Integra DHC-40.2 Surround Processor Page 2
Setup is extremely intuitive via the setup menu. You can assign an input to each component, customize it with details about your preferred video output or how to handle specific audio codecs, and even create your own custom label for the input (TiVo instead of Video 3, for example).
I’ve owned the cousin to the Integra DTC-9.8 (Onkyo Professional PR-SC885) for the past three years, and I was never impressed by its primitive text-based onscreen display (OSD). This is one of the first things Integra upgraded in its subsequent models; the overlaid graphical OSD is awesome. It shows the input source and volume level; it even lets you access additional adjustments—both audio and video—without having to venture into the setup menu or forcing your display to relock onto the HDMI signal.
The remote is a letdown. First, it’s not backlit, so it’s useless in a dark room. Second, it doesn’t include many of the less used—but very convenient—buttons, such as audio channel select and level +/–. Still, the essentials are there, and it fits nicely in your hand. If you haven’t made the leap to an aftermarket universal remote, you can program this remote to operate other components in your system. But it won’t be as easy to do as with a Logitech Harmony One.
Calibration and Evaluation
Unlike the higher-end DHC-80.2, the DHC-40.2 doesn’t have Audyssey MultEQ Pro, so it doesn’t allow for specialized setup and EQ by a certified Audyssey installer. Instead, there’s Audyssey MultEQ, which initiates when you plug the supplied microphone into the front-panel jack. The calibration process measures up to six different locations in your room and attempts correction across the entire listening area.
It took about 25 minutes to run through the calibration process. The setup program pegged each of my speakers at the proper distance from my listening area and set the crossovers for each speaker at the frequency best suited for them. Then, I used a RadioShack SPL meter to make sure each individual speaker level was correct. As I’ve experienced in the past, the surround speakers were a tad hot—by about 1.5 decibels. The benefits of the Audyssey calibration were literally music to my ears: better imaging, a more robust midrange, and improved dynamics. When I turned it off, it was like putting cotton in my ears—the soundstage became flat and tired by comparison.
The Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipset processes both analog and HDMI sources with terrific results. Only 2:2 standard-definition signals upconverted to 1080p tripped up the processor; all of the other tests passed with flying colors. When I compared the Integra’s onboard scaling with my reference OPPO BDP-83’s Anchor Bay processing, the OPPO’s picture was slightly sharper. However, if you have a smaller display, you probably won’t complain unless you’re a die-hard videophile.