The home entertainment center is a big concern of many, amidst this quest for a satisfying home experience, the receiver will unavoidably become a weighty piece of hardware. Fortunately, the demanding man’s supplier of well-crafted and capable home audio equipment, Onkyo, has now equipped their mid-range receiver with networking capabilities. The 7.2 channel TX-NR609 leads the range with six HDMI inputs, Marvell Qdeo processing with 4K resolution support, THX Select2 Plus, Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz audio processing and the aforementioned networking features as such are an Ethernet port, WiFi and DLNA compatibility.
4k video upscaling and networking at new low price points among highlights…
Onkyo, the global innovator in hi-fi and home cinema, announces the release of four new HD-capable home cinema receivers designed to offer class-leading performance and features, namely the 7.2-channel TX-NR609, the 7.1-channel TX-NR579, the 5.1-channel TX-NR509, and the 5.1-channel TX-SR309.
Featuring all new styling, each of these new models - bar the entry-level TX-SR309 - is a network-capable receiver capable of supporting streaming PC audio and internet radio, an unheard of achievement in this market segment.
The most advanced model in this group of newcomers is the THX Select2 Plus-certified TX-NR609, the latest in Onkyo’s market-leading line of “600 series” A/V receivers.
This 2011 version maintains Onkyo's reputation for innovation by becoming the first AV receiver in the world to employ cutting-edge Marvell Qdeo video processing technology to upscale standard video signals to state-of-the-art 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. Regardless of the original source resolution, users will be able to enjoy smooth and extremely precise video images on a compatible high-resolution display.
Thanks to its networking capability the TX-NR609 can also access Napster as well as Last.FM and v.Tuner internet radio channels. As well as bringing compatibility with Windows® 7 and DLNA, the networking capability also simplifies the process of updating the receiver’s firmware.
Onkyo is also introducing the UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter (compatible with all Onkyo network-capable receivers with USB) in 2011, allowing a wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n connection to access music on a home network.
All the models feature a front-panel USB port that offers a direct digital connection for iPod/iPhone, along with support for audio playback from USB mass-storage devices (codecs supported include MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless,FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and LPCM).
Along with the aforementioned USB port, the TX-NR609 boasts six HDMI inputs (one located conveniently on the front), a Universal Port for Onkyo-branded peripheral devices, and a raft of popular digital and analogue A/V inputs.
Another connectivity highlight on the TX-NR609 comes in the form of Powered Zone 2, which lets users play a different audio source in a second room equipped with stereo speakers. The TX-NR609’s 7.2-channel configuration additionally includes two subwoofer pre-outs, enabling users to supply larger rooms with balanced, more powerful low frequencies.
Gamers and fans of PC users will appreciate the provision of an analogue RGB video input on the TX-NR609. This input allows users to send the video signal from a notebook or desktop PC directly to the receiver, which then sends it via HDMI to a compatible display. Naturally, the latest version of HDMI which delivers full compatibility with 3D video and an Audio Return Channel, is provided as standard on all four receivers
Among its audio-processing highlights, the TX-NR609 supports decoding for Audyssey DSX™. This sophisticated technology allows users to reconfigure the surround-back speakers in a seven-channel set-up as either front-height or front-wide speakers, creating a more immersive home cinema experience with increased ambience. The TX-NR609 also supports Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which offers a similar front-height surround-sound option.
Ease-of-use is always a priority at Onkyo, nowhere more so than at the entry level. This is why the TX-NR609 incorporates a suite of Audyssey technologies - 2EQ, Dynamic Volume, and Dynamic EQ - to simplify set-up, and a new overlaid graphical GUI for 'on the fly' adjustments to settings. An illuminated volume control knob makes it easy to adjust the volume in the dark.
Other features common to all four models include PLL jitter-cleaning circuitry to preserve signal clarity; lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ decoding; an overlaid on-screen display for easy adjustment of settings; and a new front panel design.
To provide customers with the widest range of choice to match their particular needs, Onkyo supplements the TX-NR609 with three even more affordable receiver models that offer alternative feature sets. The TX-NR579 includes most of the same features as the more powerful TX-NR609, but forgoes THX Select2 Plus certification, PC video connectivity, Audyssey DSX, and the second subwoofer pre-out. It also has four HDMI inputs, rather than six.
The TX-NR509, meanwhile, offers an appealing choice to users who do not require the 4K video upscaling feature or the expanded surround sound options of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. It differs further from the TX-NR579 by featuring a regular (i.e. non-powered) Zone 2 line out, and by omitting Onkyo’s new content-navigation GUI. In other respects, it offers the same range of connectivity, networking, and superb audio processing as its higher siblings.
Rounding off this release is the most affordable model of all, the TX-SR309. This 5.1-channel A/V receiver is targeted at users who do not require the networking, Zone 2, or Audyssey equalization features, but who still seek a modern and budget-friendly home cinema centerpiece. It features three HDMI inputs and high-quality TI Burr-Brown audio DACs, along with Onkyo’s proprietary advanced music optimizer and gaming audio modes.
With the release of this new group of receivers, Onkyo aims to further cement its position as the UK's No1 provider of high-quality, yet affordable, home cinema receivers.