Apple AirPlay: We go hands and ears on with Denon
Denon has recently launched two new Denon products that can work the Apple AirPlay magic. We tracked down both the AVR-3311 and the new CEOL to find out how easy it is to get the new features working and whether its something you should consider when it comes to upgrading your current set up.
AirPlay is Apple's new and improved version of AirTunes, largely renamed because it now includes video and photos as well as music.
The app will allow users to stream all of the three media above over a wireless network and onto any AirPlay compatible devices. These include your Airport Express, Apple TV and any AirPlay certified speaker systems with manufacturers such as Denon, B&W and Marantz all featured.
Setup with the two Denon systems that were demoed is, by the looks of things, incredibly easy. You must have a PC or Mac running iTunes on and connected to the network. You must also have the Denon device connected to the same network as well.
Once that's done, all that's left to do is download the Remote app from iTunes and fire it up on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad.
This allows you full control over the iTunes library and if you've played with the app before you'll know that you can control and access multiple libraries.
Where the AirPlay functionality comes into play is that once connected to the network, the Denon amp or mini Hi-Fi system will appear within the remote showing up under the "Speakers" section. Here you can choose the music that you want to play to that speaker set.
On the Denon kit the track will be displayed on the units physical display so you don't have to keep looking at your iDevice to see what's playing, as is the case with the AVR-3311 you can also have the track information displayed on the screen along with corresponding art work and further track details.
Incredibly simple to setup and incredibly simple to run, the only thing you might struggle with is making sure you've got a network connection to all the devices - ie the Denon amp, your computer, and the iPhone.
But if you are looking for a home cinema amp, like Denon, and have an iTunes account waiting to be streamed, this is a very quick and easy way to do it.