Denon's summer fever: AVRs and Blu-ray players

Home theater equipment manufacturer Denon just announced several new products for the coming year, including a whopping 9 A/V receivers and a pair of Blu-ray Disc players.

Every new receiver, from the $349 retail-channel AVR-590 to the $1,999 high-end, custom installer-targeted AVR-4310CI, include Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, and MultEQ, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD decoding, HDMI 1.3a repeater circuitry, and support for Deep Color and x.v.Color. Yes, even the AVR-590 has these features . As they step up in price, the receivers also feature more HDMI inputs, dual zone and Sirius Satellite Radio support (AVR-790 and up), Denon's new graphical interface (AVR-890 and up), and networked media streaming with support for Pandora and Napster (AVR-990 and up).

The AVR-4310CI sits at the top of the heap, packing virtually every feature Denon could think of. According to Denon, it's the first receiver in the world to include Audessy DSX 11-speaker support (for more information, read Brent Butterworth's hands-on experience with DSX). It also includes built-in HD radio, 3-source/3-zone functionality, and RS-232C support.

Denon also showed off the DBP-1610CI and DBP-2010CI, two new Blu-ray Disc players. Both players support DivXHD and AVCHD video playback, ethernet jacks for BD-Live features, and 2-channel analog output with Burr-Brown D/A converters for CD playback. The DBP-2010CI goes a bit further, sporting RS-232C compatibility and an Anchor Bay Technologies video processing/upscaling engine.

For users who want both a high-end Denon receiver and Blu-ray Disc player, Denon revealed Denon Link 4th, the latest upgrade to its Denon Link connection. The 4th version of Denon Link lets the receiver completely co-opt the clock of the Blu-ray Disc player to completely synchronize playback, a process that Denon claims completely eliminates jitter. Denon Link 4th will be available on the AVR-4310CI when it ships, and owners of the AVR-5308CI receiver and AVP-A1HDCI 12-channel preamp will be able to get a free firmware upgrade to Denon Link 4th in June.

The AVR-4310CI ($1,999), AVR-1610 ($379), and AVR-1910 ($550) ship this month. The AVR-590 ($349), AVR-790 ($499), AVR-890 ($799), AVR-2310CI ($849), and AVR-3310CI ($1,499) ship in June. The AVR-990 ($1,499), DBP-1610CI ($499), and DBP-2010CI ($699) ship in July.

Will Greenwald