Overall this is a great receiver that looks very sleek and the build quality is awesome. I have had it up and running in my system now for about a month now and have played with most of the features.
I will go over the positive experiences first. The first thing I had noticed when opening the box was that it was packed perfectly. Then seeing the build quality out of the box, I was amazed. Be careful when handling because it is a very heavy unit. This makes me proud because heavy usually means more solid.
Once I hooked this receiver up, and went through the setup, I noticed how great the system sounded. The clarity was amazing, I paired the system with Polk Audio’s RM 6880 5.1 speaks and first thing I did was play BioShock on the Xbox 360. I felt the entire game around me and boy did it creep me out (this is a good thing). I did notice you must listen to the Denon between -30db and -40db for average hearing.
The features of the 3808 were great with 4 HDMI inputs, ethernet input, mp3, wma, and radio sound restorer that will produce near CD quality sound from your compressed music. The ethernet connection is awesome, you hook in the ethernet and the internet radio is right there at setup, a couple of pushes of the button and you are listening to internet radio, amazing. Also the internet radio is free to use.
Not to mention the single HDMI output to the TV. The Denon will take all your connection and channel them all through a single HDMI output. This was a huge sell for me as there is no other receiver that does this for both sound and video.
The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a nice feature as well. It is very user friendly, colorful, and just a nice touch. It did take me some time to learn all the options, there are many, but once I read the book and used the GUI it was easy.
Now for the minor complaints if you can call them that. I do not feel that the 3808 was ready right out of the box. I thought presetting sound out of the box was completely bypassed and Denon should have considered adding a manufacturer presetting. The set up took roughly 20 minutes and is more of an annoyance than anything. It took me some time to know all the options in the GUI and I am still learning all the options this machine has even today.
The remote is crap and not at all intuitive, you have to push DVD twice to control a separate device. It took me literally 10-12 minutes to find that in the manual as it was deep in the set up pages. I wouldn’t have minded a big and bulky remote because they are often self explanatory. The touch screen also does not respond well as it is still just using buttons underneath the LED screen.
As well, because this is a 7.1 receiver I found it difficult to setup 5.1 sound because the GUI does not represent it and nor does the manual. I found you must select 7ch surround sound and then it will auto detect that you are using 5 channel and show it on the receiver.
For the price I believe the system should have included an Ipod dock. They could have included the software to stream your Itunes or music library through the ethernet as well. I am still happy without either of the above however I needed something to complain about.
I would not trade the Denon 3808ci for any other receiver in its price range. I even feel the extra $500 over comparable systems was worth it to me. I highly recommend this unit to anyone looking in this price range. This is an excellent receiver overall in my opinion.