Beware of the Onkyo TX-8050 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 08-13-2011, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I was excited to see this when it first came out - Decent power and network streaming at a decent price. Then I got it a few months ago and have been fairly disappointed by its streaming capabilities.

Here are a few major shortcomings:
  • Network connectivity only happens every other time you power on the device, whether it's DHCP or a static IP (how did they miss this?) Beyond being annoying, it also will lose the position in your playlist if you are DLNA streaming.
  • AAC+ streams have no treble whatsoever - They obviously either didn't implement the AAC codec correctly or are using a very old version. This is very bad for internet streaming audio, as many online stations (including my own!) sound horrible.
  • No processing of replaygain - What this means is that your collection of music that you stream locally off of DLNA will be all over the place on audio level.
  • No crossfading for DLNA streaming. Not horrible, but annoying waiting for one song to completely finish with the silence at the end before the other starts.

A squeezebox radio connected to one of their non-network capable receivers will give you a ton more functionality (none of the above problems).

I sent the following email to their support on July 5th. Although the support rep is friendly, obviously their engineering/firmware people are not very interested. They came out with 2 firmware updates since July 5th, both of which did nothing for these issues.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

AAC streams (High Efficiency AAC streams, aka AAC+, HE-AAC, etc.) are missing the high end audio component, making the audio sound very muffled and completely lacking any treble response. AAC-HE uses spectral band replication and parametric stereo to simulate components that are removed during the compression. It is as if the Onkyo TX-8050 understands the AAC stream (because it will play it), but is missing the spectral band replication and parametric stereo function of the AAC codec.

As noted on the following Wikipedia page about AAC-HE, other older components have this same problem (this line describes exactly what the TX-8050 is doing):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Ef...d_Audio_Coding

Older versions of Apple iTunes, iPod Touch, and iPhone will play HE-AAC files at reduced fidelity because they ignore the spectral-band replication and parametric stereo information, instead playing them as though they were standard AAC-LC files without the high-frequency, or "treble," information that is only present in the SBR part of the signal.[citation needed] These will report the track length as twice its actual length.

I would expect that the Onkyo TX-8050 should support AAC-HE, as that standard has been around for many years and is commonly being used for many internet streaming radio stations.

Here are a few test URLs to demonstrate what I’m talking about – Both are the same 40k AAC+ stream:

-Direct stream link for the TX-8050: http://u15b.sky.fm:80/sky_the80s_aacplus (this will sound flat)
-Web based stream so you can hear what it is supposed to sound like: http://www.sky.fm/play/the80s (this will sound normal)

Another issue is that it only establishes network connectivity every other time it is powered on. I have a static IP assigned to it. It establishes the physical ethernet link, but it is not even pingable at its static IP. As I stated, this occurs every other time the receiver is turned on, thus requiring me to turn it on and off twice to make it usable each time.

The AAC-HE issue will simply be disastrous for Onkyo if it can’t be fixed...No one will want a streaming audio device that can’t stream half of anything out there. I’m not sure if I had a partially failed firmware update and/or if this is just specific to my unit (I doubt it), but I would be happy to help you with whatever you need to address these issues.

Thanks!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've always loved Onkyo products, and this one still has potential with new firmware, but wanted to warn prospective buyers as to what they are getting...
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post #2 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0xlf View Post

I was excited to see this when it first came out - Decent power and network streaming at a decent price. Then I got it a few months ago and have been fairly disappointed by its streaming capabilities.

....

I've always loved Onkyo products, and this one still has potential with new firmware, but wanted to warn prospective buyers as to what they are getting...

This is a common problem with many new products. You have to understand that firmware development is usually outsourced to another company, and if there is something in not explicitly specified in requirements (like HE-AAC option) it won't be implemented. Options like this can be easily lost, when specification was written (or someone on Onkyo side ASSUMED that ALL AAC options will be implemented, but developers didn't). QA is usually also outsourced, so it won't be caught there either. Another problem is that nobody develops full firmware. When someone uses DSP chip, they license SDK from chip manufacturer. In many cases this licensing is very granular in what options are available (price per unit depends on this). So if some pieces were not licensed (like advanced AAC decoding), they won't be available. In case like this Onkyo CANNOT retroactively add new features, since they would have to pay additional fee for every unit they already sold. This may be cost prohibitive (see problem with 24/96 audio in WDTV Live).

As to network connectivity, it is possible that there is a real problem. It is quite often port speed mismatch happens if both switch and device are set to auto-negotiation mode. This is a common problem even with much more expensive equipment. If you can control your switch, try to set it to 100/Full mode. If you can't, then the only real option is to replace switch. This problem is usually hardware related, and cannot be fixed with firmware updates, like other problems you mentioned.
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post #3 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Good idea on the port speed setting - Although it is linking, it could be that something is getting lost in the negotiation. The only thing that leads me to believe that it is firmware is that it occurs only every other time. That would be strange for a hardware problem to behave that way..

Luckily I have a 48 port smart switch, so I can change that on a per port basis.

I think I got too spoiled by my Squeezebox Radio. Constant development, tons of features, new revisions of their Linux server coming out daily, etc...

I think what is most concerning for me at this point is no acknowledgment of where these issues are headed. I'd be willing to wait for months if I got a simple "yes, we can fix that but it will take 'x' amount of time". Like you said, if it's not going to happen to due constraints with licensing, I'd like to know that.

I'm using this for my whole house audio, which is only 8 speakers, but it can handle the load with no impedance matching at normal listening levels. Not too shabby for its stated power output. Hopefully this doesn't dead end with me being stuck using FM radio or MP3 streams only. At least that works

I'll test the forced port speed now and see if that changes anything...
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post #4 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0xlf View Post

I would expect that the Onkyo TX-8050 should support AAC-HE, as that standard has been around for many years and is commonly being used for many internet streaming radio stations.

Not necessarily...
MP3 is still the defacto standard for streaming internet audio..

The Onkyo uses the TI 32 bit floating point DSP processor but the royalty for AAC-HE is quite expensive..
And most likely Onkyo calculated that few users would pay for the additional royalty cost and/or be using AAC-HE so they decided just to use the lower cost AAC algorithm. A fact that many consumers are unaware of is that the royalty costs especially for HD codecs, THX, Audyssey are quite high.. They can be equal to at least 15% of the factory FOB cost which includes labor, materials, freight, duty, warranty costs..

And if the brand is not certain that the respective DSP mode is going to be used by at least 25% of their buying audience..
Why burden the AVR with additional costs for modes that the majority will not use..

Just my $0.02...
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post #5 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears that vialicensing is (an) administrator for AAC licensing and they don't seem to differentiate between AAC and HE-AAC. A few links from them:

http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-overview.aspx

http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-fees.aspx

And in one section, they say:

The license encompasses MPEG-2 AAC LC (including MPEG-2 AAC LC in combination with SBR), MPEG-4 AAC LC, MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC (or HE AAC, also sometimes known as aacPlus), and MPEG-4 HE AAC v2. Also included in the license are patents essential to the MPEG-4 Low Delay AAC Profile, MPEG-4 ER AAC Scalable, and MPEG-4 ER AAC ELD. The license provides comprehensive coverage of those aspects of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AAC in commercial practice.

I don't know that vialicensing is the exclusive administrator for licensing the codec, so obviously Onkyo could have done it some other way (like FAAD2, which probably encompasses the AAC license within their fees). Vialicensing fees show $0.15 to $0.98 per unit, but it does say "per unit/annual reset". I'm not sure how that would affect their costs...

While I would agree that mp3 streaming is probably still the standard for internet radio, I don't think that will persist..Many stations, especially those using flash players (now that flash supports AAC+) have gone to AAC+ simply because bandwidth costs money and AAC+ wins that race...It's really amazing how good even a 40k stream can sound with AAC+ (check out that sky.fm link above as an example).

I did a little searching on AAC+ not sounding good, and apparently the TX-8050 isn't the only current device with these issues. There is a lot of info about Droids having problems with the same thing, even though the base codec itself supports it.

I still doubt that the AAC+ issue is one of licensing/additional cost. Based on the current linux based libraries available, it would probably be more difficult for Onkyo to get the codec WITHOUT AAC+.

Too bad I can't get into this thing via SSH - I could probably fix it myself

Maybe I need to create my own firmware update...hummm...

(BTW - Forcing my port to 100/full did not change the networking issue)
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post #6 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0xlf View Post

It appears that vialicensing is (an) administrator for AAC licensing and they don't seem to differentiate between AAC and HE-AAC. A few links from them:

http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-overview.aspx

http://www.vialicensing.com/licensing/aac-fees.aspx

And in one section, they say:

The license encompasses MPEG-2 AAC LC (including MPEG-2 AAC LC in combination with SBR), MPEG-4 AAC LC, MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC (or HE AAC, also sometimes known as aacPlus), and MPEG-4 HE AAC v2. Also included in the license are patents essential to the MPEG-4 Low Delay AAC Profile, MPEG-4 ER AAC Scalable, and MPEG-4 ER AAC ELD. The license provides comprehensive coverage of those aspects of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AAC in commercial practice.

I don't know that vialicensing is the exclusive administrator for licensing the codec, so obviously Onkyo could have done it some other way (like FAAD2, which probably encompasses the AAC license within their fees). Vialicensing fees show $0.15 to $0.98 per unit, but it does say "per unit/annual reset". I'm not sure how that would affect their costs...

While I would agree that mp3 streaming is probably still the standard for internet radio, I don't think that will persist..Many stations, especially those using flash players (now that flash supports AAC+) have gone to AAC+ simply because bandwidth costs money and AAC+ wins that race...It's really amazing how good even a 40k stream can sound with AAC+ (check out that sky.fm link above as an example).

I did a little searching on AAC+ not sounding good, and apparently the TX-8050 isn't the only current device with these issues. There is a lot of info about Droids having problems with the same thing, even though the base codec itself supports it.

I still doubt that the AAC+ issue is one of licensing/additional cost. Based on the current linux based libraries available, it would probably be more difficult for Onkyo to get the codec WITHOUT AAC+.

Too bad I can't get into this thing via SSH - I could probably fix it myself

Maybe I need to create my own firmware update...hummm...

(BTW - Forcing my port to 100/full did not change the networking issue)


You are confusing royalties..
1 royalty is to the holder and the other is development cost royalty per unit that the DSP processor company collects. Keep in mind that AAC algorithm is not universal and specific software versions need to be written to run on a specified processor. In that case TI needs to foot the bill for writing the S/W but they will charge back to whatever brands choose to use it..

Another example that may better help you understand the software situation is Microsoft they have written the software for Office 2011, 91% of the global market is PC based not Apple. Next Apple had a specific version of Office 2011 written to run on the MAC, guess who paid for writing that..

The final software costs are included in the software purchase @ retail, thats why the Mac version is more $...
Writing/debugging software for each processor platform can/will be expensive..
These costs must be recovered and are amortized per unit into the quantity of final versions sold..

Just my $0.02...
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post #7 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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That makes sense...

Onkyo will probably never disclose anything to us, other than to say that AAC+ isn't supported (which I hope that isn't the case).

Just got around to playing with their remote control Droid app - Kind of cool..Lets you control it and even stream audio contained on the Droid itself. Apparently that is more important than any of the issues I mentioned, since their recent firmware update brought support for it. Although that functionality was probably way further up the queue with the firmware engineers...
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post #8 of 30 Old 08-14-2011, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, these issues aren't specific to the 8050 - The new TX-NRxxx series uses the same base firmware for the streaming part (I had one), so these same issues apply...
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post #9 of 30 Old 10-26-2011, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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After going round and round with Onkyo on this, they finally said:

-There are no plans to fix the network connectivity issue, so you will have to turn it on and off twice to get an ethernet connection.

-There are no plans to add AAC+

I have a hard time believing #1, but that's the way it is for now...

Just FYI for the thread...
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post #10 of 30 Old 11-12-2011, 09:30 AM
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I acknowledge the OP's problems which must be very irritating and to be honest, would probably make me eBay kit with such problems.

Personally I have found my Onkyo TX-8050 free of the double on/off malarkey; the network connects every time. I cannot hear any treble problem because being an old git, my hearing hits the -3 dB point at a mere 8.5 kHz :-)

DNLA is all new to me and a a project for this weekend; I am sort of hoping that I can slurp the iTunes library from my iMac.

I do like having "radio" streamed from the net into my living room. It means I can forget aerials and the station choice means I can listen to far, far more choices than previously.

At some point, I must have unwisely mentioned "wireless" to my other half, who now chortles mercilessly at the vast amount of cabling to all those connectors on the rear panel
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post #11 of 30 Old 11-12-2011, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Chiny, if you get a chance, can you test your network connectivity when turning the network control option off? It's on by default, which leaves the network interface active even when it's turned off. I've always had mine off since I don't care about being able to turn it on via network, but something tells me that it part of my problem...

I'll go test now with it on and see what I see...Also, the multiple power on/off thing is only after it sits for a bit, so immediate testing of it will probably work fine...
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post #12 of 30 Old 01-06-2012, 02:09 PM
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I just got an Onkyo TX-8050 to replace an old receiver. I want to install the latest firmware but wondered if I need to install all updates that are newer than the ship-with firmware, or only the latest. I believe the latest version is dated 12/15/2011.

Thanks in advance!
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post #13 of 30 Old 03-27-2012, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n0xlf View Post

...test your network connectivity when turning the network control option off? It's on by default, which leaves the network interface active even when it's turned off. I've always had mine off since I don't care about being able to turn it on via network, but something tells me that it part of my problem...

I think you should leave the network connectivity on. If you do, the unit immediately restarts whatever you were last streaming (assuming it can reconnect to the service) when you turn it back on. Unfortunately, the display does not reflect what you are hearing...

There are definitely a few bugs to sort out on this unit regarding the network interface, but the connectivity on mine works just fine. Always connects (assuming I've got a decent wireless signal) and streams. But I leave the network connectivity on.

I wish the Android app was more robust and included a menu item to show me what's playing. Does not work well when you disconnect and reconnect, the app is very immature...
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post #14 of 30 Old 04-27-2012, 11:19 AM
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I bought a TX-8050 about a month ago. The network control is enabled - and has been since installation. I lose network connectivity on a regular basis. Its a big pain. I control the receiver remotely using an iPod touch. Losing connectivity requires me to journey to the basement, unplug the unit, plug it back in and power it up. I originally thought it was a problem with iPod/app. I've recently learned its a problem with the receiver. The receiver is connected to a 1Gb switch. I may try connecting it the 100 Mb router and see what happens. I have an HP Printer that refuses to connect to the 1Gb switch, but works flawlessly when connected to the 100 Mb router.

 

Its been awhile - but I thought I would update the post in hopes that it may help others.  Connecting directly to the router did not solve the problem above.

 

However, I think I have solved the problem.  I setup the TX-8050 with a static IP address.  But its a "special address".  I tried the static IP address before and it failed - because the IP address I set was within my router DHCP addresses.  The "special address" I've now used is outside my routers DHCP range. I have not lost connectivity in 3 weeks.

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post #15 of 30 Old 09-10-2012, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Just saw the update from April and thought I'd update this post too...

Nothing new - Still can't leave network control off and get connectivity reliably. I left network control off because I don't use it all that often and it sucks (a small amount) of power if left on. And I have it on a UPS that doesn't need any extra load...

Still no AAC+ support either...Sadly, some of my favorite streaming stations are AAC+ only now, whereas they were MP3 (.977 Music for example, just switched to AAC+ streams only).
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-30-2012, 06:26 PM
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Hey Darth, I too have been having the same exact issue as you and seem to always have to reset the receiver every day or so. It is starting to get annoying. I tried your rec since it seemed to work for you. I have changed the IP of my onkyo to an address outside the range of my router. All is well and the receiver plays Rhapsody just fine using the normal remote control, however once i disable DHCP and use this random IP address my Ipod touch Onlyio Remote 2 app can no longer start up properly. Once I re-enable DHCP ipod app gets right in and is ready to roll. Are you able to use your ipod touch when you switch to the "special" Ip? Any additional moves needed?

If I can't get this to work thinking about bagging this receiver and getting a cheaper sherwood 5502 and just getting a separate network player that has smartphone capability such as Logitech UE or something. I just need to play rhapsody via smartphone. Thanks for any input to anyone.
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post #17 of 30 Old 03-19-2013, 08:51 PM
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So after 6 months of use my 8050 is now having issues Searching By Artist/Album via Rhapsody and I stumbled upon this post 6 months later. Figured I would post a follow up. So I was able to determine what was causing MY internet connectivity issue by testing out a few different devices and I narrowed it down to the usage of my older Ipod touch 2 with IOS 4.02. I was having very flaky behavior and was unplug the 8050 on a daily basis sometimes multiple, was not a viable solution and was embarassing. After I used my dads Ipad flawlessly for a week I knew I was onto something. It has been working "acceptable" for the last 6 months mainly using my wifes android phone gingerbread OS 2.3. This is why we kept it. Anyways now here I am trying to find out what happened to the Rhapsody Search By Artist functionality that mysteriously was lost this weekend. I noticed a forum post on OnkyoUs forums where they stated they are aware of the issue and are working to resolve. I really hope they can figure it out. I am assuming something changed on Rhapsodys side that requires a new firmware update for us. mad.gif
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post #18 of 30 Old 03-20-2013, 09:18 AM
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Onkyo's are notorious for sensitive network connectivity. There's a program internally called "netapp" that crashes sometimes when negotiating a connection and syncing.

Regarding getting into the receiver, you certainly can via the test port on top of the HDMI board. No external shell unless you crack the case and enable it though the test port.
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-21-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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ONKYO KNOWS OF THE PROBLEMS AND THAT IS WHY THEY STARTED A RECALL LAST YEAR.
INQUIRE ABOUT A RETURN...
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post #20 of 30 Old 03-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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I actually found this link about the recall mentioned. http://www.uk.onkyo.com/en/product-recall-80305.html I entered my serial and it said that my unit was all set. Like i said I have been pretty happy with my 8050 other than the fact that just last week I have been unable to Search by artist/album/track using Rhapsody.
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post #21 of 30 Old 04-05-2013, 05:09 PM
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I've had this receiver for over a year now, not one issue (caveat, I don't care about DLNA or AAC+) This is the only place I've seen mentioned an issue with AAC+. Network connects every time, and stays connected. My wife, stepdaughter and I all connect via Android app and use streaming services, I'm directly connected to my computer for access to my local collection. I have an amp hooked up via preamp outputs powering a second set of speakers in zone 2. My only complaint is lack of bass management, but that's to be expected in a 2 channel receiver. There are still few receiver companies that offer this breadth of online features in their networked receivers, only Denon and Onkyo have Spotify onboard (a priority). Once this goes mainstream I will probably find something with more power, probably a low end AVR with pre-outs, but for now the TX-8050 is a fine receiver for the money.

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post #22 of 30 Old 04-25-2013, 10:48 AM
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I just got a TX-8050 and am not using it's streaming capabilities much but it seems like a nice receiver for the money so far.. amp section sounds very nice, several digital input options, ti dac is decent... looks pretty nice also. I hope mine holds up! smile.gif

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post #23 of 30 Old 05-10-2013, 05:57 PM
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OK,

So I read all the warning posts for this unit.

I bought it cause I needed a small/midrange unit for my living room. I listen to several PBS radio stations on the computer. (WWOZ, WUMB, KUNC, etc.) My understanding was that this unit could be connected to my home network and get those stations via the USB link.

Well.....The Users manual is damn near useless. The customer support line is a little better....(but not much).

Bottom line: 1. Get signed on to the Vtuner website: http://onkyo.vtuner.com/setupapp/onkyo/asp/BrowseStations/StartPage.asp?sSpot=sSpotD. 2. Pick out your favorite stations and load them to your "favorites" list. 3. Then play around with the selection menus with the remote. 4. Not intuitive, Not smart, not well designed......but hey....It works. And the price is reasonable.

Hope this helps someone!

Rog
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post #24 of 30 Old 12-27-2013, 02:16 PM
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Does anyone know if any of these posted issues have been resolved in a later model?

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post #25 of 30 Old 01-27-2014, 04:47 PM
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I'm curious as well. Comments anyone?
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post #26 of 30 Old 01-28-2014, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SDSMITH View Post

I'm curious as well. Comments anyone?

The whole unit failed the WAF test miserably. I never got specific answers about why, but the complaints seemed different every time. "app froze", "not working", "no sound", etc. When I tried to use it, it worked well enough, but that wasn't sufficient. I agree with rfsmith48: "Not intuitive, Not smart, not well designed......but hey....It works. And the price is reasonable."

If you're in Metro Boston and want one of these, I can make that reasonable price even more reasonable...
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post #27 of 30 Old 01-29-2014, 08:17 AM
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I only use my 8050 to listen to Rhapsody and sometimes slacker. I had an issue witj Rhapsody not being able to search properly due to rhapsody discontinuing some sort of file support but onkyo released a firmware update which resolved this. I can't speak to the DLNA stuff, but for my web streaming overall I think this unit is fine, not perfect but pretty close. At the price I would have had to pay for sonos I am happy so far
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-01-2014, 08:43 AM
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How do you set "special" ip address?

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post #29 of 30 Old 02-08-2014, 10:48 AM
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Anyone know if the tx-8050 is compatible w sonos?
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-10-2014, 06:05 AM
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Poopboob if u go.the sonos route there is no need for the 8050 . better off getting anorher cheap standard receiver and hooking it up to a sonos connect. Or just getting a sonos amp. but to answer ur question, no by itself the 8050 is not compatible with the other sonos devices.
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