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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all --


I am looking for a new receiver that can do both surround sound in my main viewing area as well as power the three other pairs of speakers around my house. Each of the three zones have volume knobs, but I don't know the details of the setup as it was already here when I moved in -- it is all Niles brand. I plan on hooking these speakers up to the second zone of the receiver using a speaker selector.


So my main requirements are:


- Powered second zone support; also with pre outputs so I have the option to use a separate amp in the future.

- Ability to use a digital source in the second zone. My ideal use case would have someone watching a movie in 5.1 surround while I can listen to digital audio from my HTPC in the second zone.

- Ability to listen to high bitrate music from my HTPC, 24/96 or higher.


I think that is the most important stuff -- I don't have many sources, probably just DirecTV, my HTPC, and perhaps my Wii. I don't even own any surround sound speakers yet



I'd like to get something under $1500 and I've been mostly looking at Denon. I think the AVR-2310CI (or maybe the 3310CI) will suit my needs, but I'd like to check here to see if it is suitable first.


Thanks for any advice!
 

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Digital source in second zone is a problem. Almost no receivers support that. My receiver has a digital zone 4, but it's not exactly cheap (Yamaha RX-Z7,) and I think it might be limited to S/PDIF inputs only (never tested it, someone told me this.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooz /forum/post/18259273


I'd like to get something under $1500 and I've been mostly looking at Denon. I think the AVR-2310CI (or maybe the 3310CI) will suit my needs, but I'd like to check here to see if it is suitable first.


Thanks for any advice!

As MJH noted, AVRs generally only pass analog audio to Zone2 speaker posts/pre-outs which include the Denon 2310 and 3310. Although the 2310 and 3310 both have Zone2 pre-outs, the 3310 is the lowest Denon AVR model with a full set of speaker pre-outs if that's a requirement. Although you could use an impedance matching speaker selector connected to the Front "B" speaker posts to pass digital audio to your other rooms, you would be restricted to the same source selected in the main zone (unlike using Zone2 analog connections where you would have independent source selection).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Batpig's Denon FAQ states:

Quote:
If you happen to have the 988, 989, 2808CI, 2809CI, or a higher level model (like 3808CI), then you can output digital audio to Zone 2 as long as it is 2.0 PCM via an S/PDIF connection (optical toslink or digital coax)

(from http://batpigworld.com/fadq.html#multizone )


Am I misunderstanding this? My interpretation was that with the higher end Denons, selecting a digital source for Zone 2 will work as long as it is PCM. Which would mean I couldn't put an HDMI source on Zone 2, but I can live with that.
 

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I would assume he's right until proven wrong
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooz /forum/post/18260518


Am I misunderstanding this? My interpretation was that with the higher end Denons, selecting a digital source for Zone 2 will work as long as it is PCM. Which would mean I couldn't put an HDMI source on Zone 2, but I can live with that.

Specifically PCM 2.0 only and for the 3310 and higher, not the 2310.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies all. Can anyone tell how I can tell if a particular receiver has this feature (digital source for zone 2)? I've tried reading the manuals but they seem typically geared towards setup and operation -- it is hard to tease out this kind of info. What are the magic phrases I should be looking out for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah, i see it now:

Quote:
When the input source to which the digital input connectors

(OPTICAL/COAXIAL) are assigned is selected in ZONE2 or ZONE3,

playback is only possible if the digital signal being input is in PCM

(2-channel) format.


It is not possible to play the digital audio signals input from the HDMI

terminals in ZONE2 and ZONE3.

From page 84 in the 3310CI manual.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In addition, from page 56 of the 2310CI manual:

Quote:
It is not possible to play the digital audio signals input from the

HDMI, COAXIAL or OPTICAL terminals in ZONE2. Play using analog

connections (in stereo).

So it sounds like I probably need to go with the 3310CI or higher.


Anyone know if there are any other limitations on playing a digital source on zone 2 with the 3310CI? Perhaps some limitation on bitrate?
 
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