Denon AVR-2311CI Home Theater Receiver - Product Profile

Denon AVR-2311CI Home Theater Receiver
Denon AVR-2311CI Home Theater Receiver. Images provided by D&M Holdings

The AVR-2311CI is a 7.2 channel home theater receiver (7 channels plus 2 subwoofer outs) delivering 105 Watts into each of 7 channels and features TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and both Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX processing. On the video side, the AVR-2311CI has 6 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 1080p upscaling. Extra bonuses include iPod/iPhone connectivity and two subwoofer outputs.

Video Inputs and Outputs

The AVR-2311CI offers a total of Six HDMI inputs and one output, as well as Two component video inputs and one output. There are also two S-Video and four Composite video inputs (which are paired with analog stereo audio inputs), plus a set of front-panel A/V inputs. The AVR-2311CI also features a DVR/VCR/DVD Recorder connection loop.

The AVR-2311CI upconverts all standard definition analog video input signals to HDMI video outputs, with upscaling, to simplify Receiver connections to an HDTV.

Audio Inputs and Outputs:

The receiver has four assignable digital audio inputs (Two coaxial and two optical) audio inputs. Two additional analog stereo audio connections are provided for a CD player and other analog audio source, as well as one Digital Optical audio output. There are also two subwoofer preamplifier outputs.

Audio Decoding and Processing:

The AVR-2311CI features Audio Decoding for Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX/Pro logic IIx, DTS 5.1/ES, 96/24, Neo:6. DTS Neo:6 and Dolby ProLogic IIx processing enables the AVR-2311CI to extract 7.2-channel audio from any stereo or multichannel source.

Additional Audio Processing - Dolby Prologic IIz

The AVR-2311CI also features Dolby Prologic IIz processing. Dolby Prologic IIz offers the option of adding two more front speakers that are placed above the left and right main speakers. This feature adds a "vertical" or overhead component to the surround sound field (great for rain, helicopter, plane flyover effects). Dolby Prologic IIz can be added to either a 5.1 channel or 7.1 channel setup.

Loudspeaker Connections and Configuration Options:

Speaker connections consist of color-coded dual banana-plug-compatible multi-way binding posts for all main channels.

A useful speaker connection option is the ability for the AVR-2311CI to be used in a full 7.2 channel configuration, or in a 5.2 channel setup in the main home theater room, with simultaneous 2 channel operation in a second room. However, if you want to use the full 7.2 channels for your home theater environment, you can still run an additional 2-channel system in another room by using the Zone 2 preamp outputs. in this setup, you will have to add a second amplifier to power the speakers in Zone 2.

Another option that is provided is that instead of running the Zone 2 option, you can reassign the speaker connections to power Front Height Speakers for the Dolby ProLogic IIz option.

Amplifier Characteristics

The Denon AVR-2311CI delivers 105 Watts-per-channel into 8-Ohms via its seven discrete internal power amplifiers. With amplifier frequency response from 5 Hz to 100 kHz, the AVR-2311CI is up to challenge from any source, including Blu-ray Disc, or HD-DVD.

Video Processing

On the video side, the AVR-2311CI has 6 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 1080p upscaling via built-in Anchor Bay VRS processing, which also provides additional picture adjustments (Brightness, Contrast, Chroma Level, Hue, DNR, and Enhancer) that are independent of your TV or Video projector's picture settings.

Front Panel Display and LFE

The fluorescent front panel display makes setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast; wireless remote control provided. Also featured is an adjustable crossover on the Subwoofer LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) pre-out channels.

AM/FM/HD Radio:

The AVR-2311CI has the standard AM/FM tuner and also incorporates a built-in HD Radio tuner.

Audio Return Channel

This is a very practical feature that has been introduced in HDMI ver1.4. What this function allows, if the TV is also HDMI 1.4-enabled, is that you can transfer audio from the TV back to the AVR-2311CI and listen to your TV's audio through your home theater audio system instead of the TV's speakers without having to connect a second cable between the TV and home theater system.

For example, if you receive your TV signals over the air, the audio from those signals goes directly to your TV. Ordinarily, to get the audio from those signals to your Home Theater receiver, you would have to connect an extra cable from the TV to the home theater receiver for this purpose. However, with audio return channel, you can simply take advantage of the cable you already have connected to the TV and the home theater receiver to transfer audio in both directions.

Zone 2 Option

The AVR-2311CI allows for the connection and operation of a 2nd Zone. This allows a second source signal to speakers or a separate audio system in another location. This is not the same as just connecting additional speakers and placing them in another room.

The Zone 2 function allows control of either the same or separate, source than the one being listened to in the main room, in another location. For example, the user can be watching a Blu-ray Disc or DVD movie with surround sound in the main room, while someone else can listen to a CD Player in another room, at the same time. Both the Blu-ray Disc or DVD player and CD player are connected to the same Receiver but are accessed and controlled separately using the same main Receiver.

Audyssey MultEQ

The AVR-2311CI also features an automated speaker setup function called Audyssey Multi-EQ. By connecting the provided microphone to the AVR-2311CI and following the instructions outlined in the user manual. The Audyssey Multi-EQ uses a series of test tones to determine the proper speaker levels, based on how it reads the speaker placement in relation to the acoustical properties of your room. However, keep in mind that you may still have to some minor adjustments manually after the automatic set up is completed in order to conform to you own listening tastes.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ

The Denon AVR-2311CI also incorporates the Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume features. Dynamic EQ allows for real-time frequency response compensation when the user changes volume settings, For more specifics on how Dynamic EQ works in relation to volume settings and room characteristics, and how this can benefit the user, check out the official Audyssey Dynamic EQ page.

Audyssey Dynamic Volume:

Audyssey Dynamic Volume stabilizes the sound listening labels so that the softer parts of a soundtrack, such as dialog, is not overwhelmed by the impact of loud portions of the soundtrack. For more details, check out the Audyssey Dynamic Volume page.

Custom Integration:

The Denon AVR-2311CI also provides an RS-232C connection which allows integration with master control systems, such as Control4, AMX, and Crestron.

Final Take:

With the AVR-2311CI, Denon has incorporated high-end features in a reasonably priced home theater receiver, such as 3D pass-through, six HDMI inputs, HDMI video and audio switching with analog-to-HDMI video conversion and upscaling, advanced audio decoding and processing, including the incorporation of the Dolby ProLogic IIz.

There is also a front-mounted USB port for connection of flash drives and other compatible devices, such as iPods and iPhones, containing music files. Also, the AVR-2311CI will accept an external iPod Dock (for video file access). For more added flexibility, the AVR-2311CI also has two subwoofer line outputs (thus the .2 reference in the 7.2 channel description).

On the other hand, the AVR-2311CI does not have a dedicated Phono input for a turntable, and it does not offer built-in internet/network connectivity for direct access to Internet Radio or media files stored on network-connected devices.

Two other notable omissions are the lack of 5.1 channel audio inputs as well as the lack of 5.1/7.1 channel preamp outputs. What this means is that if you have an SACD player or DVD-Audio compatible DVD player that does not have an HDMI output, then you will not be able to access multi-channel SACD or DVD-Audio content from those devices using analog audio connections.

Also, while an increasing number of home theater receivers in its price class offers a front-mounted HDMI input for added connection convenience, all six of the AVR-2311CI's HDMI inputs on the rear panel.

One the other hand, if you are planning to purchase a mid-range priced home theater receiver, and you don't need multi-channel analog audio inputs, a dedicated phono input, internet/networking connectivity, or a front accessible HDMI input, the AVR-2311CI offers practical features that complement the new generation of source devices, such as 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players and Televisions, iPods, and flash drives. The AVR-2311CI even includes a glow-in-the-dark remote control, which makes it easier to use in a darkened viewing room.