Receivers

Denon AVR-1909 7.1 A/V Receiver

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

Connections

The Denon AVR-1909 offers the following general purpose input and output (I/O):

  • HDMI: 3 in 1 out (v1.3a)
  • Analog Audio: 8 in
  • Component Video: 3 in 1 out
  • Composite Video: 3 in 2 out
  • S-Video: 3 in 2 out
  • Digital Audio: 4 in 1 out
Denon AVR-1909 7.1 A/V Receiver

As you can see the AVR-1909 has enough I/O to cover most installations. However, adding an additional HDMI input to the back and one to the front (say for a game system) would allow for more user configurations.

From this set of I/O, the Denon allows you to tailor its baseline configuration to your particular system. For a particular input source, say TV/CBL the label, the audio source, video source, and video output format (resolution / progressive mode, scaling etc) can all be customized. My favorite example of this use would be for a Sony PS3 or other game system. Instead of a generic “VCR” label on the units on screen display (OSD) “PS3” could be used instead.

Audio

As with any piece of home theater gear, setup and calibration is crucial to get the most out of your system. Denon offers that latest automated setup from Audyssey MultEQ to ease you down this path. The Audyssey system analyzes your system setup using the provided microphone. It determines what speakers are present, speaker capabilities (i.e. how much bass they can reproduce), speaker placement, and the room that they are in. With this information, Audyssey calibrates relative speaker volume levels, sound delays based on speaker distances, crossovers and equalization to optimize performance of your speakers in your room at your seating positions (up to 6 positions).

Since I moved to a new state during my time with the Denon, I was lucky (?) enough to have run through this setup multiple times. I used both my bookshelf class ERA Design 5 Speakers with its smallish sub as well as my towering Infinity Beta 50 anchored system with my large customer pyramid sub (the DIY article is available on Secrets). With both speaker systems, the Audyssey calibrated settings were spot on. Crossovers, distances, levels were all as I would have set, using a handheld SPL meter, a tape measure, and the speaker’s specification sheets. Even if I had disagreed, all settings can be manually tweeked.

Video

The Denon 1909, like many of today’s top receivers, offers video conversion. While I do not personally use the feature in my system (since I spend way too much money keeping my system up to date – my own version of a stimulus package) video conversion is a compelling feature to have at your disposal. Stated simply, any low definition sources you have such as a laser disk player (yes I have one) or VCR with s-video, composite, or component video connectors can have their video output converted to the highest quality setting offered by your display. For those of us with a HDTV, all of the cabling to the TV can be reduced to a single HDMI cable.

My particular video setup included all of three cables to handle audio and video. Two HDMI inputs from my PS3 and Blu-Ray player and one HDMI output to my monitor. Got to love how HDMI can simplify these video connections (just wish they would have used a locking connector but I digress).

Instruction Manual

I found the Denon manual to be quite well written. All major features are covered and the layout is clear. However, since there’s a lot of ground to cover in the manual, don’t be surprised with its 86 page length.

On Screen Display

In general I found that the on screen display provided by the Denon was disappointing. Don’t get me wrong it was functional and was a boon to have for setup of the unit. However, the graphics were primitive in comparison to the other gear I had on hand especially the Sony PS3 and Samsung 950 LCD TV.

Denon AVR-1909 7.1 A/V Receiver

As with other receivers I have used, the 1909 does not overlay receiver information such as volume changes, surround modes, etc. over video when only HDMI or component video inputs are used. I’m not sure if this is a design choice or a technical limitation but this is a feature I missed when I switched to an entirely digital signal path over HDMI from analog.