For the price, you'd be hard pushed to find another receiver with as many first-class features as the TX-NR616. Features like THX certification, video upscaling, networking and much more....
Great feature set for the price
Some basics don't work. Terrible customer service/support
For the price, you'd be hard pushed to find another receiver with as many first-class features as the TX-NR616. Features like THX certification, video upscaling, networking and much more. Unfortunately, expecting them to all work is more of a challenge.
I fell in love with the 616 as soon as I saw it and what it could do. I was mis-informed by the salesman that I could upconvert to 4k and get a great picture out of my Mitsubishi 65" DLP (1080p) TV, which of course, is not true, but the 1080p upconvert IS very good.
Setup is a breeze using the on-screen GUI and the Audyssey 2EQ system. Sound separation is extremely good and overall, it's a pleasing experience, but that's where it ends. After just a couple of days, I switched on only to find no video output. A 'Clear' rectified the issue, but added its own problems. Now the receiver will turn off using the remote but not back on again! A visit to the Onkyo forum reveals that this is a known issue and a firmware update will be available 'soon' to fix it. In the meantime, I had to switch on using the button on the front of the receiver, which also appeared to initialize the HDMI each time. Using the Network Standby mode, I was able to use the remote, but then every few days, I'd get the no video problem again.
Playing with the network, I was able to log into Pandora and Slacker with ease and add some favorites to the vTuner list. However, these radio stations would often display "cannot Play' and then after restarting, played perfectly. Streaming from my Galaxy Nexus Android phone was not so good. Most times, the system simply refused to play a track and skipped to the next one, failing and moving on. The end result was nothing would play at all. I would occasionally get a single song to play, but the lack of consistency made this 'feature' less than useless.
Contact with Onkyo was an even more frustrating experience. Apart from their support team taking over a week to respond to a direct email, posts on their own forum were overlooked or replies had generic answers that barely related to the question being asked. The usual response was to ask for the serial and firmware version numbers, followed by...nothing.
A firmware update was made available last Tuesday and I was able to install it, but it did nothing for the issues and was removed from the website and stream the next day. Then another was promised on Thursday, but not made available until late in the day on Friday. This simply failed to be recognized at all, either by network or USB download.
Onkyo's response to all this? Absolutely minimal. They continue to appear on the forum answering questions (mostly with "Contact our Service Department), but fail to even acknowledge the existence of the many frustrated users, some with multiple business installations.
I really tried to keep this receiver. For the price, there's nothing to compare at the moment. However, even if I got a magical firmware update tomorrow, I would seriously doubt the chance of it lasting more than a week! Back it goes and will be replaced with either a Pioneer VSX-1122-k or a Yamaha RX-V673. Both are more expensive, but they have a much better chance of working out of the box!
In conclusion: This is a great buy for a Las Vegas gambler. You can save money and get a lot of advanced features, but the odds are that you will have problems. I could live with them if they were obscure issues, but HDMI output and even switching on? Come on Onkyo. You must do a LOT better if you want to create brand loyalty and keep the user base you have.