Leading home cinema manufacturers, Onkyo, has announced the release of four new HD-capable home cinema receivers designed to offer “class-leading performance and features.”
The top-of-the-line model is the 7.2-channel TX-NR609 which will set you back £500. The TX-NR609 is the follow-up to the excellent TX-SR608 and offers a number of innovations to try and keep it top of the pile. Firstly it is the first home cinema receiver to employ Marvell Qdeo video processing technology to upscale standard video signals to state-of-the-art 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution to a compatible display.
On the neworking side of things, the THX Select2 Plus-certified TX-NR609 can access a range of internet radio channels including Napster and Last.fm. as well as bringing compatibility with Windows 7 and DLNA. Onkyo is also introducing the UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter (price tbc) which is compatible with all Onkyo network-capable receivers with USB and allows a wireless connection to access music on a home network. All four models feature a front-panel USB port that offers a direct digital connection for PMP/phone, along with support for audio playback from USB mass-storage devices.
The TX-NR609 boasts six HDMI inputs (one on the front) and a Universal Port for Onkyo-branded peripheral devices. Powered Zone 2 is another innovation, 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. The provision of an analogue RGB video 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.
The next model in the 2011 range, is the 7.1 channel TX-NR579 (£450) which includes most of the same features as the TX-NR609, but forgoes THX Select2 Plus certification, PC video connectivity, and the second subwoofer pre-out. It also has four HDMI inputs, rather than six.
The 5.1 channel TX-NR509 (£350), meanwhile, does not offer the 4K video up-scaling feature or the expanded surround sound options of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Rounding off the 2011 range is the 5.1 channel TX-SR309 (£250) which is targeted at users who do not require the networking, Zone 2, or Audyssey equalization features. 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.
The NR609 and NR579 will both be available at the end of March, the NR509 will be available at the beginning of March and the SR309 will be available at the end of this month and all models are available in silver and black.