I know this is a lot to ask, but we’re a bit strapped for cash what with two kids and a nice mortgage rate that is about to become unfixed. Are you aware of the new A/V receiver from Denon, the AVR-4306? Obviously it is high on many people’s lists, but if you’ve forgotten, this is the one that finally is doing something with the Ethernet port on the back. Sure you can listen to Internet radio — big deal — but you can also finally treat your receiver as a network-controllable device, just like everything else on your home network. Need to re-route the DVD output, adjust speaker volumes, change the input to the trusty cassette deck? Just bring up the device’s web page and do it from any computer in the house or — if you’re really a control freak — from work or on the road.
So you probably remember it now and you’ll also recall that this puppy has two built in iPod ports, one in back for a permanent hookup and one in front for spur-of-the-moment guest DJ’ing like, say, at a party. (I know, I know, I wouldn’t think this would be useful either, but some friends of mine have an iPod dock built into the wall of their kitchen and let me tell you it makes for an outstanding get-together to be able to have guests pop their ‘Pod’s into it. Trust me.) Once docked the iPod is controllable just like everything else from the unit’s web page. Oh, and another thing, there’s a USB port on the front for hooking up removable media. The AVR-4306 mounts the drive and reads the media for immediate playback. Oh, oh, and do you see those four HDMI ports there? Do you? Three in, one out. That’s the coup de grâce, the pièce de résistance, That Which I Must Have. (Is that greedy? Sorry. I’ve been good. Really.) This spectacle of modern audiovisual magic actually upconverts any video signal — composite, s-video, component, hell if you sketch it a picture it’ll probably try to convert that too — straight to digital HDMI for a single output to your TV.
Bliss, no? At forty-some pounds it’ll be a bit heavy to lug here, I admit. So maybe, if you agree that I deserve it (and, frankly, I’m unable to conceive of a scenario where you would not) then may I suggest using Fedex Overnight shipment? Preferably to arrive before our annual Christmas Party? Sure, you’re invited. Thanks!
Oh, my kids have a list for you too. But I’ve misplaced it at the moment.