Onkyo Readies AVRs With InstaPrevue, MHL

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Onkyo is introducing four new A/V receivers in the coming months.

These include the industry’s first three AVRs with Silicon Image’s InstaPrevue technology, the industry’s first two AVRs with Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology, and the industry’s first three models capable of streaming music from the MP3tunes cloud-based music-locker service.

The four new AVRs are the $699-suggested 7.2-channel TX-NR616 with THX Select2 Plus certification, the $599 7.2-channel TX-NR515, the $499 5.1-channel TX-NR414, and the $299 5.1-channel TX-SR313. The former ships in April, and the other three ship in March.

In the top three AVRs, Silicon Image’s InstaPrevue technology delivers live picture-in-picture thumbnail previews of video sources connected via HDMI inputs and MHL-enabled HDMI inputs, including video from Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles, set-top boxes, and MHL-enabled tablets and smartphones. The technology makes it unnecessary for consumers to remember whether a particular source is labeled HDMI 1, HDMI 2, or HDMI 3.

In the $599 and $699 AVRs, MHL-enabled HDMI inputs enable an MHL-compatible smartphone or tablet to stream 1080p HD video and 7.1-channel surround sound from the mobile device via cable to a home theater system. The AVRs’ HDMI port also charges the portable device, and consumers can use their TV or AVR remote to control the playback of content streamed from their MHL-enabled mobile device. MHL technology is also planned for TVs.

In the three network-capable AVRs starting at $499, Onkyo is adding streaming of a user’s personal library from the MP3tunes music-locker service. Like before, the networked models access other Internet music services, stream PC-stored music, and feature DLNA certification and Windows 7 compatibility.

In another change from last year, proprietary WRAT amplifier technology starts at $299, down from $699. WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) is a low negative-feedback topology that reduces signal noise and distortion and extends frequency response beyond 20kHz.


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