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Onkyo Readies Two Flagship AVRs

TWICE, 8/22/2011

Upper Saddle River, N.J. - Onkyo plans early-September shipments of its two flagship 9.2-channel networked A/V receivers, which bring to three the number of Onkyo-brand AVRs with DTS Neo:X surround processing.

Onkyo's flagship $2,899-suggested TX-NR5009 features DTS Neo:X processing and THX Ultra2 Plus certification.

The $2,899-suggested TX-NR5009 and $2,199 TX-NR3009 are the only two receivers in the Onkyo line with THX Ultra2 Plus certification and Audyssey Multeq XT32 room correction.

Besides adding DTS Neo:X, the pair add other features not available from their predecessors, including the latest versions of HQV-Vida and Marvel Qdeo video processors, Dolby Volume, and new streaming Internet radio channels.

Both feature DLNA 1.5 networking certification, eight HDMI 1.4a inputs and two outputs, Ethernet port, and two USB ports, one of which is an iPod-compatible USB input to connect an Apple device without using an Onkyo proprietary dock. The two AVRs also feature a Universal Port to connect such Onkyo peripherals as a stereo Bluetooth module and an iPod dock, which stream iPod/iPhone-stored video and audio. An RGB input is available for PC video, and an optional wireless LAN adapter plugs into a front USB port to enable wireless networking with a PC and broadband modem. Both AVRs can also be controlled from an Android smartphone or iPod Touch/iPhone.

The HQV VidaVHD 1900 processor, which starts at $1,099 in the line, uses multi-cadence tracking, expanded 12-bit color-processing, and smooth, motion-adaptive de-interlacing to optimize HD video.HQV also enables independent ISFccc video calibration for each connected video source.

Marvell's Qdeo technology, also available in lower-priced Onkyo AVRs, up-scales 1080p video to a full 4K (3840 x 2160), including video from sources already up-scaled by HQV Vida to 1080p from lower resolutions.

In both models' implementation of DTS Neo:X post processing, consumers will be able to add four more full-range speakers to a traditional 5.1- or 5.2-channel surround-sound speaker system. The technology already appears in the $1,399-suggested Onkyo TX-NR1009, a THX Select2 Plus Certified 9.2-channel receiver that shipped earlier this year.

With the nine-channel amps embedded in the three receivers, consumers could configure a 9.2-channel home-theater system in three ways, the company said. To a basic 5.1-channel speaker system, users could add surround-back and front-height speakers to produce ambient, non-directional sounds. Users could alternately opt to add surround back- and front-wide speakers to a 5.1 system, or they could add front-height and front-width speakers to a 5.1 system without adding surround-back speakers.

Depending on how suppliers implement the technology, Neo:X could be used to create an 11.1- or 11.2-channel system.

Like last years' models, both receivers include the related Audyssey DSX (Dynamic Surround Expansion) post-processing technology, which adds front-height speakers and a pair of image-widening left-right speakers to traditional 5.1-speaker setups. All three receivers also feature Dolby ProLogic IIz, which adds a pair of front-height channels.

In a 5.1-channel system, the additional amp channels can also be used service to biamplify speakers or drive remote-zone speakers.

With the addition of MultEQ XT32, unavailable in other Onkyo AVRs, the two receivers deliver 32-times the resolution of MultEQ XT technology compared to their predecessors, correcting for frequency-response and time-domain errors in more than 10,000 points across the frequency spectrum.

Internet radio stations and streaming music services accessed by the receivers include Spotify, Aupeo!, Pandora, Last.fm, Rhapsody, Napster, Mediafly, Slacker, SiriusXM and vTuner.

Just my $0.02...
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