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CNET First Look
Denon AVR-1911The Denon AVR-1911 costs more than competitors and has fewer features, but its outstanding sound quality bests competing 7.1-channel AV receivers.
-Hi! I'm Matthew Moskovciak, senior associate editor at cnet.com and we are here with the Denon AVR-1911. This is Denon's midrange AV receiver for 2010 and it's currently selling for about $600 online. The design is similar to previous Denon models with a matte-black finish and subtle curve towards the top of the front panel. The front panel is also dominated by the LCD display in the center. And in the lower right, there's an extra AV input and a USB input. The USB input is iPod and iPhone compatible, so you won't need to buy a separate dock to listen to your iPod. Now, the iPod functionality is great, but Denon's text-based graphical user interface holds it back a little bit. The interface features only basic white text and no album art which looks really outdated on a modern HDTV. You'll also be using the same menus for the initial set up process. Now, Denon has completely redesigned their AV receiver remote this year and the new model is much better than the old one. The awkward flip down door on the back is gone and there's a much more straightforward design that's easier to use. Around back, you'll notice that Denon's back panel is pretty sparse. There are 4 HDMI inputs which are adequate, but many competitors are offering 6 at this price level. On the upside, the AVR-1911 supports many new HDMI 1.4 features including 3D video passthrough and audio return channel. It also has standby passthrough which allows the receiver to continue passing HDMI video signals even when it's turned off. You could see, the rest of the connectivity is also lean, which is the single component video connection and 2 digital audio inputs. The most surprise feature on the Denon is its built-in HD radio tuner which no other receiver has at this price level. Now, many people have moved on from terrestrial radio to online streaming services like Pandora or Rhapsody. But if you still like your radio over the air, you won't need to buy a separate HD radio tuner with the Denon. Sound quality on the Denon was outstanding. We put the Denon head-to-head with other excellent sounding AV receivers such as the Marantz NR1601 and the Pioneer VSX-1020-K and the Denon was a notch above its competitors. It didn't matter whether we listen to music or movies, the Denon was the best sounding midrange AV receiver we've heard this year. So, overall, the bottom line is that the Denon AVR-1911 is more expensive than competitors and it doesn't offer quite as many features, but its outstanding sound quality is the best we've heard this year. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from cnet.com and this is the Denon AVR-1911.