mode and an iphone mode so it looks perfect on a blackberry or iPhone), and thanks to some research, I learned the damn thing can do sorts and searches on UPNP enabled servers.

I'm trying to think what the hell is missing from this thing, but I've spent four days going through every disk I have.

I broke out an absolute treasure last night, something I haven't played in a very long time because now that I have kids, I hate having them out of the box.  But to test the ABT, I broke out my Disney's Collector Pocahontas CAV Laserdiscs.  It's something I've always treasured along with all my CAV discs.  

One thing that was bad about the newer HD is that when I'd watch CAV discs, they didn't have as much "zeal".  Still images didn't look nearly as good as I remembered them.  I had thought maybe my CLD-99, which I picked up second hand to replace a S104 once I managed to get it cheap, was simply not as good.

Watching Pocahontas through the Denon was fantastic.  Whatever the ABT does, the stills of images look like I remember them the first time I saw the discs.  They looked sharp, crisp, and bright.  Whatever ABT has done, they did it right.  I compared going straight to my projector and HDTV (I have the Samsung as noted in my reviews).  When I go straight to them, the image has a kind of "shake" in it, it looks as though even paused that it is jittery/moving.  

Whatever the hell the 4810 does, it's like magic.  The image holds dead steady.  No movement, no shaking, just a crisp clean work of art.  It's like looking at the handdrawn sketches straight from the set.

I will also say: going with the Oppo to the Denon gives me brilliant blueray.  The Denon offers lipsynch management, which is fairly useful when using a projector.  Using the web interface, I was able to sit back on my couch and program the minor delays that make the damn thing perfect.

How good is this product?

The first DVD player I owned was a Panasonic A110.  One of the first discs I had was I believe Top Gun and that stupid Geena Davis pirate movie (what the hell was that)  anyway, whatever it was, the first time I sat and watched it, and they rolled out the continual trailers.. I was convinced.

I've bought a lot of hardware since then.  HD this and that.  Bluray was incredibly impressive.  I was sold on it right away, great quality.

But it took BD a while before I felt like it really hit it's stride for quality, and the debate back and forth with HD-DVD blunted how seriously I viewed it, so it didn't have a chance to "knock my socks off".

This product absolutey knocks my socks off.  The step up from the 4806CI is almost like going from Windows 3.11 to Windows 7.  The interface is smooth and sleek.  The design picks up almost every imaginable circumstance.  Every feature seems incredibly well thought out.  Some features are so ahead of their time that when I'd think "oh, but it doesn't.." I'd go on line, and google would tell me: yes, yes it does.  

Absolutely best home theater purchase I've made in years, and that's saying a lot.  Strongest positive review possible upcoming.

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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted November 30 2009 - 01:46 AM

I look forward to your review and the pics you take.

I still have all my CLV and CAV discs on laserdisc. I remember how much I loved the picture from laserdisc when it first came out. For me the addition of my Pioneer SC 05 and the great Blu-ray discs have finally come out that have gotten me back to that feeling I had then.  So I know how you feel when you say that you were waiting for HD to hit its stride and "knock your socks off".

Now you are going to have get some front channel speakers to play around with the Dolby Pro Logic IIz option with height and width adjustments. Robert George said it took him to a whole new place with audio. And it really takes something special to impress him.





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#10 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 30 2009 - 09:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattCR 

Ok, I just finally received [Denon 4810] today, and I'm having all sorts of mixed feelings before I setup.  The unit itself is a monster, the manual is nice and thick, typical denon, and the build quality is fantastic. 
[...]
One other note:  The front HDMI is a brilliant idea.  This makes connecting up the camcorders, etc. way easy when I want to use it, considering all five in the back will now be committed (HTPC, DirectTV, PS3, Oppo, XBOX)
Nice! The front HDMI is why I bought an Onkyo -- the only way to get it in my budget. That 4810 is a sexy beast. Will you set up Front Height speakers or otherwise use the DPL IIz features?


#11 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 30 2009 - 11:40 AM

I just ordered in my front height speakers.  Reading through manuals and guides, I'm debating how I want to do this.  I can enable iiz with my 7.1, but I will probably go to 9.2 soon.  I'm thinking of adding a pair of satellites for front height & a second sub to put them in both rear r/l.  I realize sub placement is not "per spec" but I believe it's a less cluttered look, and much better WAF.

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#12 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 30 2009 - 12:54 PM

I'm hoping to get WAF for front height. :)

Look forward to hearing more about the 4810


#13 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted November 30 2009 - 01:49 PM

I'm almost finished with writing it.  Just doing some cleanup and waiting on an answer on multi-zone from the person at D&M who's been helping me.

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#14 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted December 20 2009 - 04:30 PM

My final thoughts... damn you Denon and HTF for giving me a fully functional second HT!  :)  :)  The final paragraph is one that I still consider stunning, the level of support Denon puts into their product.


--------------------------------------------------

It's a rarity that I say that a piece of hardware is stunning.  I've seen lots of things that I think are impressive, but let's be honest, many of us who do home theater tend to be jaded because we always believe there has to be a better solution out there.

Years ago, I started with a definitive tech theater setup, with just dolby pro logic and a laserdisc player to get me started, along with an early denon receiver.  AC3RF from a laserdisc was the bees knees, and everyone felt the need to show off the plane movement in "Top Gun" which was the end all and be all of how sound should work in a home theater.  This, I thought, was magic.

Since then, there have been improvements that made me go "wow".  DTS came to laserdisc, and I was amazed at the audio on discs.  

A few years ago, I picked up the Denon 4806CI, and I found that unit had all the features I wanted.  Sure, I had some complaints - the menus weren't perfect and the upconversion wasn't quite right.  But the audio was damn good.  What more could I really want?  But then came the Denon 4810.  I needed it to replace a damaged 4806CI, and I couldn't justify stepping up to an AVP, etc.  Here's what I discovered

Build Quality

Sometimes the old standards are just... wrong.  When I received the 4810, one of the first things I noticed out of the box was that the 4810 was significantly lighter then the 4806.  This set me off thinking bad things.  Lighter must mean worse!  I've long been in the school that a good, hefty receiver meant the right power transformers, sturdy components had been used.  Lightweight receivers were generally junk.  Now, the 4810 isn't lightweight.. we're still near 30lbs.  But it's down almost 10lbs from the 4806.  What's going on I thought?

The 4810 is one of the newer receivers that maximizes efficiency.  By using more efficient power units, more efficient boards, and more energy efficient design, it has to cope with less heat, less energy draw, and yes, a lighter weight.  Giving up the weight would normally be a trigger to make me think "something is wrong" but boy, did Denon do a number on me.  By using much more efficient units, the denon has far less energy loss.  

I hooked the 4810 up to our voltage draw meter, (basically a plug that goes into your outlet to tell you the draw of power and estimated cost of an item) and the 4810 uses almost 25% less energy then the 4806.  That's not a small statement.  For those that worry about energy use, etc. that's a good thing.  Does the unit suffer on the output?   In no way that I found does the unit suffer.  

I have since used this argument to point out to my wife that the small expense of purchasing the receiver was justified, because in the 10 years we'll have it, the savings on electricity will pay for itself.  I'll leave that out there for all of you to use.

Denon has changed the rear panel design, moving all of the speaker connectors to be consistent, and the layout of connectors is incredibly efficient.  One of my favorite pieces of the build quality is the move of an HDMI to be front mounted, which allows for easy connection of newer game type devices (XBOX, PS3, etc.) which may connect and disconnect frequently.

Video Performance

Sometimes, people who buy this unit would be the worst examples of the greatness of the video quality.  I say that because the ABT chipset within the Denon 4810 works absolute magic with video quality.  But the greatest impact of a good upconverter is on non-up converted media.  Right now, in my home theater is an HTPC (Native 1080P), a Oppo-83 BD Player (Native), and my DirecTV, which can use the conversion.  I also used a Nintendo Wii to get the feeling of what it can do.

First, let me say for the most part, upconversion is a bit of a risky proposition.  When it works, it looks good.  But upconversion can never create more actual resolution.  It only has the original content, rendered as it is, and using multiple techniques it efforts to do it's best in increasing the scaling of the picture.

The one problem with the Denon 4806CI is that it did it.. just not all that well.  Image quality looked as though it suffered, with a somewhat washy feel at times.  People just accepted it because of convenience and it seemed as though it was the best thing available.

But the 4810 seems to work a sort of magic.  No, let me very clear: it breathes life into media that you wouldn't think that it does.

To say I'm normally pessimistic about the manner in which receivers handle up conversion is an understatement.  On most receivers, the upconversion simply looks.. upconverted.   However the ABT solution works, it does.  It does in a way that I simply haven't seen ever, in any generation of hardware.  Color stays bright and vivid with almost no noticeable artifacting or additional noise.  To say that's a triumph is an understatement.  In fact, for those that still have tons of connectors and they want to maintain picture quality without a lot of switching, the Denon finally accomplishes the same effect as going straight to a display.. and improves on it.  This feature alone is worth it's weight.

Audio Quality

All receivers are judged by their audio quality.  It is, after all, what we buy them for.  The Denon features all of the features that we expect.  DD-HD / DTS-MA, etc.  And, it renders them marvelously.  

This is one of the areas that, to be honest, puzzled me for some time.  While DTS-MA and DD-HD were not native on the 4806CI, since most Blueray players output LPCM as an option, I couldn't understand the fury over having this as a function on a reciever.  After all, if it was decoded by the bluray player and output as LPCM, shouldn't I get the same results?  

I had argued this fairly strenously with friends and others, saying that I couldn't understand the possible differences, whether the decoding was done before or in the receiver, the output of audio to the channels should be the same.

On a technical level, this should be true.  But the 4810CI proved me wrong as to why decoding within the receiver matters.  While this may not be true on everything, I've found that many audio tracks DO sound significantly improved, and bass management is much better.  Using films like "Bourne" as references, I've found that the use of the sub is less boomy, and the panning and channel movement is far more crisp.. making breaks within the film, and moments where movement obviously should be occurring as seemingly more in line with the output.  What helps make this happen?  A big part of it is that within the 4810CI, you have the option to control the lag/delay between audio and video output, which is REALLY useful when I decide to go to the projector.

I admit, I have recently changed my speakers to help play with this review, and so part of this is influenced in my speaker choices, but having listened to the 4810CI on my older package and this one, the impact it makes are even more pronounced. 

Summary


There are few times where I say: if you have the money, this is the item you should get.  I'm going to tell you right now, that is 100% true.  Why?  What made me decide to buy this unit was the failure of my 4806CI.. a child spilled a drink on it.  I, just as a lark, shipped it back to Denon in NJ, and asked for options on repair.. Denon sent me back, overnight SATURDAY DELIVERY, the 4806CI fully repaired, new firmware, nice new body.. my total cost?  $65.  There is something to be said for incredible support.  More then that, I now have my second theater setup exactly as my first was.. the Denon 4806CI, and in my main theater, the Denon 4810CI.  I can walk back and forth and play discs, testing out what to make of each.

The Denon 4810CI is a marked improvement.  In almost every single area, it excels.  But what makes me feel the most positive about recommending the Denon 4810CI is the level of support Denon has always showed me when it comes to their products.  Denon's support has been exceptional.  The 4806CI I received back would be a dream for most people's home theater.. still a class act unit that performs to the expectations of almost any home theater addict.  The 4810CI is the logical successor.  And it is, quite simply, a phenomenal product that is hard to challenge in it's price range.  

If you don't believe it, check out the web-based menu; the new graphic on-screen displays, and the sheer "tweek" nature of the beast.  This product is what I always wanted it to be.. a home run.

5 Stars out of 5.data:image/png;base64,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%3D

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#15 of 24 OFFLINE   sathron

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Posted January 14 2010 - 05:46 AM

Quick question (excuse my ignorance)....how do you get to the web-based menu?   I have the 4810 hooked up with a wired connection...

Thanks in advance!

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted January 14 2010 - 05:54 AM

They explain in the manual how to do this, but if missing it, or if your router makes it tricky, you can do this:  using the onscreen menu go to Network, and it will show you it's current IP address.

Using any web browser I've found, just browse to it (for example, mine is http://192.168.1.109 , yours may/will be different)

That's it.  You'll need Java installed (though that's mostly a no brainer anymore)

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#17 of 24 OFFLINE   sathron

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Posted January 19 2010 - 03:01 AM

Perfect....thanks MattCR !!!

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Southpaw

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Posted February 09 2010 - 05:35 AM

 Hey Matt - are you using Audyssey MultiEQ XT? If so, how do you like it? Any bugs that you've encountered?
I am in need of a receiver/processor and this one is on my list. I was going to go with one of the newer Onkyos but I've read problems concerning audio dropouts. Anything like that with your Denon?

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   sathron

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Posted February 09 2010 - 08:24 AM

Hey southpaw....I know your question was directed at Matt...but just wanted to give my .02   I love it...I think Audyssey MultiEQ XT does wonders for sound for my challenging room dynamics and speaker set-up (which is a challenge).....a noticeable difference to say the least.  I've also read about the audio dropout problems with MultiEQ on the Onkyo's...one of the reasons I went with the 4810....glad I did!



#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Southpaw

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Posted February 09 2010 - 11:50 AM

Thanks Scott. No problem with you chiming in. I appreciate it!