Summary: I purchased this receiver refurbished, otherwise I would have gotten a higher model number that converted all the video sources to the HDMI signal. When I hook up a DVD player or laptop to the unit, I also have to connect a separate audio cable. The HDMI carries sound to the TV (but not from my laptop, DVI to HDMI cable), and I can choose the audio source I want to come out of the speakers connected to the receiver.
Summary: I had an Onkyo before this that eventually went into satefy mode...so I decided to upgrade. I have a 52" samsung along with a Polk Surroundbar 50, so was looking for something that would easily handle that (Prologic II) and my 10" polk sub. The unit is very clean and looks great with all the other things I have. The setup was a little tough, took me a couple hours, but I am not audiophile...probably setup audio equipment just a few times in my life.
Summary: Good sound, a little complicated to set up for the a/v challenged. Lots of optiions if you are in to that (Maybe some day I'll sit down and try to figure it all out, or find a techie geek to help). The remote also has alot of things I haven't figured out yet. I'm sure it will be great once I spend more time to figure it all out.
Summary: Our 10 yr. old JVC receiver was just plain tired. After researching the AVR-1609, I knew I'd need to run extra audio with the HDMI hook-ups. Nothing I read warned me about another minor annoyance:(quoting from the AVR-1609 manual)"Because video signals are output from the AVR-1690's monitor output terminal in the same format as the video input signals, THE MONITOR OUTPUT TERMINAL SHOULD BE OF THE SAME TYPE AS THE TERMINAL USED FOR INPUT.
Summary: I chose this Denon receiver for 2 reasons: It had features I was looking for; and I always wanted a Denon. I am giving it 4 stars for the same reason many did: a difficult owner's manual; although after finally figuring everything (almost) out, and re-reading, it makes a lot more sense. The AVR 1609 has 3 features I really wanted: One, simple A/B switching between speaker pairs. Not too many receivers have this feature; I have 2 speakers in one room, 2 in another.
Summary: Cheapest receiver I found to do two zone with multi-source. I used it as an audio-only receiver. The amplifier is good enough to drive four 100W ceiling speakers on each zone. For my limited purposes, it works fine.
Summary: We shopped with detailed specs for a new receiver and where we could get the best price. Amazon won out again; disappointed Amazon took almost two weeks to ship. Setting up the unit takes time as instruction manual very difficult to understand and follow; steps were not 1,2,3, etc but jumped around from page to page. Recommend reading manual thoroughly several times to grasp interpretation. Took about a week of experimenting with settings to get the sound we wanted.
Summary: This is an awesome receiver. I have paired it up with the Mirage 5 NanoSAT speakers and a Klipsch 8in subwoofer and the sound quality is very good. For the purchase price of $204 (USD) you cannot go wrong. The only downside is the HDMI does not carry the sound - you have to use the optical connection. Not a big deal unless you need more optical inputs - then you have to upgrade to a more expensive receiver.