Check Out These New Dolby Atmos Ready Receivers

The new Dolby Atmos technology has been creating a 3D surround experience in cinemas around the country since 2012. Watching the recent “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1“, playing in Atmos theaters around the world, is a totally new aural experience. Now Dolby is bringing this surround experience into the home.

Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, and Marantz have all announced new home theater receivers, and other home cinema products capable of bringing Dolby Atmos sound into your home.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby has been in the forefront of surround technology way way before anyone else. It’s Dolby TrueHD is one of the two best surround sound formats, the other being DTS-HD Master Audio. In 2012, Dolby released the new Atmos. It expands upon the current 5.1 and 7.1 surround-sound set-ups with Dolby Atmos speakers placed at points all around the room, most notably on the ceiling. This gives you an all round enveloping aural experience. Up to 64 speakers can be used in a Dolby Atmos cinema. But for the home just adding an additional pair or 2 would suffice to totally envelop you in sound for a more immersive experience.

Both the recently released high end Onkyo TX-NR3030 and TX-NR1030 come with Atmos ready decoders. Onkyo has also announced a firmware update for the TX-NR636, TX-NR737 and TX-NR838 models. The update means that you won’t need to buy a new receiver. All you need are some extra ceiling speakers to enjoy the Atmos experience.

Pioneer has confirmed it will be releasing a firmware update for its Elite range of speakers and AV receivers to allow them to support Dolby Atmos sound and Denon and Marantz have announced new receivers which will be Dolby Atmos ready.

Onkyo AV Receivers For 2012

Onkyo recently unveiled its entry level and mid-range receivers for 2012 at the recent CES. An exciting development is that Onkyo has tied up with Silicon Image to offer a new functionality for the first time. Dubbed InstaPrevue™ technology and MHL™, all the new Onkyo units will have this feature with the exception of the entry level TX-NR313.

InstaPrevue technology provides a simple way to switch between different sources of inputs. It provides a live picture-in-picture preview of HDMI and MHL inputs connected to the receiver, allowing you to view and select a live preview window to switch between these connected devices. With InstaPrevue technology, you no longer need to cycle through inputs or navigate text-based menus (i.e., HDMI#1, HDMI#2, HDMI#3, etc.) to switch between source devices.


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Another interesting new feature is MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) technology. It is a HD audio/video connectivity standard that enables a mobile device to transmit 1080p uncompressed video with up to eight channels of digital audio over five pins, while also supporting HDCP content protection. MHL-enabled receivers, such as these Onkyo models, provide power to the mobile device when connected via MHL, ensuring that the device battery is charged and ready to use even after viewing a full-length feature movie. You are also able to control MHL-enabled mobile devices using the existing remote.

Onkyo’s 2012 AVR range starts from $299 for the TX-NR313 to $1199 for the TX-NR818. All the models come with 3D support with full 1080p, high resolution audio outputs, network ready and Onkyo Remote App for iPod/iPhone. Here are the summary of key features:

Onkyo TX-NR313 (MSRP $299)

  • 5.1-Channel 3-D Ready Home Theater Receiver
  • 1080p compatible HDMI , 4 in / 1 out
  • On-Screen Display via HDMI

Onkyo TX-NR414 (MSRP $499)

  • 5.1-Channel 3-D Ready Network A/V Receiver
  • 6in/1out HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Picture-in-Picture Input Source Preview with InstaPrevue™ Technology
  • Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port

Onkyo TX-NR515 (MSRP $599)

  • 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver
  • 8in/2out HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Marvell Qdeo™ 4K Upscaling and Processing
  • MHL™ (Mobile High-Definition Link) for Smart Phone Content on HDTV
  • Picture-in-Picture Input Source Preview with InstaPrevue™ Technology
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIz Add New Dimensions to Surround Sound
  • Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port

Onkyo TX-NR616 (MSRP $699)

  • 7.2-Ch THX Certified Network A/V Receiver
  • THX Select2 Plus Certified
  • 8in/2out HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Marvell Qdeo™ 4K Upscaling and Processing
  • MHL™ (Mobile High-Definition Link) for Smart Phone Content on HDTV
  • Picture-in-Picture Input Source Preview with InstaPrevue™ Technology
  • Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz Add New Dimensions to Surround Sound
  • Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port

Onkyo TX-NR717 (MSRP $999)

  • 7.2-Ch THX Certified Network A/V Receiver
  • THX Select2 Plus Certified
  • 8in/2out HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Marvell Qdeo™ 4K Upscaling and Processing
  • MHL™ (Mobile High-Definition Link) for Smart Phone Content on HDTV
  • Picture-in-Picture Input Source Preview with InstaPrevue™ Technology
  • Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz Add New Dimensions to Surround Sound

Onkyo TX-NR818 (MSRP $1199)

  • 7.2-Ch THX Certified Network A/V Receiver
  • THX Select2 Plus Certified
  • 8in/2out HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Network Capability Delivers Internet Radio and Network Streaming
  • Dual Core Video Engine with HQV Vida (1080p) and Marvell Qdeo™ (4K) Processing
  • ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) Video Calibration for Optimal Video Performance
  • MHL™ (Mobile High-Definition Link) for Smart Phone Content on HDTV
  • Picture-in-Picture Input Source Preview with InstaPrevue™ Technology
  • DTS Neo:X, Audyssey DSX, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz for Expanded Surround Channels

Hybrid Standby is also provided, allowing pass-through of HDMI-connected sources to the TV even when the receiver is off.

Onkyo Offers Mobile HD Link For Its 2012 Receivers

In a new development, Onkyo recently teamed up with Silicon Image to develop the world’s first AV receivers with InstaPrevue and MHL (Mobile high-definition link) technology.

The integration of MHL will definitely make integration of smartphones and mobile devices easier in the living room. Onkyo’s integration features an MHL port that allows for compatible devices to output uncompressed 1080p video content which carries up to 8 channels of audio. More and more devices now come with MHL connectivity like the HTC Rezound and Samsung Galaxy S II.

Further, the addition of InstaPrevue could prove exciting for those with numerous devices. The technology provides a picture-in-picture preview of each active HDMI / MHL video source, making the days of choosing from a nondescript text-based list a thing of the past.

InstaPrevue provides live picture-in-picture previews so users can switch between numerous sources, including Blu-ray players, games consoles, set-top boxes and other HDMI or MHL-connected products.

By using InstaPrevue, you no longer need to cycle through the inputs on the home cinema receiver (HDMI 1, HDMI 2 etc) to switch between source components. Instead, you just click on the relevant picture.

MHL-enabled AV receivers provide power to the mobile device when connected via MHL, so your mobile or tablet will still be fully charged after watching a full-length movie.

Onkyo’s New Flagship AV Receivers

The long awaited flagship receivers has finally shipped. The Onkyo TX-NR5009 is priced at $2,899 and the TX-NR3009 few hundred quids cheaper at $2,199. Not much separate the two other power ratings and audio processing. The TX-NR5009 includes a heavy-duty Toroidal transformer for higher current output. This gives you a higher audio headroom for more dynamic surround sound in a larger room.

Onkyo TX-NR5009 and TX-NR3009

Both receivers include significant upgrades from last year’s models, including the use of the latest HQV-Vida and Marvel Qdeo video processors, new DTS Neo:X dimensional surround processing, Dolby Volume, and new streaming internet radio channels. Onkyo has also recently announced a firmware update to its remote app for Android that gives it direct support for Spotify Premium music streaming service. It is now available for these receivers, along with others in Onkyo’s 2011 line.

Quite an extensive set of features are incorporated into these units such as 3D compatibility, advanced audio/video processing, content streaming, as well as plenty of connectivity options. The top model is rated at 145W for each of the 9 channels and the NR3009 delivers five watts less at 140W per channel.

The usual audio decoding and processing chips from Audyssey, Dolby and DTS are all incorporated. Most if not all audio formats like Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX/Pro logic IIz, DTS 5.1/ES, 96/24, Neo:6 and Audyssey DSX.

Read the full Onkyo TX-NR5009 review and Onkyo TX-NR3009 review.

New Denon IN-Command Series A/V Receivers

Denon, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality Audio Video products, recently launched the new “IN-Command Series” of A/V receivers. It is designed with inter-connectedness in mind. Consumers can now be “IN-Command” so to speak of all their content, components and entertainment environments so they can enjoy music, movies and games, with dramatically enhanced surround sound, plus interactive web access, multi-zone networking and more. It is Denon’s way of combining content and technology so that you can be entertained “in the simplest and most straightforward ways possible” as Denon puts it.

There are 3 models in this series namely:

  1. Denon AVR-2112CI (SRP:$649.99)
  2. Denon AVR-2312CI (SRP:$849.99)
  3. Denon AVR-3312CI (SRP:$1099.99)

The IN-Command series AV receivers are designed from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s “content-hungry” consumer. These receivers feature advanced multi-zone networking capabilities, and convenient compatibility with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and other home entertainment source components.They support Apple’s AirPlay, which lets you stream content from your iOS device. In addition to AirPlay, these receivers also feature Direct Connectivity via USB for quick and simple integration into the larger home network.

You’d be glad to know that the the latest audio decoders like the Dolby Pro Logic IIz are also supported. Dolby PL IIz is capable of expanding your home theater’s front stage to include two extra front height channels. Also on board are technologies such as Audyssey DSX that makes movies sound three-dimensional by adding height and wide channels, Dynamic Volume, EQ Pro capability, and 3D pass-through technology that makes it 3D compliant for 3D Blu-ray players.

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