The "Official" Denon AVR-3808ci Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted yesterday after I picked the unit up, and wanted to give my first impressions from last night as I set it up and got my first taste. I'll write more when I've had a little time with it ...

THE SWAP

Without giving it another thought I just dove into the challenge of replacing my existing Denon 3805. It had been rather too long since I had done a serious overhaul of my setup, so I pulled everything out and started more or less from scratch. The pile of cables around me grew, and vacuum cleaner at the ready, the mountain of dust entwined within slowly dwindled.

As soon as I severed the final connection between my old receiver and the rest of the universe I put the 3808ci in its place. The build quality, size, and weight are comparable and the cosmetic changes are more subtle than pictures I had seen led me to believe. It's attractive and understated. It didn't take long to plan my new connection strategy, find all the appropriate cables, and get reconnected.

I had expected to simplify my cabling in the process of swapping receivers. The plan involved eliminating an optical cable from my PS3, replacing the component + optical connection from my HD Tivo with a single HDMI cable, and replacing the component connection to my HDTV with HDMI. As it turned out, I unearthed a handful of additional cables in the process that weren't necessary in either my old or new setup. They simply remained orphaned from the evolution of my setup over the years.

SETTING UP

Fingers crossed, I hit the power and prepare to start the process of configuring speakers and inputs. It's here that I ran into my first stumbling block. The electroluminescent remote is tricky, at best, to read in bright light. [I've since discovered that the remote backlight is adjustable and by default it's rather dim.] I could dimly see the icons for different devices that the remote could be programmed to control and pressed the amp icon before trying to bring up the menu. No luck. I actually performed my initial setup using the front panel controls as a result. I later learned that there are five different amp sub-modes that the remote cycles through each time you press the amp button. At first it seemed absurd, but if you know what's going on and aren't dealing with bright lights its merely suboptimal.

The on-screen menu system is attractive, overlays neatly on every kind of signal I've seen with nice transparency effects, and is fairly straightforward to use. I wouldn't say that the GUI really takes advantage of the screen real estate. It's more like a pretty version of the same old menu hierarchy than anything really innovative. Text entry is as much of pain as ever, for example, which was disappointing, but given how infrequently it is needed I guess it made sense to spend their engineering time elsewhere.

The automatic speaker detection and setup is pretty straightforward, if not exactly quick. The test tones used by Audyssey are far less annoying than the white noise used by the 3805, my surrounds were wired out of phase and were detected automatically, and the automatic selection of distances and crossover points seemed entirely reasonable. Measuring multiple seating locations seemed to avoid the pitfalls I had experienced with overcompensation before, too. In my initial testing I'd say the resulting imaging seems very natural and I'm looking forward to spending more time listening to a variety of material.

Setting up my media sources was actually more confusing than I expected it to be, and yet it's exactly the same process as they've used before. It's clearly an outgrowth of their earlier designs where there's a fixed list of possible sources, each of which is hard-wired to analog audio and video inputs. Some sources (like CD) are similarly hard-wired to assume no video input - because there isn't an analog input labeled "CD" on the back of the unit. Associating component video, digital audio, or HDMI inputs with each of the predefined sources is straightforward and an alternate name can be assigned to each one.

*** FREE ADVICE FOR DENON ***

So what's wrong with the system that has served Denon so well over the years? It seems baroque when the vast majority of my gear is connected SOLELY to assignable inputs! Why should I have to start by picking an arbitrary source name, like "DVR" to configure my Xbox 360? I merrily picked arbitrary sources and configured them until I tried configuring the one device, my Wii, that actually uses an analog audio input and I HAD to use a particular source to configure it! Similarly annoying is that the custom name is really an alternate name - the original source name and icon are also displayed to confuse matters. Even worse, sources that you haven't configured at all just clutter up the interface. [I've since found that you can hide unused sources from the list.]

It's time to let go of the notion of a fixed list of sources. The system should start with an empty list, and let you add one source at a time. Name them anything you like, associate them with any inputs you like, and pick an icon and a remote control button to link to them. Denon could probably eliminate half the analog audio and video inputs from the back of the unit in the process.

THE PART THAT MATTERS

With everything configured, I fired the system up and ran it quickly through its paces before retiring for the night. As much as I've griped about the configuration process, everything worked as expected the very first time I tried it. I was immediately impressed with the sound of the unit as we fired up Casino Royale on Blu-ray and jumped through a few scenes and I was delighted to finally be able to put the multi-channel PCM track to use. It was clear, warm, and full sounding shows a lot of promise. I can't wait to spend more time with it.

I also got my first taste of SACD. I picked up a copy of Roxy Music's Avalon shortly after buying a PS3 and have been waiting for a chance to try it. Oh my goodness. This is audio heaven, and I can't wait to experience more. It absolutely exceeded my expectations and I feel like I'm rediscovering music all over again. We'll see if the feeling lasts, but I wanted to post quickly before getting on with my day. Good luck to all those 3808ci seekers out there! It's looking very promising indeed.
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post #2 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 06:11 PM
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anyone else's first impressions?
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post #3 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAdept View Post


*** FREE ADVICE FOR DENON ***

So what's wrong with the system that has served Denon so well over the years? It seems baroque when the vast majority of my gear is connected SOLELY to assignable inputs! Why should I have to start by picking an arbitrary source name, like "DVR" to configure my Xbox 360? I merrily picked arbitrary sources and configured them until I tried configuring the one device, my Wii, that actually uses an analog audio input and I HAD to use a particular source to configure it! Similarly annoying is that the custom name is really an alternate name - the original source name and icon are also displayed to confuse matters. Even worse, sources that you haven't configured at all just clutter up the interface.

It's time to let go of the notion of a fixed list of sources. The system should start with an empty list, and let you add one source at a time. Name them anything you like, associate them with any inputs you like, and pick an icon and a remote control button to link to them. Denon could probably eliminate half the analog audio and video inputs from the back of the unit in the process.

Here's what Jeff Talmadge has to say about that

JT: Absolutely. Even now, from the normal consumer side, we actually made the product easier to set up. Years back, when Denon first got into the AV receiver market, we decided to change the way the products were connected because then you were limited to: this was this input, this was this input, and that's all you could do. So we left the unit open to the customer's choice, what digital input they wanted to use versus another one and sign it here and sign it there.

Well, it's changed, over time, and now people seem to think it's more complicated and, in fact, in some ways it is, because more inputs are there. So this year we decided to take a step back. Now, out of the box, any unit, any receiver, can be hooked up by anybody without assignability. Yet an integrator or a home theater enthusiast that just wants to play you know, go crazy can go into the receiver and do just about anything they want.
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post #4 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzxx7 View Post

anyone else's first impressions?

I put several first impressions in the official 3808 thread we were using. I am not nearly as eloquent as DarkAdept, but I posted some results of my testing with scaling and such, using the HQV disk. Everything is working now, I love the network capabilities, and I am ok with the Faroudja, although I hope to get a Pio PRO150FD and just bypass the Faroudja eventually. It works pretty well exept for the film 24fps stuff, then not so hot.
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post #5 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 08:12 PM
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DarkAdept: Am I correct in my readings of the manual that the 3808 only allows up to seven video sources to coexist?
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post #6 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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It turns out you can increase the brightness of the main remote's backlight. It doesn't exactly get brilliant and I assume it's set low by default to extend battery life, but it can be made more livable. Unfortunately that's not the only bizarre design decision on the primary remote. Get this: there's no way to switch directly to the DVD source from the main remote. I kid you not. There's a button that TOGGLES among the DVD and HDP sources.

In practice I can see the rationale here for the way you'll actually use the remote. You'll never press the button to switch to the source you're already on. There are two things wrong with this theory:

(a) If you're trying to switch directly to the HDP source from anything other than DVD you wind up having to press the button twice.

(b) It makes the main remote next to useless for teaching a learning remote where you want to dedicate a button to each of your sources.

Luckily the secondary remote included with the 3808ci doesn't try to be nearly as clever. It's not a dedicated zone 2 remote as I was originally led to believe, but a full remote that duplicates most of the main functions for all zones and has nice dedicated buttons for each of the sources. It's not as pretty but is much more functional when trying to teach a learning remote the basics.

If all my gripes remain about the remotes I'm not going to use (my trusty MX-500 will do just fine until the MX-810 arrives) and the setup I'm going to do once, I'll be a happy camper. I'm loving the audio and video quality and have no issues to report with any of the devices I'm using. No mysterious pops clicks, or dropouts with the PS3 or HR10-250 over HDMI and so far so good on the legacy inputs as well.
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post #7 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Anonymous View Post

DarkAdept: Am I correct in my readings of the manual that the 3808 only allows up to seven video sources to coexist?

That's correct. You can't create new sources - you can only redefine the standard set: DVD, HDP, TV/CBL, SAT, VCR, DVR, and V.AUX allow for video and audio input configuration, CD allows only audio, and TUNES, PHONO, and NET/USB are dedicated to specific tasks.
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post #8 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DuallyDave View Post

Here's what Jeff Talmadge has to say about that

JT: Absolutely. Even now, from the normal consumer side, we actually made the product easier to set up. Years back, when Denon first got into the AV receiver market, we decided to change the way the products were connected because then you were limited to: this was this input, this was this input, and that's all you could do. So we left the unit open to the customer's choice, what digital input they wanted to use versus another one and sign it here and sign it there.

Well, it's changed, over time, and now people seem to think it's more complicated and, in fact, in some ways it is, because more inputs are there. So this year we decided to take a step back. Now, out of the box, any unit, any receiver, can be hooked up by anybody without assignability. Yet an integrator or a home theater enthusiast that just wants to play you know, go crazy can go into the receiver and do just about anything they want.

I understand the challenge he's describing, and it's certainly not a deal-breaker the way it is .. but in a few years I think it's going to look positively archaic. They could have provided an out-of-the-box default set of sources configured to match the labels on the back of the unit, and could still have given us the choice of an "advanced" mode where you define sources from the ground up.
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post #9 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkAdept View Post

That's correct. You can't create new sources - you can only redefine the standard set: DVD, HDP, TV/CBL, SAT, VCR, DVR, and V.AUX allow for video and audio input configuration, CD allows only audio, and TUNES, PHONO, and NET/USB are dedicated to specific tasks.

Unfortunately, I think that's going to cut the 3808 out of consideration for me. I have more than seven devices I need to connect.

The Onkyo 875 is even less versatile, so that's out too. I've been looking at the Sony 5300ES instead because it has the source capacity I need (and then some), but then I'm concerned about the audio quality I could be sacrificing.
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post #10 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 09:21 PM
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I'm glad to hear that the second remote has those capabilities, I am not pleased with the main remote. I liked the remote from my 1905 much better. The phony touch screen with buttons behind it just hides everything so you can't see the buttons until you press another button. Trying to stuff 2 functions onto one button is troublesome also. I want to get my harmony programmed for it, but it may be somewhat tedious if everything needs to be programmed in. It appears that it is not in the Harmony database yet.
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post #11 of 62 Old 08-04-2007, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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It's easy to plug an ethernet cable into your DenonLink port if you're trying to reach behind the receiver to plug it in based on feel alone. Having never used a DenonLink compatible device I had no idea they both used an RJ-45 connector. Needless to say, the networking capabilities of the receiver work MUCH better when you're using the correct port!
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post #12 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 05:18 AM
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I am looking for a solution here. I know the 3808ci doesn't support Wi-Fi.
My receiver is going to be in another room where I don't have a cable modem but I do have the wireless network in my home. Is there any way I can get my 3808ci to pick up the network - like by using an USB wireless adaptor. (But then how would one enter the passphrase if there is no way to install the USB wireless adaptor software)
Any suggestions or ideas here?
Thanks.
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post #13 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 06:44 AM
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You will need to connect the 3808CI to a wireless unit like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Techno.../dp/B000BNDEZY

It has 4 ports and I have one in use with two devices currently....and will be adding the 3808CI!
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post #14 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malcolmp6 View Post

I am looking for a solution here. I know the 3808ci doesn't support Wi-Fi.
My receiver is going to be in another room where I don't have a cable modem but I do have the wireless network in my home. Is there any way I can get my 3808ci to pick up the network - like by using an USB wireless adaptor. (But then how would one enter the passphrase if there is no way to install the USB wireless adaptor software)
Any suggestions or ideas here?
Thanks.

A wireless bridge like the linksys game adapter should work, but I don't have my 3808 yet, so I cannot confirm. (There is a discussion on this on the 'other' official thread. Not sure why there are two official threads.)
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post #15 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sunol View Post

A wireless bridge like the linksys game adapter should work, but I don't have my 3808 yet, so I cannot confirm. (There is a discussion on this on the 'other' official thread. Not sure why there are two official threads.)

A game adaptor or bridge should work fine. I am connected by wire, but I do have a "B" game adaptor that I could connect and try, I would need to change my router from the current WPA2 mode back to WEP to do this. If others have problems with this type connection, I can test this. My wired connection works without problem. I quit using the game adaptor because I ran a wire to the AV rack and put an 8 port gigabit switch there, also I wanted to get away from WEP, which is easily broken into.

It might be a good idea to rename the other thread as the 3808 anticipation thread.
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post #16 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 09:11 AM
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Hi can some please test the HDMI CES function and verify it work?
For example, turning TV on should turn receiver on as well, or if you turn DVD on, receiver and if you TV support both should be on as well.

Thanks and appreciate it
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post #17 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 09:47 AM
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Similar comments to DarkAdept and the fact that he seems to be in the same town as me (bought from the same Magnola store) makes me wonder if I have a multiple personality disorder

These comments are my initial experience; I've not thoroughly assessed, tweaked, calibrated or figure everything out yet.

I too am replacing a 3805 which has served me very well. Main reason for upgrading: the desire to run everything through HDMI and get the on-screen graphics back as well as a general update.

My setup:
Display: Pioneer 43" 1080i plasma
Cable box: Comcast Motorola DVR DCT-6412
DVD: Oppo 973
HTPC
VCR: Samsung SV4000W
Digital Music: Sonos
Game: Xbox 360

The cable box, DVD and HTPC have DVI outputs. The screen has a single HDMI input. I connected everything else using the highest quality available connectivity option.

My speaker setup will ultimately be 6.1, but is currently 6.0 since the subwoofer isn't connected yet... In fact, I've been operating with just the three front channels connected since I've been doing some rewiring because I have young children and dangling wires are not a good option. Therefore, I'm going to focus on connectivity and general operation rather than sound quality at this point since I'm not in a position to comment - besides Dora the Explorer and Teletubbies sounds about the same regardless of what you do

Wiring everything up was straighforward and the HDMI connectivity has removed two wires for each source (1 vs 3 for component) so that's less volume of wiring, which is good for my confined space. My Sonos only has analogue outputs and I wanted to connect it into the CD input. Took me a while to find the CD input (had to refer to the back panel diagram in the manual) since both it and the Phono inputs are over near the speaker terminals. Some of my devices use coax digital connections for audio, others use optical (DVR and Xbox). The digital audio inputs assignable as are the component video and HDMI inputs. However, while they are labeled as Coax 1, 2, 3, they also are "pre-wired" to specific devices. In the on-screen setup, they are only referred to as Coax 1, 2, 3, so you should keep this in mind when you're cataloguing how you're connecting everything up.

Powering up takes you to the tuner and the on-screen display, which is relatively clear and colourful. DarkAdept is right in that it is essentially a prettier view of the typical menu hierarchy. It took me a little while to figure it out but it is quite straightforward.

I setup the DVD player first and that went fine. The Comcast box was next and that proved problematic owing to some digital video issues, which are still unresolved. Basically, the Denon does not seem to lock onto the Comcast's signal when cable box is connected through its DVI ouput to the Denon's HDMI input. The TV signal shows up briefly and then the display just goes black with some flickering as if the Denon is trying to figure out what the signal is. Connecting the cable box directly to the display using the same cable works fine. So right now, the cable box is connected via component since that's the only way I can get a picture. There are various options relating to the Denon's scaler and I tried playing those but nothing seems to get the Motorola box working through DVI. However, the scaler configuration (under the HDMI menu) is worthy of exploration since there seem to be some useful options here. I need to talk to Comcast to see if a new box will help. Then again I may look at an HD Tivo.

With the Motorola box hooked up through component, I notice that the colours are less saturated than before. There are colour adjustment options on the Denon, so I will need to look at those.

Other than reprogramming my Harmony remote to control everything, that's all I've had time to do so far.
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post #18 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 09:51 AM
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I can offer a brief report on the firmware upgrade process since I tried this thinking that there might be some new firmware that would fix the issue I am having with the Motorola cable box connected via DVI.

Why try to upgrade the firmware on a newly released device? Well it wouldn't be the first time that some kind of hotfix was made available for a piece of hardware immediately after shipping. Anyway, I did the update and it finished very quickly. The manual indicates that process can take an hour even with a broadband connection. The end of the process was simply a display on the front panel saying "Update Completed". It wasn't obvious what to do next and pressing buttons had no effect. I finally switched it off and turned it on again only to find no on-screen display! A sphincter clenching moment indeed... I tried doing the firmware upgrade again thinking that it might not have taken. This time, downloading messages and programming messages were shown on the display and it took a while (say 40 minutes) to complete. Disconcertingly, there periods during the download of various parts of the firmware when the process appeared to freeze when in actual fact it was still dowloading. Also at the end when you get the "update complete" message, it is not clear what to do at all. Again, I ended up turning the unit off. Still no GUI, so I figured out how to reset the unit and that sorted it out. Finally, there appears to be no way to determine the version number of the installed firmware. While the ability for the user to update the firmware is great, I would like to see better execution in this area.
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post #19 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
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The Comcast box was next and that proved problematic owing to some digital video issues, which are still unresolved. Basically, the Denon does not seem to lock onto the Comcast's signal when cable box is connected through its DVI ouput to the Denon's HDMI input. The TV signal shows up briefly and then the display just goes black with some flickering as if the Denon is trying to figure out what the signal is. Connecting the cable box directly to the display using the same cable works fine. So right now, the cable box is connected via component since that's the only way I can get a picture. There are various options relating to the Denon's scaler and I tried playing those but nothing seems to get the Motorola box working through DVI. However, the scaler configuration (under the HDMI menu) is worthy of exploration since there seem to be some useful options here. I need to talk to Comcast to see if a new box will help. Then again I may look at an HD Tivo.

Have you checked the settings on the 6412? With it connected to the TV (may need component for this) and powered off, push the menu button on the 6412, it should display the 6412 settings on the TV. Check that it is 1080i out, HDMI, 480i overide for 480i signals. If not changing these may help. There is an "additional hdmi settings" submenu - hdmi/dvi mode - you may want this to be dvi?

Is your cable box still "Microsoft Enhanced" or did they already give you the TV Guide firmware? I had the 6412 until recently, traded it in for the 3416, which seems to work fine. The 3416 has hdmi out instead of dvi out. You might want to consider trading for the 3416, although that means hdmi-hdmi cable instead of dvi-hdmi cable. While this is better, it could mean you need another cable. Swapping the box also means loosing all of your recordings, but if you have an HTPC with a firewire connection, you can use the fireSTB driver and VLC to copy them to the HTPC. The 3416 has a 160gig hard drive the 6412 has a 120gig drive. Comcast will swap the leased box for free, if you take it down to the local Comcast office.
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post #20 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 10:20 AM
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I just had an interesting experience. I was playing internet radio, pushed the left arrow on the remote to change to a different station, and the screen went grey. It stayed grey until I changed to TV/cable, that looked fine. I went back to internet radio, still grey. I brought up the OSD, it was not visible on the screen, but I could still see it on the front display. I went into the menu where I could change the screen blanker from picture to blue, this did not help. I then powered the 3808 off and pushed the right power button to completely power it off (no light instead of red). After waiting 30 seconds, I powered it back on, and all was fine again. The screen blanker is blue now also, since I changed that. Looks like another bug in the firmware! That's 2 I've seen now, including the network info screen that has the info displayed incorrectly for IP MAC and DHCP.
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post #21 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 10:32 AM
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I just had an interesting experience. I was playing internet radio, pushed the left arrow on the remote to change to a different station, and the screen went grey. It stayed grey until I changed to TV/cable, that looked fine. I went back to internet radio, still grey. I brought up the OSD, it was not visible on the screen, but I could still see it on the front display. I went into the menu where I could change the screen blanker from picture to blue, this did not help. I then powered the 3808 off and pushed the right power button to completely power it off (no light instead of red). After waiting 30 seconds, I powered it back on, and all was fine again. The screen blanker is blue now also, since I changed that. Looks like another bug in the firmware! That's 2 I've seen now, including the network info screen that has the info displayed incorrectly for IP MAC and DHCP.

I've seen somethign like this too.
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post #22 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DuallyDave View Post

Have you checked the settings on the 6412? With it connected to the TV (may need component for this) and powered off, push the menu button on the 6412, it should display the 6412 settings on the TV. Check that it is 1080i out, HDMI, 480i overide for 480i signals. If not changing these may help. There is an "additional hdmi settings" submenu - hdmi/dvi mode - you may want this to be dvi?

Is your cable box still "Microsoft Enhanced" or did they already give you the TV Guide firmware? I had the 6412 until recently, traded it in for the 3416, which seems to work fine. The 3416 has hdmi out instead of dvi out. You might want to consider trading for the 3416, although that means hdmi-hdmi cable instead of dvi-hdmi cable. While this is better, it could mean you need another cable. Swapping the box also means loosing all of your recordings, but if you have an HTPC with a firewire connection, you can use the fireSTB driver and VLC to copy them to the HTPC. The 3416 has a 160gig hard drive the 6412 has a 120gig drive. Comcast will swap the leased box for free, if you take it down to the local Comcast office.

Thanks Dave. Yes it is still MS enhanced. TV Guide firmware scheduled for this week according to a flyer through the mail.
I did try the menu settings you indicated. Currently it is set for 1080i out and 480i override. I actually tried fiddling with all of these but to no avail. I don't have the HDMI settings menu - maybe that is just on the 3416. I think I'll try the box swap. Thanks for the fireSTB tip - I was trying to remember what the technique was for archiving having only done that once before.
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post #23 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bmwaustin View Post

Hi can some please test the HDMI CES function and verify it work?
For example, turning TV on should turn receiver on as well, or if you turn DVD on, receiver and if you TV support both should be on as well.

I assume you're referring to CEC? I haven't seen anything in documentation or the system's menu that suggests the receiver has explicit support for the protocol. I don't have any devices that can initiate a CEC request so I'm not sure how to go about testing it.

For those interested, more information on CEC is available in the Wikipedia article on HDMI and I've also run across an interesting paper on implementing CEC for those interested in more detail.

I suspect it's simply too early to see widespread support for the standard, but I hope it catches on. It would certainly address one of my pet peeves about home theatre command and control!
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post #24 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally took a tour of every menu option available and realized that under Manual Setup > Option Setup > Source Delete you can choose to hide sources from the source selection screen. Like the remote control brightness this wasn't immediately obvious and I've amended my initial impressions to correct for this oversight.

Other minor discoveries:

While the convenience of having everything on a single input on my HDTV was certainly one of the motivating factors in picking up the new receiver, I was also worried about losing the ability to remember picture settings on a per-input basis. The 3808's ability to apply picture adjustments to each of the analog sources was a real relief. We watched an HD DVD last night via our Xbox 360's component video output and I was thrilled to be able to make adjustments that affected only that source.

Ditto for being able to adjust relative volume levels for each of the sources. I love the idea that I no longer have to remember to turn the volume up / down when switching between different sources.

One apparent bug:

If the receiver menu is currently displayed and I press the mute button I immediately lose the picture for a few seconds. It's as if I've changed sources and the receiver is trying to detect the input signal all over again. I'm curious whether others are experiencing the same quirk because it's 100% repeatable for me. As I've mentioned elsewhere I also think it's absurd that you can't bring up the menu while the receiver is muted and hope that a future firmware update corrects this limitation.
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post #25 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DarkAdept View Post

One apparent bug:

If the receiver menu is currently displayed and I press the mute button I immediately lose the picture for a few seconds. It's as if I've changed sources and the receiver is trying to detect the input signal all over again. I'm curious whether others are experiencing the same quirk because it's 100% repeatable for me. As I've mentioned elsewhere I also think it's absurd that you can't bring up the menu while the receiver is muted and hope that a future firmware update corrects this limitation.

Verified here, mine does this also. The menu also turns off. The opposite is not the case. If muted with the menu on screen, un-muting simply unmutes, no other changes. This is a definite bug. Maybe we should start a bug thread to list the bugs (and send Denon the URL for it).

mute with menu on bug
network info display wrong bug
grey screen in net/usb bug
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post #26 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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WHY DID I CHOOSE THE 3808ci?

Multi-channel digital audio

This is my single largest reason for upgrading. I've been chomping at the bit to get equipped with 5.1 LPCM and DSD support for SACD, and with TrueHD, 5.1 LPCM and DTS HD for Blu-ray and HD DVD. I feel like I've done my homework and will be able to make the most of audio content coming out over the next few years.

Analog video conversion to HDMI

I picked my prior receiver because it offered a reasonable number of component inputs and video signal conversion from composite and S-Video to component so I could connect all my gear with a single cable. Three years later and I'm looking for a comparable solution that includes HDMI.

I'm not nearly as focused on scaler quality as some. The sources I care about already do a great job, and my 720p display isn't exactly worth pampering with the finest 1080p content. When I do pick up a 1080/24p capable display down the road I'll expect a decent scaler to be an integrated part of the unit and will do my best to pass everything untouched through the receiver.

Support for digital signals in zone 2

It's about time. Of course now I can start looking forward to future generations of receivers that support HDMI audio in zone 2. Ah well, the price of progress.

On-screen display that works above 480i

This may seem like a minor issue, but I can't count the number of times I've wanted to tweak something in the 3805's setup - and have had to do everything with the 2 line display on the unit's front panel because I no longer have a single 480i source in my setup!

DOES IT LIVE UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS?

Absolutely. My primary reasons for upgrading have been 100% satisfied. I'm comfortably configured and am enjoying high definition video, audio, and some plain old fashioned standard definition pre-season football as I type this. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the ability to control the receiver from my a web browser to spare me from thinking about IR repeaters and the like for zone 2.

I do wish video source switching were instantaneous but a delay of 2-3 seconds doesn't seem unreasonable. Sure, I've also uncovered some minor nits about ancillary functionality, that's just part of being an early adopter and it's nothing that affects my day-to-day usage. I fully expect Denon to provide some fixes and interesting tweaks with future firmware updates - but even if nothing new ever gets added I'll be set for years to come.

Come on in. The water's fine.
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post #27 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuallyDave View Post

Verified here, mine does this also. The menu also turns off. The opposite is not the case. If muted with the menu on screen, un-muting simply unmutes, no other changes. This is a definite bug. Maybe we should start a bug thread to list the bugs (and send Denon the URL for it).

Go for it!
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post #28 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Anonymous View Post

Unfortunately, I think that's going to cut the 3808 out of consideration for me. I have more than seven devices I need to connect.

The Onkyo 875 is even less versatile, so that's out too. I've been looking at the Sony 5300ES instead because it has the source capacity I need (and then some), but then I'm concerned about the audio quality I could be sacrificing.

One thing nice about the Sony is that it has separate audio-only in/out rca connections for tape recorders and MD. I have both, although hardly used. I hate to have to use up vcr/dvr inputs for these components;

Can I use the dvr optical inputs for the MD player and the dvr rca inputs for the tape recorder or are these inputs somehow linked and prevent using them for 2 different devices?

It also seems silly to use up the vcr input for an Ipod. If I don't care about video output (I have a Nano), could I use the cd input?

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post #29 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil Tomaskovic View Post

One thing nice about the Sony is that it has separate audio-only in/out rca connections for tape recorders and MD. I have both, although hardly used. I hate to have to use up vcr/dvr inputs for these components;

Can I use the dvr optical inputs for the MD player and the dvr rca inputs for the tape recorder or are these inputs somehow linked and prevent using them for 2 different devices?

It also seems silly to use up the vcr input for an Ipod. If I don't care about video output (I have a Nano), could I use the cd input?

The major thing I like about the Sony is that the HDMI inputs are independent sources. I have to wonder what the point is on the Denon of making them assignable only to sources that are also associated with analog video inputs. How many people are going to be using both for one device?

It's only the possible sound quality differences that make me hesitate, but nobody's really given me any opinions on that subject yet, even based on specs alone.
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post #30 of 62 Old 08-05-2007, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Phil Tomaskovic View Post

Can I use the dvr optical inputs for the MD player and the dvr rca inputs for the tape recorder or are these inputs somehow linked and prevent using them for 2 different devices?

You can freely reassign the HDMI, component, optical, coaxial, and DenonLink inputs to any source. The "DVR" label on the optical input is just a convenience for the default out-of-the-box configuration. So yes, in your example, you could use the DVR analog input for the DVR source and also use the optical input 2 (labelled DVR) with another source entirely such as CD or HDP and rename it to "MiniDisk".

The two things you can't do are:

(a) Create additional sources. You get 7 assignable audio + video sources, one assignable for audio only, and three audio only for dedicated purposes.
(b) Reassign the composite, S-Video, or RCA stereo inputs to anything but their original source
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