Denon AVR-3311CI Home Theater Receiver - Product Profile

Denon AVR-3311CI Home Theater Receiver
Denon AVR-3311CI Home Theater Receiver. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to

Introduction to the Denon AVR-3311CI

The AVR-3311CI is a 7.2 channel home theater receiver (7 channels plus 2 subwoofer outs) delivering 125 Watts into each of 7 channels at .05% THD and features TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and both Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX processing. On the video side, the AVR-3311CI has 6 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 1080p upscaling.

Extra bonuses include iPod/iPhone connectivity, internet radio, Apple Airplay compatibility, and two subwoofer outputs.

Video Inputs and Outputs

The AVR-3311CI offers a total of Six HDMI inputs and two outputs, as well as Two Component inputs and one output. There area also two S-Video and five Composite Video inputs (which are paired with analog stereo audio inputs), plus a set of front panel A/V inputs. The AVR-3311CI also features a DVR/VCR/DVD Recorder connection loop.

The AVR-3311CI 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 is also a set of 5/7 channel analog audio preamp outputs as well as two subwoofer preamp outputs. The 5/7 channel analog audio outputs allow the AVR-3311 to function as a preamp processor when connected to external amplifiers, while the subwoofer preamp outputs are provided for connection to one or two powered subwoofers.

Audio Decoding and Processing

The AVR-3311CI 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-3311CI to extract 7.2-channel audio from any stereo or multichannel source.

Additional Audio Processing - Dolby Prologic IIz and Audyssey DSX:

The AVR-3311CI 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.

In addition, Audyssey DSX provides for the option of adding either height or an extra set of side placed wide channel speakers set between the front and surround sound speakers.

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-3311CI 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, by reassigning the surround back speakers to Zone 2.

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.

In addition, you can also reassign the surround back speaker connections to function as a Bi-Amp connection for the front L/R speakers, provided the speakers have their own Bi-Amp connections. There are also separate speaker connections provided for Front Height when running Dolby ProLogic IIz or Audyssey DSX, and Wide Speakers when running Audyssey DSX.

When using either the Front Height or Wide Speaker options, the surround back speakers cannot be used.

Amplifier Characteristics

The Denon AVR-3311CI delivers 125 Watts-per-channel into 8-Ohms via its seven discrete internal power amplifiers.

Video Processing:

On the video side, the AVR-3311CI has 6 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 1080p upscaling with 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/Sirius Satellite Radio:

The AVR-3311CI has the standard AM/FM tuner and also incorporates a built-in HD Radio tuner. In addition, the AVR-3311 can also access Sirius Satellite Radio via optional external Antenna/Tuner.

Internet Radio and Network Connectivity via Ethernet

The AVR-3311 has internet radio access (including Pandora and Rhapsody). The AVR-3311 is also Windows 7 Compatible and DLNA Certified for access to digital media files stored on PCs, Media Servers, and other compatible network-connected devices.

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-3311CI 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 between the TV and the home theater receiver to transfer audio in both directions.

Zone 2 Option

The AVR-3311CI 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-3311CI also features an automated speaker setup function called Audyssey Multi-EQ. By connecting the provided microphone to the AVR-3311CI 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-3311CI 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

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-3311CI also provides an RS-232C connection which allows integration with master control systems, such as Control4, AMX, and Crestron.

Final Take:

With the AVR-3311CI, Denon has incorporated high end features in a reasonably priced home theater receiver, such as 3D passthrough, 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 both Dolby ProLogic IIz and Audyssey DSX.

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-3311CI will accept an external iPod Dock (for video file access). For more added flexibility, the AVR-3311CI also has two subwoofer line outputs (thus the .2 reference in the 7.2 channel description).

The AVR-3311CI has a dedicated Phono input for a turntable, as well as built-in internet/network connectivity for direct access to Internet Radio or media files stored on network-connected devices.

One notable omission is the lack of of 5.1/7.1 channel audio inputs. 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.

One the other hand, if you are planning to purchase a mid-to-upper range priced home theater receiver, and you don't need multi-channel analog audio inputs, the AVR-3311CI offers practical features that complement the new generation of source devices, such as 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players and Televisions, iPods, flash drives, and the internet. The AVR-3311CI even includes two remote controls - one for the main zone and second that can be used for Zone 2 operations.

The AVR-3311CI has a suggested retail price of $1199.

The AVR-3311CI has been discontinued - for more recent models of home theater receivers in the same class, refer to our continually updated listing of Home Theater Receivers priced from $400 to $1,299.

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