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HDMI With 3D, ARC Come To Onkyo AVRs, HTiBs

3/23/2010 07:15:00 AM Eastern

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. —
HDMI 1.4 connections that support 3D
video and Audio Return Channel (ARC)
are appearing for the first time in Onkyo’s
lineup in three three A/V receivers
(AVRs) and three home theater in a box
(HTiB) systems.

The AVRs include the industry’s first
THX-certified AVR with HDMI 1.4.
It’s THX-Select2 Plus certified.

All products are also Onkyo’s first
with what the company calls HDMI
Thru, which simplifies home-theater
connections by letting video content pass
through to a connected TV while the receivers
and HTiBs are in standby mode.
The selection also includes Onkyo’s first
2.1-speaker HTiB system with virtual
surround-sound processing.

All models decode all authorized Bluray
surround formats, bringing the feature
down to $299 in AVRs from $399
and down to $379 in HTiBs from $699.

The AVRs are the $299-suggested 5.1-
channel TX-SR308, $399 7.1-channel
TX-SR508, and $599 7.2-channel TXSR608.
The $299 model ships in March,
and the other two ship in April. None are
in the HT series of more broadly distributed
AVRs.

The HTiBs consist of a bundled
AVR, speakers and subwoofer. They
include the $379-suggested 5.1-speaker
HT-S3300 and $599 7.1-speaker
HT-S5300, due in March and April,
respectively. The $349-suggested 2.1-
speaker system, the HTX-22HDX,
ships in May with Onkyo’s proprietary
Theater-Dimensional processing, which
has been available previously in Onkyo
AVRs to deliver virtual surround.

With the launches, Onkyo also brings
down the starting price of Audyssey DSX
post-processing technology in AVRs to
$599 from $899, Dolby Pro Logic IIz to
$399 from $599, and proprietary Universal
Port (U-Port) down to $299 from
$399. U-Port lets consumers add an Onkyo
iPod dock or Onkyo HD Radio tuner,
enabling the tuner and docked iPod to
be controlled from the AVRs’ controls.

The $299 5.1 AVR features 192-
kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1690
DACs to enhance resistance to clock jitter
and deliver 113dB dynamic range. It
also features U-Port and new overlaid
onscreen graphical display that lets users
watch a program in the background while
viewing menu functions on screen.

The $399 AVR adds Dolby Pro Logic
IIz, Sirius port and 7.1-channel capability.
The $599 model adds 7.2-channel
capability, THX-Select2 Plus certification,
Audyssey DSX, front HDMI input
and up-scaling of all video sources to
1080p, including video from a new PC input.
In the previous AVR line, video was
up-scaled to 1080i at $599. DSX in the
$599 AVR can be configured to deliver
front-height or front-wide channels but
not both simultaneously.

The opening price HTiB at $379 features
5.1-speaker package and U-Port, and
the step-up $599 system adds 7.1-channel
speaker system and included iPod dock.
The 2.1-speaker HTiB at $349 lacks UPort
but features three HDMI 1.4 inputs,
four audio modes for gaming and outputs
for additional speakers.