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Onkyo Lowers Price Of Networked AVRs

Upper Saddle
River, N.J. –


is bringing down the
price of networking and iPod USB interfaces in its A/V receivers with the
launch of a trio of models priced at a suggested $299, $399 and $599.

The features were previously available in
U.S.-market Onkyo AVRs starting at $899, the company said.

The two networked models are the $599 7.2-channel
TX-NR609 and the $399 5.1-channel TX-NR509. They stream Internet radio and
networked-PC audio, feature DLNA certification, and provide Windows 7 compatibility.
For these and future networked AVRs, the company will offer its first Wi-Fi
802.11b/g/n dongle to provide a wireless connection to a home network. The
$39-suggested dongle will also enable remote control of the AVRs from an iPod
Touch or iPhone equipped with a free new Onkyo app.

These two receivers and the $299 5.1-channel TX-SR309
also feature a front-panel Made for iPod/iPhone USB interface.

All three, which will be available at retail
in early April, have HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs, HDMI Thru and HDMI audio
return channel. They also feature lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
decoding, an overlaid on-screen display and new front-panel design.

The $599 TX-NR609 adds
THX Select2 Plus certification and Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz
post-processing technology. Both add two front-height channels to a surround
system, and Audyssey DSX can be configured to add a pair of front-wide speakers
in lieu of front-height speakers to the NR609 using the receiver’s
seven-channel amplifier.

Other TX-NR609 features
include Marvell Qdeo technology to up-scale video signals to 4K resolution. It’s
the world’s first receiver with the Qdeo technology, Onkyo said. Other NR609
features include six HDMI inputs (one on front), a universal port for
Onkyo-branded peripheral devices, and Powered Zone 2, which lets consumers play
a different audio source in a second room. The TX-NR609 also features
PC-compatible analog RGB video input, letting users send the video signal from
a notebook or desktop PC directly to the AVR, which carries the video signal
via HDMI to an HD TV.

The NR609 also incorporates Audyssey’s 2EQ,
Dynamic Volume, and Dynamic EQ technologies and a new overlaid graphical GUI to
enable in-session settings adjustments.

For its part, the TX-NR509 lacks 4K video up-scaling
and Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. It comes with four HMDI inputs.

The opening-price 5.1-channel TX-SR309 lacks networking,
Zone 2 output or Audyssey equalization features, but it has three HDMI inputs, Burr-Brown
audio DACs, and proprietary advanced music optimizer and gaming audio