Onkyo Expands Choice Of AVRs With Networking, Height Channels

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Onkyo is expanding its selection of A/V receivers (AVRs) with networking and ability to drive front-height channels.

In its TX series, Onkyo launched the networked TX-NR807 at a suggested $1,099 and the non-networked TX-SR707 at a suggested $899. In the newly created HT series of AVRs, intended for broader distribution, Onkyo launched the networked $1,049-suggested HT-RC180 and the non-networked $549-suggested HT-RC160. All four are seven-channel models.

The two networked models join the existing networked TX-NR906 at a suggested $2,299. All three networked models are DLNA-certified and feature a wired Ethernet port to stream Internet radio stations through the vTuner service. They also stream music from networked PCs. The new NR807 and RC180, however, are Onkyo's first networked AVRs to add streaming of Internet music services. The services are Pandora, Rhapsody and Sirius Internet Radio.

With the launches, Onkyo also expanded its selection of AVRs with Dolby Pro Logic IIz and brought Audyssey Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) into its lineup. Both post-processing technologies appear in the TX series NR807 and SR707 and in the HT series RC180. Pro Logic IIz also appears in other Onkyo AVRs.

DSX adds a pair of front-height speakers, or a pair of image-widening left-right speakers, or both to traditional 5.1-speaker setups. Pro Logic IIz adds two front height channels to 5.1- and 7.1-speaker setups. Denon also offers Audyssey DSX and Pro Logic IIz in select AVRs.

Here are the details on the new AVRs:

The HT-series models, based on AVRs in the brand's home-theater receiver-speaker packages, are intended for broader distribution compared to Onkyo's TX series, a spokesman said. The HT series, however, “is not intended for or limited to any specific channel of distribution,” he added.

The $549-suggested HT-RC160, already available, is a 7.2-channel receiver with five 1080p-capable HDMI inputs, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, 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 includes 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 user.

A proprietary port on the the back connects to an optional iPod dock or HD Radio tuner module.

The $1,049-suggested HT-RC180, due in August, adds THX Select2Plus, Audyssey DSX, networking, Internet radio and Internet music services, including Pandora and Rhapsody. Additional details were unavailable.

In the TX series, the $1,099-suggested 7x135-watt TX-NR807 is THX Select2 Plus-certified. Features include Pro Logic IIz, Audyssey DSX, six HDMI 1.3a inputs, 1080p video upscaling of all sources using Faroudja's DCDi Cinema processor chip, decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, MM/MC phono input, powered zone 2 and 3, multiple DC triggers, RS-232, and proprietary Universal Port for connecting an optional iPod Dock or HD Radio tuner. The 807 also features Audyssey's MultiEQ, Dynamic Volume processing and Dynamic EQ processing.

Like the NR807, the $899 TX-SR707 is THX-Select2 Plus certified and features ProLogic IIz, Audyssey DSX, and all of the 807's high-definition audio and video processing features. The 7x100-watt AVR, however, lacks networking features and offers powered zone 2.


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