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.

Complete 3D Checklist

As many of you may have already noticed, 3D technology has been creeping into the entertainment scene slowly but surely. And one thing is for certain. Whatever the naysayers say, 3D is here to stay.

But having 3D video playback in your home is not as straightforward as you think. So to make it easy for you we have listed all the items you need to enjoy 3D playback:

  1. A 3D HDTV, 3D projector, or 3D computer monitor. These displays usually have a higher processing power as they need to display one image for each eye to create a 3D effect.
  2. A source to deliver 3D content. This source can be a cable box with a subscription to a 3D channel or a 3D blu-ray player.
  3. Content – In order to watch 3D, you will need to get some 3D content. This 3D content will come from the source mentioned above in the form of a 3D program, movie, or game. Please ensure that your 3D movies are in the Blu-ray 3D format, as this new format will provide the best 3D experience. Here are the some of the latest 3D blu-ray movies.
  4. 3D Glasses – All 3D HDTVs on the market require 3D Active Shutter glasses to create the 3D effect. You will need one pair of glasses for each viewer. Also make sure that the Active Shutter glasses you buy are compatible with your display. It is best to buy the glasses from the same brand as your 3D HDTV. Most HDTVs are sold bundled with a pair or two of these 3D glasses.
  5. HDMI Cable – To connect your source (such as a 3D Blu-ray player) to your display, you’ll need a high-speed HDMI cable that is ver 1.4 or later. Cables with this designation will be able to carry the 3D signals without any loss of quality.
  6. 3D AV Receiver – The AV receiver that you buy for your home theater setup will also need to have HDMI ver 1.4 (or later) inputs and outputs to allow 3D signal pass-through. Most of the newer AV receivers like the Onkyo TX-NR1008 are already 3D compatible.

There are also 3D starter kits that will give you some cost savings.

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