The "Official" Denon 4308ci Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay guys, I guess that I am the first one to get this beast setup (well sort of...), so I thought that I would try and answer a few questions if I can. I am not an AV Professional, just a home enthusiast.

I have the 4308ci connected to: (I attached an picture of my setup below)

Display - NEC PX-61XR4A Plasma

Running 7.1 Speaker Setup
- Front - Atlantic Technology 8200e LR
- Center - Atlantic Technology 6200e C
- Side L/R Surrounds - Atlantic Technology 8200e SR
- Rear L/R Surrounds - Atlantic Technology 8200e SR
- Subwoofer - JL Audio Fathom 113 (Absolutely SCARY Sub, BTW )

HD Inputs
- Toshiba XA2 (Connected via HDMI)
- DirecTV H20 (Connected via Component Vidio + Optical)
- DIY MCE PC - MonCaso Chassis

SD Inputs
- ReplayTV DVR (Connected via Composite Video + Optical)
- DLink DSM-320RD Streaming DVD Player (Connected via Composite Video + Analog Audio)
- DLO Homedock Deluxe (Connected via S-Video + Analog Audio)
- Cheapo Insignia VCR/DVD Recorder (Connected via Composite Video + Optical)

Audio Only Inputs
- Elite CD Changer (Connected via Coax Digital)

I am by no means close to going through all of the menus to complete the setup of this thing. I'll dig into that tonight since I think that I finally have everything connected the way I want now.

So far, here are my *very* quick first impressions:

- The GUI is excellent. It takes a bit of getting used to to navigate around, but they have done a fantastic job of presenting the information logically. It seems to "auto-sense" Video and Audio connection types, so setup progresses very easily. Much of my late night was spent testing this ability to auto sense an input connection. I need to experiment further, but if this ability works out, I can connect multiple devices to the same set of inputs (eg. Two DVD Players to the "DVD" Input - one using HDMI, and the other using Component+Optical). I just need to program my MX-950 to ensure that the two DVD Players are never on a the same time. This will allow me to connect more than the standard number devices to the 4308ci.

- Audyssey setup is very easy. When you plug in the (included) mic, the Auto Setup menu pops-up on the screen, and asks you to place the mic at ear level in your prime listening position. It uses this position to calculate the speaker distances. After that, it proceeds to cycle a "Star Trek" zap gun type test tone around all of your speakers. It determines what speakers you have conected, and checks the phase (it reported that my right-rear was out of phase). After it completes this first pass, it prompts you to move the mic to a second listening position, then a third and so on up to eight positions. You can stop after five positions. After that you select the "Calculate" menu pick and it shows a bar with incremental progress until the calcs are completed. Then you have the choice to Review and/or Store the setup. Here is where I have a curiosity. Audyssey sets independent Level/Distance/Crossover Frequency for Mains/Center/Surrounds/Sub. It reported my crossover frequency for my mains at 150Hz, and I know that my Dunlaveys are -3db at 60Hz. It also reported the crossover frequency of my surrounds at 40Hz, and I know that the NHT Two's are probably -3db at 75Hz. I need to play with this a bit more, or set the crossover freqs manually. Everything else (Level and Distance) were perfect.

- Main Remote control. I need to work with this a bit more. The UI does not seem that intuitive to me yet. (Could be that it was 3AM or so when I was working with it )

- HD Picture quality through HDMI is outstanding. I haven't spent enough time with this yet, so the 4308ci might have just been passing through the HD signal from my XA2. HD Channels through my DirecTV receiver look great.

- SD Picture quality. This is probably where everyone has questions. When playing an SD DVD through my XA2, I'mcertain that the Reon in the XA2 is doing the scaling and the 4308ci just passes the signal through. As everyone has mentioned, the XA2 does a remarkable job with SD DVDs. As a test, I played an SD DVD on my cheapo Insignia, and it looked pretty good. I might connect the Insignia via Component tonight, to see if there is a difference in quality. SD Channels through my DirecTV receiver look *good*. I need to play a bit more to remove the H20 scaler from the equation and let the 4308ci do the scaling. I'll work on that tonight. SD picture quality from my ReplayTV looks very good (maybe a touch soft). This is clearly the 4308ci doing the scaling. In my brief time of watching a few channels, I don't see any significant scaler artifacts on my 61" Plasma. I'll get a few more SD hours when I catch up on all of the shows that I missed while setting up the 4308 last night.

- Music played through the 4308ci is also fantastic. To *my* ears, very neutral and articulate. My old receiver was a Denon AVR-5600, which also sounded great, and the 4308ci is as good or better. I need to take more time listening. If you like the "Denon" sound, you will not be disappointed with the 4308ci.


SD Audio. Dolby Digital and DTS sound great for the brief test that listened to last night. I couldn't do much though, because I'm sure that my neighbors would not appreciate me firing up the JL Fathom at 3 in the morning .

- HD Audio. Not certain about this one yet. No matter what Audio Language (Dolby TrueHD, etc) I chose on the HD-DVD, the 4308ci sees it as "Multi-Channel Input). The 4308ci has displays for "Dolby TrueHD", "DTS-HD", etc so I believe that this is more of a Toshiba XA2/HDMI 1.3 issue. I might have read somewhere that the XA2 will not yet pass the native high-def bitstream, so the receiver can do the decoding. I did not connect the multi channel Analog outs of the XA2 to the 4308. I will test more this evening when I can Crank'er UP

No wierd quirks to speak of yet (except the wierd UI in the Remote). The receiver seems rock solid. Okay, thats it for now. Fire away with questions, and I will try and respond.

Edit 8/3/07:
Setup and tested all of the following functions of the 4308ci. All work great with no significant issues to speak of:
- Networking: Wired and Wireless
- Control of the 4308 via the built-in Web Server
- Audyssey 8-position
- Composite, Component, S-Video, HDMI Video In to HDMI Out
- Analog, Coax, Optical, HDMI Audio In to HDMI Out
- Upconversion/Upscaling of SD and HD
- DD, DTS, PLII and a few of the other non-HD Surround modes
- Streaming Audio: WMA, AAC, MP3, FLAC (non-DRM)
- Picture Serving: JPEG
- Audio and Picture serving through TwonkyVision on a NAS Server
- Restorer for compressed Audio
- HD Radio
- Internet Radio
- iPOD connection Audio and Video (not Denon's)
- USB Stick with Music and Picture files
LL
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post #2 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:36 PM
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Damn, I want one. That's a nice setup man.

Do you think sound quality would be improved if i get this receiver? I currently have the Denon 2106 (90watts per channel) connected to the following:

-2 JBL E90 Tower Speakers, says the RMS is 225W
-1 JBL EC35 Center Channel Speaker, not sure what the RMS is
-1 JBL E250P 12" Subwoofer, not sure about wattage
-4 JBL HTI6C In-Ceiling Speakers 100w max power
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post #3 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:44 PM
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Just a question about your setup...What are those green things doing on your speakers?
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post #4 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:48 PM
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I am not familar with the OSD (On Screen Display) abilities of the various AVRs. It appears the Denon has a new GUI, can you elaborate about what can be seen when using the OSD.

I am not referring to the setup fo the receiver, but for instance, if playing FM audio on the receiver, what can be seen on the HDTV screen as far as FM info?

Likewise, when viewing HD tv, can you see anything on screen about video output from the receiver or audio types being received?

I also have the XA2, and so what OSD do you get when using the XA2 as far as video input, audio codec, etc.?

Thanks for any info about OSD via the HDTV and using the remote to obtain the OSD.
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post #5 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post

Just a question about your setup...What are those green things doing on your speakers?

I bet those are all about the WAF.
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post #6 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:52 PM
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so with the replay tv, do you have it go out over the hdmi output? I assume this is strictly a composite or s-video input to the Denon. If so does it stretch the 4:3 SD picture to 16:9? And if so, can you defeat it? That was one thing I didn't like when I tried out a Sony 5200es with a vcr input. There are somethings I don't like stretched.

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post #7 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBRhee View Post

Damn, I want one. That's a nice setup man.

Do you think sound quality would be improved if i get this receiver? I currently have the Denon 2106 (90watts per channel) connected to the following:

-2 JBL E90 Tower Speakers, says the RMS is 225W
-1 JBL EC35 Center Channel Speaker, not sure what the RMS is
-1 JBL E250P 12" Subwoofer, not sure about wattage
-4 JBL HTI6C In-Ceiling Speakers 100w max power

I've only had a short time listening to the receiver, but the sound reminds me of the Denon AVR-5600 that I replaced with the 4308ci. My old receiver was rated at 140W per channel, as is the 4308ci. Relative volume levels are the same from waht I can tell thus far. I will need to give it a few more hours this weekend, but first pass - I don't think you will be dissapointed.
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post #8 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post

Just a question about your setup...What are those green things doing on your speakers?

My wife's contribution to the AV experience
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post #9 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpickens View Post

I bet those are all about the WAF.

Yep... Pretty good trade though. I get to drop AV toys (especially the big Sub) into the Family Room, if she can park plants on top.
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post #10 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:03 PM
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I know a lot of us are very interested in the video processing given the DCDI v. Reon discussions.

Can you tweak the scaler (video processing menu/secret menu) to increase noise reduction, etc.?

Have you done an A/B test to see how much the Denon improves a direct TV SD or HD feed?

Thanks, and welcome to the wonderful world of being first to own the new toy.
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post #11 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Tomaskovic View Post

so with the replay tv, do you have it go out over the hdmi output? I assume this is strictly a composite or s-video input to the Denon. If so does it stretch the 4:3 SD picture to 16:9? And if so, can you defeat it? That was one thing I didn't like when I tried out a Sony 5200es with a vcr input. There are somethings I don't like stretched.

Yes... Its composite+toslink in and everything routes out the HDMI to my Plasma. The Replay can also connect with either Component *or* S-Vid, but I have the Component directly connected to a seperate input on the Plasma. This so we can watch TV without turning on the Receiver.

There is a "Full" setting on the 4308, but I prefer to use the "Stadium" setting on the NEC for 4:3 on a 16:9 screen. NEC really did a good job with their stretch.
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post #12 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallen234 View Post

I know a lot of us are very interested in the video processing given the DCDI v. Reon discussions.

Can you tweak the scaler (video processing menu/secret menu) to increase noise reduction, etc.?

Have you done an A/B test to see how much the Denon improves a direct TV SD or HD feed?

Thanks, and welcome to the wonderful world of being first to own the new toy.

Can't find any secrect menus yet. If any of you have any button pushing sequences that you want me to try, I'll be glad to.

I believe that the Denon is merely passing through the 1080i HD signal. I have been looking a bit more, and SD on the 4308ci actully looks very good. I turned on HBO SD, and my H20 reports that signal as 480i. The resulting picture, upscaled through the 4308ci, is very clear without noticible artifacts. I still need to do more extended viewing.
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post #13 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:27 PM
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Can we get some closeup pics of the Denon?

No animals were harmed in the creation of this sentence.
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post #14 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few quick images of the 4308ci's Web Interface.
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post #15 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVRDude View Post

Can't find any secrect menus yet. If any of you have any button pushing sequences that you want me to try, I'll be glad to.

I believe that the Denon is merely passing through the 1080i HD signal. I have been looking a bit more, and SD on the 4308ci actully looks very good. I turned on HBO SD, and my H20 reports that signal as 480i. The resulting picture, upscaled through the 4308ci, is very clear without noticible artifacts. I still need to do more extended viewing.

I am very interested in this. One of the big features of the Reon in the Onkyo's is it's deinterlacing ability from 1080i to 1080p. If it is just passing through the 1080i than those of us will so-so deinterlacers in our displays are hosed.

It seems that the DCDi in the new Sony 5300ES is processing 1080i to 1080p. If there is anyway you can give more info on this that would be awesome. Sadly by 4308ci pre-order is from J&R and at the speed they are getting their Onkyo's who knows how long before they get their Denons for me to test.

EDIT: do you happen to have the HQV tests to run? Would be curious to see what the Denon scores.

I also forgot to say Thank You for taking the time to give us the info you already have. If not for people like you the rest of us would be in the dark!
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post #16 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkgriffin View Post

I am very interested in this. One of the big features of the Reon in the Onkyo's is it's deinterlacing ability from 1080i to 1080p. If it is just passing through the 1080i than those of us will so-so deinterlacers in our displays are hosed.

It seems that the DCDi in the new Sony 5300ES is processing 1080i to 1080p. If there is anyway you can give more info on this that would be awesome. Sadly by 4308ci pre-order is from J&R and at the speed they are getting their Onkyo's who knows how long before they get their Denons for me to test.

EDIT: do you happen to have the HQV tests to run? Would be curious to see what the Denon scores.

I also forgot to say Thank You for taking the time to give us the info you already have. If not for people like you the rest of us would be in the dark!

Unfortunately, my NEC Plasma won't do 1080p over HDMI, so I can't help there.

Sorry, I don't have the HQV tests yet to run against the 4308ci.
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post #17 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVRDude View Post

Unfortunately, my NEC Plasma won't do 1080p over HDMI, so I can't help there.

Sorry, I don't have the HQV tests yet to run against the 4308ci.


Ahhh, ok that makes a lot of sense. I should have taken the time to look up the specs on your TV. It looks like an awesome TV. Hopefully J&R will get their Denon shipment soon and I can help out with posting feedback.
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post #18 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 03:26 PM
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Is there a noticeable delay when switching from a SD to HD channel on the H20? What about switching from a 1080i channel to a 720p channel?
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post #19 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ryarber View Post

Is there a noticeable delay when switching from a SD to HD channel on the H20? What about switching from a 1080i channel to a 720p channel?

Yes, there is definitely a delay of a second or two, where the screen goes black before the image is displayed.
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post #20 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVRDude View Post

Here are a few quick images of the 4308ci's Web Interface.

Hmm that doesn't look that much better than the 4306's... They couldn't carry over the pretty images, etc?

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post #21 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 03:46 PM
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Can you try this....

Set your H20 to output all signals as 1080i and then set to output at native resolution. See if there is a noticeable difference between the SD converted picture in both scenarios, and see if the delay goes away when switching between SD and HD channels.

Is the picture stretched with the native method? Is it letterboxed with the 1080i output method?
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post #22 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryarber View Post

Can you try this....

Set your H20 to output all signals as 1080i and then set to output at native resolution. See if there is a noticeable difference between the SD converted picture in both scenarios, and see if the delay goes away when switching between SD and HD channels.

Is the picture stretched with the native method? Is it letterboxed with the 1080i output method?

Okay, here is what I found:

H20 settings
- Display/Native=On (or Off - same results)
- Display/Format=Pillar Box
- TV Type=16:9
- TV Type/Resolutions=1080i

NEC Set to 2.35:1
- Image fills the screen on SD channel
- Image fills the screen on HD channel
- faster switching, but still about a second delay

NEC Set to Anamorphic
- Image has pillar boxes on SD channel
- Image fills the screen on HD channel
- faster switching, but still about a second delay

================

H20 settings
- Display/Native=On
- Display/Format=Pillar Box
- TV Type=16:9
- TV Type/Resolutions=480i/480p/720p/1080i

NEC Set to 2.35:1
- Image fills the screen on SD channel
- Image fills the screen on HD channel
- slow switching 2-3 seconds

NEC Set to Anamorphic
- Image has pillar boxes on SD channel
- Image fills the screen on HD channel
- slow switching 2-3 seconds

So it looks like the switching is the result of the H20 changing resolutions to follow the native image resolution. If the H20 is pinned down at 1080i, switching is faster. I don't want to leave it at 1080i though, because that would result in the H20 scaler doing all of the image manipulation.
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post #23 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 05:31 PM
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What do you think about the A/B comparison of letting the H20 do the scaling versus the Faroudja in the 4308? Any real noticeable difference? Apparently folks are finding in the Onkyo 875 that the H20 is doing just as good a job at upscaling as the Reon. The Reon is just doing a much better job at deinterlacing. I'm interested to see if the PQ resulting from upscaling in the H20 is as good as if it is done in the Faroudja.

It seems the delay comes from the DCDi chip in the 4308 adjusting to the changing resolutions being fed to it.
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post #24 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryarber View Post

What do you think about the A/B comparison of letting the H20 do the scaling versus the Faroudja in the 4308? Any real noticeable difference? Apparently folks are finding in the Onkyo 875 that the H20 is doing just as good a job at upscaling as the Reon. The Reon is just doing a much better job at deinterlacing. I'm interested to see if the PQ resulting from upscaling in the H20 is as good as if it is done in the Faroudja.

It seems the delay comes from the DCDi chip in the 4308 adjusting to the changing resolutions being fed to it.

The picture quality was better (less motion artifacts), but I wouldn't say dramatically better.

I also notice the delay when I have the H20 directly connected to the HDMI input on my Plasma, bypassing the 4308ci.
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post #25 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 08:10 PM
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I get my Denon 4308 tomorrow!!!!!!! I can hardly wait!
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post #26 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 08:11 PM
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I guess the main thing I want to know from here is how the 4308 performs in 1080i deinterlacing.
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post #27 of 5098 Old 07-27-2007, 08:23 PM
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Guys I've been watching this w/ great antcipation. I am thinking of changing out my unit but not sure. What will I be gaining other than the newest toy?
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post #28 of 5098 Old 07-28-2007, 12:34 AM
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Thanks for the write-up! I am fortunate to be in the market for a new receiver, and I am looking at this one as well as the 3808. One of the features that interests me about the 4308 is the ability to stream music and pictures. Does anyone know if it will stream movies as well? Is the streaming feature set up to work on Mac as well, or PC only?
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post #29 of 5098 Old 07-28-2007, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EriQ009 View Post

Thanks for the write-up! I am fortunate to be in the market for a new receiver, and I am looking at this one as well as the 3808. One of the features that interests me about the 4308 is the ability to stream music and pictures. Does anyone know if it will stream movies as well? Is the streaming feature set up to work on Mac as well, or PC only?

I will be setting up streaming soon. Watching "The Host" in HD on the 4308ci now . I will report back with the features.
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post #30 of 5098 Old 07-28-2007, 01:24 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Expectation is growing to get my preorder
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