Denon AVR-391 or AVR-591 ?

These are two entry level receivers manufactured by Denon.  Denon has been in the audio industry since 1947.  Developing hi-fidelity audio equipment.  Both are an excellent value so if you're considering one or the other I thought I would break it down for you.  A detailed review of the DENON AVR-591 is here


3D pass-through
3D compatibility is included despite the low price tag on this product .  Pass-through makes it capable of passing a 3D video signal from a 3D source to a 3D HDTV. Regardless if you need or want it, it's a good "future-proofing" feature to have if you ever change your mind.

Audio return channel (ARC) is one of the new features supported by HDMI 1.4, but just because a receiver has HDMI 1.4 doesn't mean it has audio return channel. That's because it's not a mandatory part of the HDMI 1.4 spec, and manufacturers can choose whether to include it.
Confusion aside, it's a worthwhile feature that allows TVs to send audio back to an AV receiver over the same HDMI cable that is carrying video from the receiver to the HDTV. That's useful if you're using your HDTV's over-the-air tuner or perhaps one of its built-in streaming media services (such as Netflix or Amazon VOD), and want to listen with your surround sound system. It's not a revolutionary feature--it's only saving you the hassle of making an extra connection from the TV's digital audio output--and it only works with new HDTVs that support ARC, but it's still a nice bonus to simplify your home theater setup.

Dolby ProLogic IIz
ProLogic IIz made its debut last year and it's become widely adopted this year.  This feature comes on many
of the midrange AV receivers being manufactured today.  Heres a demo of the technology.


iPod/iPhone via USB
Makes it easier than buying a dock!
You can just plug your device directly into your receiver controlling the audio from your library.

Key Features
  • Fully discrete, identical quality and power for all 5 channels (75 W x 5)
  • High-definition audio support--Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 3D-enabled HDMI pass-through technology (HDMI 1.4a)
  • All sources are up-converted to HDMI (4 HDMI in/1 HDMI out)
  • Stable power supply for high-quality sound and picture playback
  • Minimum Signal Path for clear audio and video signal
  • Compressed Audio Restorer to enhance digital music files
  • Stereo mini jack on front panel lets you connect any portable audio player
  • Measures 17-3/16 x 6-1/2 x 15 inches (WxHxD); weighs 20 pounds, 4.5 ounces 
Built in Audio Decoders
Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS-HD, DTS-ES, Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo:6, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS-ES Discrete, 6.1 Dolby Digital EX, Dolby TrueHD, DTS 96/24

So it does what it needs to, to handle any HD source you have.

As you can see here the back of this receiver doesn't offer much connectivity, it is quite bare. but if you don't need that many devices?  The price is right at around $200.
    Now the (click here) DENON AVR-591 is just a step above this product and here are the differences.  
    The AVR 391 is a very basic, stripped-down version of the Denon AVR-591. Unless you just need a basic HDMI switchbox and have no use for Audyssey features, it is worth the price to step up to the 591. The 591 is really the minimum model anyone should consider for a serious home theater setup.
    Differences between the 391 and 591 include:

    • No Audyssey on the 391! That means no automatic setup, no room calibration, no Dynamic EQ or Dynamic Volume.  These are all provided by the mic. and calibration system that Audyssey provides.

    • No video conversion or upconversion on the 391. If you want to connect non-HDMI sources, you can't do "one cable to the TV".
    • No component video input
    • Remote is non-programmable, cannot control any other components
    •  Lower build quality overall, including spring clips for the center/surround channels, and lower end DSP and DAC chips

    End of the day, these products are nearly the same price.  Save yourself the hassle, pain and heartache..and money.  Just go with the Denon AVR-591