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Onkyo AVRs, HTiBs Get HDMI 1.4

Upper Saddle River,
N.J. – Onkyo introduced its first
three A/V receivers (AVRs) and first three home theater in a box (HTiB) systems
with HDMI 1.4 connections that support 3D video and Audio Return Channel (ARC).

The 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 Blu-ray 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 TX-SR608. 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’

 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 U-Port but features three HDMI 1.4 inputs, four audio modes for gaming
and outputs for additional speakers.

  Marketing manager Paul
Wasek said of the introductions, “By upgrading to [HDMI] 1.4, even on the
least-expensive HTiB, we have eliminated all HDMI passthrough products and
allowed HD audio formats to be used across the line.”