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Monday, March 26, 2012
New Mid-Range AVRs by Onkyo

Onkyo has introduced two new mid-line audio-video receivers. The Onkyo TX-NR717 and TX-NR818 are 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receivers that offer a mix of networking technology, high performance video and THX-certified sound quality.

The TX-NR818 offers the audio calibration capabilities of Audyssey MultEQ XT32, three surround processing modes including DTS Neo:X, and the picture quality provided by Onkyo's Dual Core Video Engine.

The Dual Core Video Engine combines the power of an HQV Vida VHD 1900 video processor core to generate 1080p upscaling and enhancement of lower-quality content, with the performance of the Marvel Qdeo processor, which can upscale 1080p content to four times that resolution. Additionally, the TX-NR818's Dual Core Video Engine offers video calibration to ISF standards. On the TX-NR717, the Marvel Qdeo provides upscaling of all sources to 1080p and 4K.

This year, Onkyo is the first AVR brand to offer the new InstaPrevue and MHL (Mobile High Definition Link) technologies, and both are available on these new receivers. InstaPrevue displays video thumbnails representing available content on devices connected via HDMI, which simplifies the process of switching HDMI sources. The front-panel MHL HDMI port allows users to connect and play high-resolution media stored on compatible smart phones with seven channels of surround sound.

The Onkyo TX-NR818 includes Audyssey MultEQ XT32 that adjusts the listening room with data gathered from more than 10,000 control points across eight listening positions. This receiver also includes three surround ambience expansion systems, DTS Neo:X, Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX. As found on Onkyo?s high-end models, DTS Neo:X incorporates Front Wide or Front Height channels along with realistic listening modes. The TX-NR717 features Audyssey DSX for Wide Channels and Dolby Pro Logic IIz for Heights, as well as multi-channel expansion of stereo sources and uses Audyssey 2EQ for room calibration.

Both receivers earn THX Select 2 Plus certification with enhancements to Onkyo?s exclusive WRAT concept. Distortion is all but eliminated by the use of three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry, with power supplied by a high-power transformer. Both units feature Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit DACs on all seven channels while the TX-NR818 adds PLL jitter-cleaning circuits to further improve signal quality, as well as isolated power amp and pre-amp blocks.

The TX-NR717 and TX-NR818 feature eight HDMI inputs (one front, and seven rear) and two outputs. HDMI implementation enables 3D video support, as well as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio decoding. These receivers feature an Audio Return Channel over HDMI, allowing the playback of broadcast TV with surround sound. New 1080p, high-resolution GUI (Graphical User Interface) offers an overlaid 'Quick Setup' menu that provides access to frequently used settings.

Users can connect online with a LAN cable, or add an optional UWF-1 Wireless LAN Adapter to the rear-side USB port, leaving the front-panel USB free for an iPod, iPhone, or flash memory device.

In addition to a selection of internet radio channels, and music streaming from Spotify and AUPEO!, users can enjoy their personal cloud-based music collections via MP3tunes with home theater sound. Ethernet connectivity also enables playback of music from PC or media server, and simplifies periodic firmware updates.

Amplification of audio signals is switched to either of two zones equipped with stereo speakers. Playback control across multiple rooms - along with access to all major home theater settings - is available from anywhere in the house using the Remote App 2 for iPhone, or Onkyo Remote App for Android phone.

Both receivers include a selection of digital and analog A/V connections, and offer front-channel bi-amping. Furthermore, the TX-NR818 boasts an onboard Digital Crossover Processing Network to cancel frequency interference when bi-wiring loudspeakers. This model also has 9.2-channel pre-outs if the user wishes to use the receiver as a nine-channel processor.

In the coming months, Onkyo will introduce its UBT-1 USB Bluetooth Adapter to upgrade the ability of its network receivers to interact with a wide variety of hand-held electronic devices. There will also be a new iOs remote control app that will enable music streaming from an iPod/iPhone to an Onkyo network receiver, and also the company's first remote app for the Kindle Fire.

The Onkyo TX-NR717 and TX-NR818 will be available in May with suggested retail prices of $ 999.00 and $1,199.00, respectively.

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