Dienstag Okt 09, 2007

The Ultimate Device


I never ever thought, I might envy people for their devices...

But: This is the time...

You've ever seen an iPhone in action? You ever saw, how easy it gets to use a mobile device to access all the things on the internet? How smooth the display of big web-pages can be? How nice eMail can look on a phone? How easy it is to chat from your phone either via IM or SMS? How sleek a device running an Unix-like operating system can look like in the palm of your hand? How nice it feels to hold it? I could rant on forever... ;-)

This surely is a MUST-HAVE device, and I'm actively considering getting one... If only they could be used with EVERY networkprovider, and having the additional UMTS protocol implemented for us in Europe...

Damned, I never thought being forced to really consider to "hack" a tool to be able to use it was so challenging...

Matthias

tags:

Dienstag Jul 04, 2006

Denon AVR 2807


Last week I bought my second AV Receiver, a Denon AVR 2807 to replace my 9-year old Onkyo TX-SV 535.

Why?

The old Onkyo didn't have a 5.1 or 7.1 input, and therefore listening to SACDs or multi-channel DVD (video and/or audio) was impossible... ;-(

So, why the Denon?

Simply, because of the applause it received in the media. And because it has no fans, and is therefore real quiet! And because I already have a multi-norm DVD player from Denon, the DVD 2910, which I like.

So, what's my impression?

I like it!

In more detail: The options are phenomenal, the technical finesse is overwhelming. And at a price of 820,- EUR, there's nothing to complain about. Still, there are a couple of points, I'd like to make:
  • The manual does contain all relevant information, but you need to know, what to look for. There is no real index nor glossary! And with all the features, that should be required. But, bad manuals for consumer electronics are a given today... ;-(
  • In Europe we have many video-connections using SCART (a 20-pin connector, with a grounding shield). The problem with that is, that it either transfers analog RGB, or composite video in both directions. The s-video nor the component-video (YUV) can be send bi-directional, as this is a limitation of the norm of SCART. As the Denon does not have a RGB input, this restriction reduces the video-quality.
  • And, as this is my first real video and audio receiver, I had to recable my other electronics. So, be prepared to use much time in doing it properly.
  • My old Onkyo did have a "start by switching on the TV" input, which I found real useful, and do miss now.

In order to connect my TV I needed to use it's SCART connector 1 on the back, and soldered a connection using SCART pins 1, 3, 4 (Audio out), 17, 19, 20 (Video in and out) and pin 8, which I connected to Denon's trigger 1 out (so that the TV is switched on, when I select a video input on the Denon). Video in on the TV is connected to the monitor out of the Denon, so that I can use the On Screen Display functionalities of the Denon.

In order to connect my VCR I bought a SCART - Cinch converter with 6 cinch plugs, using Audio in and out, as well as video in and out. I did NOT connect the audio plugs from that converter, but used the cinch in/out plugs at the back of the VCR.

The classical tape didn't offer any problems, just connected the 4 cinch cables.

Also the old phono (Moving Magnet) didn't offer surprises, just connected the 2 cinch plus the grounding cable.

The DVD I did connect via all possible connections, using digital via HDMI, digital via coax and fibre (copper and optical) (the AVR 2807 doesn't have a DVI), I also connected the analog 2 channel and 5.1 channel (for use with SACD, as SACD is not transported digitally!), and connected it's SCART to the second SCART on the TV backside (for best video signal transfer! But: I cut pin 8, so that turning on the DVD does not switch the TV). So now, there are really many cables between the two Denons... ;-)

And, after having connected all 6 speakers (I do not yet have surround back!), I was ready to go...

Using the automatic speaker setup was easy, the only thing, that surprised me, was the fact, that it insists on all speakers (front, center, surround) being connected wrongly (which you can ignore, by using "skip"). The positive of this is, it measures the distance and the volume real good.

After that I needed to study the manual in order to learn, how to define, which surround option to use for which input (Dolby Surround ProLogic II cinema for TV and VCR, Dolby Surround ProLogic II music for the tuner).

Be prepared, that using HDMI does not work for DTS, I needed to switch to digital (coax or optical, both work).

So, still much to play around with (there are still four amps left, 2 for the surround back, and 2 for a zone 2!), but, having listened to a couple of DTS DVDs made me real happy with my decision... ;-)

Highly recommended!
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