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STEP 3 - Set up your Inputs
Once you have hooked everything up, set up your speakers, and tweaked your options as described above, it is time to enter the INPUT SETUP menu so you can actually enjoy all those things you hooked up!
HELPFUL HINT: For older ('08 and '09) Denon AVR's, you need to select the input you would like to work with by scrolling up to the top of the INPUT SETUP screen, and then scrolling left/right to choose between inputs. On newer model Denon AVR's, you first select the input using the Source Select control, and THEN open up the OSD/GUI and go to INPUT SETUP. Either way, any changes you make will ONLY affect the input you have selected. Note that any inputs you have deactivated using "Source Delete" (described above in the OPTION SETUP section) will not appear as you scroll through the inputs.
Remember the first lesson we learned: other than old school (red/yellow/white RCA cable and S-video) inputs, ALL INPUTS ARE ASSIGNABLE. The key to input assignment is to understand that the output you get is dependent on what SOURCE NAME you select, and how the inputs have been assigned or "mapped" to these source names.
Think of each source name -- like "TV/CBL" or "DVD" or "V-AUX" -- as different "faucets", and the physical inputs on the back of the unit as input "pipes". You can re-route those pipes on the back to come out of any faucet you want on the other side (when you actually select a source name).
So, when you are determining how you are going to hook up all of your components, first start by deciding which NAME each will be associated with. Start with the name (the faucet it will come out of ), and then re-map those input pipes on the back to correspond to your names.
To help illustrate how everything works when you assign inputs, let's use a hypothetical scenario where you are trying to hook up three devices: 1. an HD cable box that is hooked up with an HDMI cable to "HDMI-1"; 2. a Blu Ray player that is hooked up with an HDMI cable to "HDMI-2"; and a Wii that is hooked up with a component video cable to "COMP-1" and plugged in with analog RCA audio (the red/white cable) into the "DVD" input.
- First, ASSIGN YOUR INPUTS. Using our hypothetical, go to INPUT ASSIGN and select the "SAT/CBL" input row. Set the "HDMI" input to "HDMI-1", and set everything else to "None". Now, that HDMI cable you plugged in to the HDMI-1 input has been "assigned" to the SAT/CBL source name. Next, choose another input name (like "BD"), go into the "Assign" menu, and set "HDMI" to "HDMI-2" and everything else to "None." Finally, choose the "DVD" input name and set "Component In" to "1-RCA", and everything else to "None".
Now, when you turn to the "SAT/CBL" input, it will play the audio and video from the HDMI-1 input. When you turn to the "BD" input, it will play your Blu Ray player that is connected to HDMI-2. And when you turn to the "DVD" input, it will play the Wii via the component video and analog audio.
Now the biggest step is done -- you have correctly assigned your inputs! Now, there are a few other options in the INPUT SETUP menu that can be set for each input specifically:
- INPUT MODE: Here, you can specify where the Denon AVR should "look for" the audio signal that is associated with a specific input. In general, leave this on "Auto" unless you want to force a specific configuration. Similarly, for "Decode Mode", just leave it on "Auto" unless you need to force a specific input type for some reason.
- RENAME: As you can imagine, this is where you can rename your inputs to whatever you want. For example, in our hypothetical setup, we can rename "SAT/CBL" to say "CABLE", "BD" can be renamed to "BLU RAY", and "DVD" can be renamed "Wii". Now, when you hit the "DVD" button on your remote, the display on the receiver will say "Wii".
- VIDEO: On 2009 and newer models, the video processing can be set up independently per input. The options in this menu are identical to those described in the HDMI OPTIONS section above.
On older models, you can turn "Video Convert" on/off by input, but the main HDMI Video settings like resolution and color space have to be set globally in the HDMI SETUP menu. On these models, the "Video Convert" option is found in the "Other" sub-menu.
- SOURCE LEVEL: This setting (found in the "Other" sub-menu on older models) allows you to balance out the levels of your inputs. On some models, you can also balance the digital and analog inputs separately.
So, back to our hypothetical setup, let's say for some reason when you switch from watching cable to the Wii, the volume always blasts you out of the room. To correct this, choose the "Wii" (DVD) input, enter the "Input Setup", then scroll down to "SOURCE LEVEL" and turn the volume level of the analog source to "-10dB". Now, the "Wii" input will be 10dB softer than the "CABLE" and "BLU RAY" inputs. So if the volume level is "-30" when you are watching TV, when you switch over to the Wii it will effectively now be "-40", even though the display still says "-30".
Can you believe it? You are done with setup! Take a breath, and if you have any more questions, head over to the Frequently Asked Denon Questions (FADQ) section.