Onkyo Creates HT Series Of AVRs

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Upper Saddle River, N.J. - Onkyo created a new A/V receiver (AVR) series dubbed the HT series, whose receivers are based on AVRs used in the brand's home-theater receiver-speaker packages.

The first of two AVRs in the newly created HT series is the $549-suggested HT-RC160.

Distribution will be broader than distribution of Onkyo's regular AVR series, a spokesman said. The HT series, however, "is not intended for or limited to any specific channel of distribution," he added.

The first HT series AVR, already available, is the $549-suggested HT-RC160, a 7.2-channel receiver with five 1080p-capable HDMI inputs and Dolby ProLogic IIz. The $1,049-suggested HT-RC180, due in August, adds THX Select2Plus certification, networking, Internet radio and Internet music services, including Pandora and Rhapsody.

No additional HT series AVRs will ship in 2009, the spokesman said. The company didn't announce 2010 plans for the series.

The RC160 is already available in multiple online stores, including Amazon, which priced it at $379. Amazon also sells select AVRs in Onkyo's regular TX series as well as Onkyo home-theater receiver-speaker packages.

In its regular Onkyo series, AVRs are priced from a suggested $299 to $2,299. The brand's home-theater packages are priced from a suggested $379 to $1,099.

Besides Dolby Pro Logic IIz and five HDMI inputs, the HT series HT-RC160 features analog-video up-conversion to HDMI, analog-video up-scaling to 1080i, decoding of all authorized Blu-ray surround formats, and HDMI support for 36-bit Deep Color. A suite of Audyssey technologies include Audyssey room correction to compensate for the deleterious sonic effects of a room's acoustic characteristics. Another is Audyssey Dynamic Volume, which maintains optimal listening levels and dynamic range when switching between sources or a program transitions to a softer passage or to a commercial. The third Audyssey technology, Audyssey Dynamic EQ,automatically adjusts loudness contour when volume is raised or lowered by the owner.

A proprietary port on back connects to an optional iPod dock or to an optional HD Radio tuner module. A de-interlacing chip with Faroudja DCDi Edge technology is said to effectively eliminate video artifacts. The device also features powered zone 2 with a zone-2 lineout.

Additional details of the RC180 were unavailable.


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