The Denon 2311 provides full 7.2-channel surround sound. This includes 5 front speakers (left lower, right lower, left upper, right upper, and middle), left and right rear speakers, and 2 subwoofer channels. Numerous audio processing capabilities means this receiver will deliver excellent sound for music as well as home-theater. If you don't care for the upper front speakers you can use those channels to deliver stereo to a separate room, even from a different audio source than the main room. In addition to the usual AM/FM receiver, there's also a built-in HD radio receiver.
As the hub of your home-theater system the AVR 2311 can select from up to 6 HDMI 1.4a inputs so you can have a cable box, Blu-Ray and DVD/CD players, and a couple of game consoles and still have free inputs. All video sources are upconverted to 1080 pixels and from interlaced to progressive scan. Analog inputs (composite and S-video) are digitized and upconverted as well, so even your older video resources will look good.
For the audio geeks among us, there's lots of technical details, so here's the highlights.
Overall dimensions: 6.7 x 17.1 x 15 inches
Weight: 24.7 pounds
Warranty: 3 years
The Denon 2311 delivers 7.2 channels of surround-sound. That's 7 powered channels at 105 watts each (735 watts total), plus 2 unpowered sub-woofer channels. The following Dolby processing is provided.
- Digital EX
- Digital Plus
- Digital Surround EX
- ProLogic II
- ProLogic IIx
- ProLogic IIz
This A/V receiver also handles the following DTS encodings.
- HD Master Audio
- HD High Resolurion
- ES 6.1 Discrete
- ES 6.1 Matrix
For video sources, DVD-Audio and 7.1 Uncompressed Audio are also supported.
The 2311 uses the Anchor Bay ABT-2015 video chipset for advanced digital and analog video. It converts from interlaced to progressive scan and upscales resolution to 1080p at 24 and 60 fps and features “multi-cadence” detection. The chipset also provides video noise reduction as well as picture enhancement. Analog inputs (composite and s-video) are also converted and upscaled, improving the viewing of VCR tapes and older games.
Dolby Pro Logic IIz provides a true vertical dimension to the soundstage, and Audyssey DynamicEQ enhances surround-sound and bass effects at low volumes. Altogether this gives you a more dramatic home-theater experience than many a/v receivers in its price range.
The Audyssey MultiEQ feature will automatically equalize the 2311 for your particular room characteristics and speakers to give you the best sound possible. Many listeners report significant improvements and often decide to skip a speaker upgrade. DynamicEQ will even reduce the distracting volume changes between programs and commercials.
The Anchor Bay Technologies ABT2010 chip set reduces video noise and performs picture enhancement as part of the upscaleing. Again, this means even your old analog video sources will look better. This model is also 3D compatible.
The included remote can also be “trained” to control other components, often including your cable TV box. In most situations you'll then need only that one remote rather than a handful.
A front USB port supports iPods and iPhones without the need for any external adapter or dock.
Poking around we were unable to find any customers that didn't give this model at least a “good” rating. Many selected the 2311 based on sound quality and were then pleased with all the additional features.
Like most Denon models, the user's manual isn't the best, so be prepared to spend some time getting everything installed and set up. Most people find installation easy, but many found set up (programming, configuration, and preference setting) difficult. But with all the features and capabilities, that's well worth the effort. It depends on user experience, patience, and a willingness to let the GUI walk you through it.
This is especially true for the automatic Equalization. This can be the most time consuming part of set up, but you'll be rewarded with the best sound possible. Don't forget to hook up your TV first so you can use the on-screen user interface to help walk you through everything. The GUI is your best friend. Hook up all your input devices, TV, and speakers before powering up for the first time.
Denon AVR 2311 Conclusions
Our “realistic dream” receiver would be in this price range but include direct internet radio (Pandora, Napster, etc.) and video (Hulu, Netflix). If that's not important to you, this model delivers great sound for both music and movies and serves as a video hub all at a good mid-range price. Throw in the 3-year warranty and the 2311 is clearly worth considering.