So, I just finished hooking up my new receiver. I will just post my first impressions of what I don't like about the receiver. I assume most people (like myself) expect a Denon receiver to be great, so they are more concerned that what people don't like about them.
1) The unit uses volitile memory to store settings. While the manual claims that the unit will hold all settings with the power off/unplugged for a week, I don't consider that acceptable. I frequently travel for more that a week at a time, and I need to turn off my power strip when I leave the house for a couple of weeks at a time (for various reasons that are not pertinent to this post). First, I have no idea why Denon wouldn't use flash memory. How much would it add to the cost of the unit to include maybe 128K of flash memory. 50 cents? On a receiver costing about $1,000, I expect it. Especially when my very old Sony receiver that it is replacing uses flash. Setup is quite time consuming, so going through the process twice is definately to be avoided. And the manual is quite confusing on the subject. It appears that even if the unit is plugged in but powered off, it will still lose memory after a week. And the manual also recommends unplugging the unit if away for long periods (what type of moron wrote that). I am therefore forced to keep it in standby mode on a permanent basis.
2) There is no video downconversion. Wow, I wish I knew that before I bought the thing. My mistake, as I should have checked on it first. My DVR, DVD recorder, and Archos are pretty much useless with it. Also, I was planning on using my Archos to monitor the on-screen displays of various audio devices without turning on the TV. It's not the $70 I have to pay to buy a stand alone converter, it's the hassle. It is one more device I have to stick in my cabinet, with another bunch of cables to hook up, and makes the whole setup more confusing, especially when having to teach my family how to use it. Was I really wrong in assuming a high-end a/v receiver should include such functionality? I quick check online indicates the Sony receivers do it. Denon appears to go to great lengths with marginal features such as amp-assign, multi zone, al24 processing, etc, etc, etc, but is lacking in the core feature that a a/v receiver should have. Namely, the ability to switch between different components. ESPECIALLY in this day and age, when there are so many different input/output types. I guess just like flash costs a little more $$ than volitile memory, a downconverter would add a couple of more bucks to their costs.
And also, I don't particularly like the remote. But they tried, and it does an adequate job. I had this crazy idea before I bought the unit that maybe it could replace my pronto. What was I smoking!
Of course, there are some things that really rock about the receiver. I think Audissey is maybe the greatest advancement in home theater since the first version pro-logic 20 years ago. But at the end of the day, without video down-conversion, it just doesn't meet my needs. In the past, I always bought audio/video gear at a local reatailer with a return policy. However, I now live in the Philippines and I have no plans to fly back to the US, so it will have to do.
Also, I am guilty of not reading any of this thread in a couple of months so I assume there is nothing new in my post, but if I am missing the boat on something that had been discussed somewhere in the 17 pages of this thread, please let me know and I'll do some reading.