When I saw this system displayed at the Denon Press Conference in LA last
year, I was caught eyeballing it a little too long, for a girl. Once I
started asking the Denon guys a lot of questions, they invited me to review
I don't consider myself an audiophile by any means, but I do enjoy good
sound. Being asked to listen for the slightest changes between speakers,
cables, receivers, etc. and then noting it for the Editor-in-Chief, I have
some experience in this.
My main issue with audio equipment is the set-up procedure. DVD players and
receivers come with so many connections and options, I just let my guy
do this for me.
So, when Denon explained that the S-301 had a DVD player, amplifier,
subwoofer, and speakers, all with color coded cables, I was intrigued. They
said that this is called a Home Theater in a Box, or HTIB. When they showed
me the iPod connection, I was hooked for the review.
Mission: To properly set up the Denon S-301 HTIB System by only using the
glossy seven-step, two-page insert as quickly as possible.
I opened the box and went through all the included
accessories and components such as the main DVD/Tuner unit, the
speakers, and subwoofer (the subwoofer enclosure has a stereo amplifier for
the two speakers - 70 watts per channel - and a 200 watt amplifier for the
subwoofer). The cables were color coded and fit properly into
their designated spots. This took a total of 30 minutes from start to finish
with a few pauses when my dog walked by.
However, one of the steps requires a video cable to
connect to your TV for viewing DVD movies but also to see the on-screen
display. The box does not include an S-Video cable, and it should. They are
inexpensive. Put one in the box guys!
The issue was with the connection diagram in the 'easy set-up fold out'
that was included along with the 70 page English section in the instruction
booklet. I spent more time trying to find this simple explanation than I did
plugging everything in. The illustrated diagram should have a few more words
to go with each picture.
I knew what the diagram meant, but it needs to have the most basic common
denominator, namely for consumers wanting something with great sound but have
never fiddled with anything more than a boom box. I know the consumer
electronics industry is always looking for ways to expand its market. Well,
make the installation simple, and we will go shopping!
Click Here to Go to Part II.