Onkyo intros a new pair of TX-NR AV receivers, prices start at $999

Shortly after introducing its entry-level TX-NR515 and TX-NR616 receivers, Onkyo is taking the wraps off of a fresh pair of souped-up, pricier AV boxes. Both part of the TX-NR family, the TX-NR717 ($999) and TX-NR818 ($1,119) are carrying on the 7.2-channel audio tradition seen on their lower-priced siblings, while a Qdeo processor handles all video upscaling duties -- yes, 4K included. The 3D-ready couple is also packing THX Select 2 Plus certification, a whopping eight HDMI ports on each box, DTS-HD Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD decoding and a revamped 1080p GUI. Onkyo's also said iOS and Kindle Fire variants of its Android Remote App are in the works, though mum's the word on when they'll be up for grabs. Either of these good enough for your home setup? They won't hit shelves until May, which may (baller status) or may not (Average Joe) be enough time to save up.

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Onkyo Mid-Range AVRs Deliver High-End Performance

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (3/26/12) --- Onkyo, widely regarded as the most innovative manufacturer of home theater technology, has introduced two new feature-packed mid-line audio-video receivers. The Onkyo TX-NR717 and TX-NR818 are 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receivers that offer an exciting mix of advanced networking technology, high performance video and THX®-certified sound quality.

For the home theater enthusiast who sees no need to compromise, the TX-NR818 offers the audio calibration capabilities of Audyssey MultEQ® XT32, three surround processing modes including DTS Neo:X, and the unmatched 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 smooth, accurate 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, so the user can enjoy breathtaking TV color accuracy. 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 greatly simplifies the process of switching HDMI sources. The front-panel MHL HDMI® port allows users to easily 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 incredibly realistic listening modes to maximize the game, music, and movie experience. 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 massive 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 lead the field in connectivity, with 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-ideal for quick mid-program adjustments.
Onkyo's home networking execution is beyond compare, with online sources that are easy to set up and fast to access. Users can connect using 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 vast selection of internet radio channels, and music streaming from Spotify and AUPEO!, users can enjoy their personal cloud-based music collections via MP3tunes with powerful home theater sound. Ethernet connectivity also enables playback of music from PC or media server, and simplifies periodic firmware updates.

With the TX-NR717 and TX-NR818, integrated house-wide entertainment is a reality, with three-room audio distribution via dedicated line-outs, or by allocating surround channel outputs designed for the purpose. Amplification of audio signals is easily 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.

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

Both receivers include a comprehensive 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-amping loudspeakers. This model also has 9.2-channel pre-outs if the user wishes to use the receiver as a nine-channel processor.

These receivers are well suited to powering an existing home theater setup, or as a centerpiece around which a magnificent new system can be built. With the TX-NR717 and TX-NR818, Onkyo delivers the kind of features and performance that keeps the everyday user at the cutting edge of home theater technology.

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