Pros: Powerful, Networked, ARC & 3D capability
Cons: No printed manual supplied
Purchased the Denon AVR-2312CI receiver April 2012. It has performed above my expectations. The Denon is the core of my home theatre system and was chosen for several reasons. It replaces an older Denon unit which has been perfectly reliable; the new unit has internet connection, ARC and 3D capability, latest sound decoding which is outstanding, receiver also has internet radio. The rest of my system is a 5.1 setup. Using Infinity speakers for left, right, center and an Infinity powered sub-woofer; rear speakers are “in wall” (mounted between studs) made by Polk. Imaging is on a Samsung 3D LED TV with Samsung Blu-ray DVD player. All hardware connected HDMI cables to the Denon and each device has hard wired Ethernet. I have been and continue to be very satisfied.
Features—The Denon AVR-2312 CII is an AVR receiver 5.1/7.1 using the Audyssey sound calibration for auto-room correction. It has HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) which I use and it works fine. ARC is a very good feature if one is streaming using the smart TV feature on the Samsung device to get the high quality audio into the receiver.
There are seven discrete 105-watt channels, dual subwoofer outputs and several audio formats to choose from including multi-room capability. The unit supports HDMI v1.4a for playing 3D video content which I occasionally use and it works flawlessly; and also supports various network streaming capabilities, including Airplay, mp3/WMA/WAV and FLAC HD audio. Most of these features are nice to have; my primary use is good video and superior sound. There is a very good comfort level with the 3 year warranty on the unit. Speaker wire connections are high quality binding posts.
Setup—the receiver is connected to the source components and display by HDMI cables. The Audyssey system was used for room correction, it was simple to use and did not require a follow up in the manual mode. The unit did not come with a printed owner’s manual; the manual is supplied on a CD, which was a disappointment. Supplied was a printed “Getting Started Guide” which although not very detailed was good enough to get the unit working just fine. I had a few questions on activating the ARC and called Denon support number. The person I spoke to quickly explained what was required to get it active and also pointed out where in the manual it is explained.
User Interface—Remote and menu system are straight forward and simple to use. After setting up I programed a Logitech remote to control the receiver, TV, Blu-ray for simplicity especially for multi users. Occasionally the Denon remote is used to check for updates.
Performance—the sound is impressive especially the precise sound stage provided by the decoding when watching movies, either on Blu-ray or streaming. Two channel audio from a CD is clean, distortion free and solid. I can’t tell you how many friends that I’ve demonstrated the system to that were blown away by the sound produced. As for video processing, Denon minimizes this feature and I’m pleased with that.
Another nice feature is the ability to connect a computer to the front panel HDMI input to stream a HD video or simply use the TV as a monitor when, for example, showing some pictures or a home video. Finally the physical construction of the unit is solid with clean lines.
Reviewed by Billy B 11/05/2013 for AVS Forum