Hi, everyone... I just got my AVR-3808ci yesterday and wanted to post a few thoughts...
For the most part this receiver is everything that is hyped up to be. Awesome sound quality, very flexible signal routing... its everything you would expect from a Denon product. I really love it.
But, with that said, it has a couple of little bugs in its software. None are enough to cause someone to shy away from buying this unit, and thankfully the firmware update feature is incredibly easy to use, so hopefully before too long we'll have an update to fix these little problems. But just in case anyone was wondering, here's what I've found so far...
* Occasionally the On-Screen Display will quit working. Putting the receiver in standby and turning it back on seems to fix it.
* The OSD for playing audio off of the network has disappeared a few times, leaving just a gray screen. Again, going to standby and turning it back on fixes it.
* The web interface is... well... hideous. It looks like it was thrown together in a matter of a few hours, and is all text based. And clicking the "setup" link causes the web server in the unit to crash.
* While I was attempting to program Quick Select 3, it refused to take the new settings. After about 8 attempts it finally worked.
Other things that could be improved upon:
* For my setup all of the Video sources are taken up with various components, and the CD input is left unused. The receiver will let you specify a video source for the audio-only sources (CD, Tuner, XM, Phono), but it will only let you select from the video sources currently assigned to another input. I needed one more video input, and I'm not using the S-Video or Composite inputs on the HDP source, so I plugged in my video source there with the audio being sent to the CD input. Unfortunately the receiver assumes that I want the HDMI input assigned to HDP instead of letting me select the S- or composite source. In short, even more flexible input routing would be nice.
* It is really easy to miss or press the wrong button on the touchscreen (EL) portion of the remote control. The remote could really use some sort of tactile feedback to make it easier to find the button you are attempting to use. Even when you're pretty sure you're pressing in the right place you might not be.
* Along those same lines, a button on the side to illuminate the EL display on the remote would be nice.
* Downconversion from HDMI to component would be very helpful. My projector only has component video inputs but my DVD player and PS3 are HDMI, so I have to take up two component inputs from those sources to route component video to my projector. Downconversion to S or Composite might also be nice, but I don't really miss that feature too much.
* Like the 3803 I had before it, the Rec Out outputs the same thing as Zone 2. I really wish these were separate, because I actually do record stuff and use Zone 2.
* The Network audio feature's user interface is SLOW! My music collection is fairly large and it takes forever to navigate, even utilizing the Search feature.
* The remote could use a few more buttons. It doesn't have quite enough for me to be able to program it to control my satellite receiver to the point where it is actually usable. In addition, the Quick Select and System Call features could really use their own remote buttons.
* The overall output level could be higher. I turned it all the way up and it wasn't anywhere near "blowing me away" loud (though it was perfectly clean). I know the amplifier has a lot more power than its maximum volume setting is allowing it to use. My 3803 seemed much louder. Come to think of it, each receiver I have owned over the years seems to be less powerful than its predecessor.
A few things I love about it:
* It supports HDMI 1.3. And it fully supports HDCP.
* One connection to my TV via HDMI, thats all.
* Upconversion from composite all the way to HDMI. I actually like the Faroudja chip. But the sources I watch frequently are already 1080i so the upconversion isn't going to be used much.
* Auto select the highest quality source without wading through the menus. In other words, if HDMI is available, use it, otherwise select component, then S, then composite. This feature allows me to have my PS3 and 360 connected to the same input, and just turn on the one device I want to use. Since HDMI can carry audio, it fully intelligently switches between the two sources without my intervention.
* The Home button on the remote is great! It puts the remote back to Main Zone mode.