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Onkyo TX-SR576 AV Receiver review

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Onkyo TX-SR576 AV Receiver

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Buying a Blu-ray player is no longer as expensive as it used to be, but pairing it with a home cinema system equipped to handle the latest sound formats might be a stretch if you're on a tight budget. However, help is at hand in the form of Onkyo's latest entry-level receiver, which gives you access to HD audio for a very affordable price.

The most impressive of its many features is built-in Dolby Digital Plus decoding, which allows you to connect a Blu-ray player to one of its three HDMI v1.2a inputs and enjoy enhanced sound quality. But hang on a minute, we hear you cry, how can it accept a Dolby Digital Plus bitstream when HDMI v1.3 is the only version that can carry it? According to Onkyo, the HDMI v1.2a standard has been changed to include support for raw Dolby Digital Plus bitstreams, and we have to admit that we were a little surprised to hear this, but pleasantly so.

What's more, if your Blu-ray player can internally decode HD audio formats to uncompressed multichannel PCM, then you can feed the signal into the Onkyo via HDMI and enjoy the benefits of Dolby True HD, DTS HD and DTS HD Master Audio. The unit also boasts Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6 and DTS 96/24 decoding.

The Onkyo supports full 1080p HDMI video switching (but sadly not upscaling), which means you can pass up to three hi-def video sources through the unit to your display. Elsewhere, the video socket selection is highly generous, with two component video inputs and one output, three S-video inputs and one output, plus three composite video inputs and two outputs.

Among the audio sockets are two optical and two coaxial digital audio inputs, four analogue stereo inputs and a set of colour-coded 7.1-channel analogue inputs that allow you to feed in decoded audio signals from Blu-ray, DVD-Audio or SACD players. Rounding up the rear selection is a subwoofer pre-out and Onkyo's Remote Interactive jack, which allows you to connect and control other Onkyo kit (including the optional DS-A1 iPod dock), while on the front there's a set of extra stereo audio and composite video inputs.

In terms of design, the TX-SR576 comes in silver or black, and the silver version looks pleasant enough, with slanting lines on the fascia, tidily arranged rows of buttons and a clear, bright display panel. All of the crucial settings and listening modes can be accessed from the front panel, which helps when you don't have the remote to hand.

Kimbie

July 10, 2008, 3:48 pm

Nice review, however unless its a typo, I am suprised you did not highlight the fact it does not have the HDMI 1.3 standard but the lesser 1.2a standard





Kimbie

Stelph

July 10, 2008, 5:22 pm

The reviewer did? twice on the first page!!





As a side note I have the Onkyo 605 version of this (looks the same) and I have to say combined with my PS3 it is a fantastic Receiver and the auto claibration is brilliant, really set my mixture of speakers up well. Would recommend

The Pope

July 11, 2008, 6:21 pm

I've got the TX-SR705 at home and it's awesome.





Onkyo make some great AV receivers and no wonder this one scored 9 for Value :)

Pbryanw

July 11, 2008, 10:45 pm

Another happy Onkyo customer here - I've got the TX-SR674 - does get a bit warm but apart from that it's a great receiver.

The Pope

July 11, 2008, 11:46 pm

Yeah, mine gets warm too and a little noisy when the fans kick in as a result, but as long as the film you're watching doesn't have too many quiet bits (and lets face it, all the best films don't anyway!) then it's not too much of an issue.





Certainly one that couldn't be solved with a decent AV cabinet (mine's just on a shelf with open air around it)

Tal Aloni

July 15, 2008, 4:07 pm

Dear Danny,


Thanks for your helpful review of the Onkyo TX-SR576, your Impressions help me decide buying this unit.


on a side note, I'm afraid you have a slight error in your review, I've got a strong feeling that the TX-SR576 actually have HDMI 1.3a ports and support DD+ playback, but I assume Onkyo tried to avoid consumer misinformation, and marketed the receiver as a 1.2a Repeater, since it's not a 1.3a repeater (since it can't decode TrueHD / DTS-MA).


accoring to it's manual, The 576 supports xvYcc, Deep Color and Lip Sync, besides DD+, all of which are 1.3a exclusive features, which further support my theory. the only way to know for sure is to feed the receiver with a blu-ray/HD-DVD which has a DD+ soundtrack, I don't currently have the means to preform that, and was hoping you tried / curious to try that clarify this point for your readers.





Thanks for the great review,


Tal Aloni

Danny P

July 15, 2008, 6:05 pm

Tal - the review has been updated... you could very well be right, but I received word from Onkyo (after the original review had been posted) that the HDMIs are version 1.2a but the standard has been updated to allow bitstream transfer of DD+, hence why the SR576 is able to offer DD+ decoding with v1.2a sockets. As far as we're aware this is a first and makes the 576 a unique proposition for the money. I can't find anything to back up Onkyo's claims about the v1.2a standard being changed but that's what they told me. Your point about its support for other HDMI v1.3 exclusive features is interesting though and I've asked for more clarification - watch this space.





PS I did feed a DD+ bitstream into the unit from a Blu-ray deck and it does indeed decode it (and it sounds great).

Tal Aloni

July 16, 2008, 5:32 pm

Dear Danny,


Thanks for testing and replying so soon,


I'm glad to hear that my beloved TX-SR576 has succeeded decoding DD+. (I was a bit worried after your original review.)


The HDMI v1.2a standard has indeed been updated to allow bitstream transfer of DD+, the new standart is called v1.3a... ;)


For many reasons, I find it hard to believe that the v1.2a standart would be changed after this long, as it would cause enourmous counfusion in the market, I hope Onkyo will confirm my original theory on the subject, as it is the simplest explanation (and thus the most likely).





Keep us posted,


Thanks a lot,


Tal Aloni

DHARD

July 17, 2008, 11:25 pm

I find it interesting that ONKYO product page overview gives specifications at 1.3a....


http://www.onkyousa.com/model....





but the features page gives specifications at 1.2a...


http://www.onkyousa.com/model....





I'm assuming one of those has to be a typo.

Danny P

July 21, 2008, 2:46 pm

There's a sticker on the front of the review sample that says v1.2a and the press blurb says 1.2a, but everything points to them being v1.3. Hmmm. Still waiting for more info...

Moin

August 2, 2008, 5:27 am

Dear Pope


you said "..mine gets warm too and a little noisy when the fans kick in as a result",


Does it have fan? and How many? feeling good though before buying it.


Thanks.





You can also mail me to moin-2001@hotmail.com.

Tal Aloni

August 4, 2008, 7:07 pm

Moin,


I assume Pope was talking about his TX-SR705 (or similar model) which has a built in fan.


the TX-SR576 hasn't got a fan.

Steve Murray

January 12, 2009, 3:40 am

Thanks for the review Danny, it covered most of the important points.


There is one thing I would very much like to know about, which is the bi-amping capability of this receiver.


We are told so often these days that bi-amped speakers are Hi-Fi heaven that it would be a shame not to have your opinion on using the receiver as a 5.1 with the front stereo speakers bi-amped.


It's been a while since the review, but please let us know your thoughts.


Regards,


Steve

SteveB

March 16, 2009, 1:53 pm

Hi Guys, I am a newbie into the world of Home Cinema so having read the review of the Pioneer BDP-51FD I quite like it.....and coupled with this I believe would make a good little set-up. Im not fussed about BD -Live or gimmicks etc...just good picture quality. So I'm hoping that this Onkyo model would decode DTS HD Master Audio when combined with the Pioneer. It'd save me a lot of money if it did. Which means the Kuro Plasma is on my list. Cheers in advance.

Paul Blennerhassett

August 3, 2009, 1:24 am

Is there a passive version of this unit? i.e. - I have active powered studio speakers and only need an AV unit with a volume control as opposed to an amplifier - or can it the amp be bypassed?





Many thanks





Paul

neil ronaldson

November 19, 2009, 5:25 pm

looking forward to a review of the new tx-sr 577!! as i am in the market for one - or the yamaha rxv765!!

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