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Affordable HDMI A/V receiver: Denon AVR-2807

Affordable HDMI A/V receiver: Denon AVR-2807

Denon has consistently produced A/V receivers that sit at or near the top of CNET's top products list, but the company's better models often command a considerable price premium. That's why Denon's new receiver is particularly newsworthy: the AVR-2807 is priced at an affordable $1,100, but it's slated to deliver the same sort of HDMI switching and 480p upconversion of analog video sources found on higher-priced Denon models such as the $2,000 AVR-4306.

In addition to the HDMI niceties, the AVR-2807 is jam-packed with the sort of features we've come to expect from Denon, including 110 watts of power per channel, an enhanced version of the Audyssey MultEQ XT auto setup/calibration and support for the addition of any XM Connect-and-Play antenna module for integrated satellite radio reception. Also, Denon is pledging that the AVR-2807 will be able to pass 1080p high-def signals via HDMI, meaning it's as future-proof as one can expect in the current HD era. And while the AVR-2807 lacks the direct iPod/MP3 connector found on its more expensive sibling, the AVR-4306, the AVR-2807 will be compatible with a new iPod dock that Denon is planning to release later in 2006. When paired with the AVR-2807, the dock is expected to provide audio, photo, and video playback control via the 2807's remote (by contrast, the 4306 can't display iPod-based video).

So why all the excitement over the AVR-2807? Consider Denon's $1,300 AVR-3806. It's a great receiver, but the somewhat half-baked HDMI capabilities--analog video sources and the onscreen display are limited to 480i resolution via the HDMI output--limits usefulness on many HDTVs and monitors. For $200 less, the AVR-2807 looks to deliver a lot more for the home-theater enthusiast. The AVR-2807 is scheduled to be available in March 2006, in black or silver.