Presumably in an effort to steal some of the buzz from Denon's line show yesterday, Sony announced three new receivers in its ES line slated to come out over the next few months. The flagship model is the STR-DA5300ES, successor to the excellent and innovative STR-DA5200ES, and we already have a full review. The big news about the STR-DA5300ES is undoubtedly its connectivity. There are six HDMI inputs, which is more than we've seen on any receiver in this price range. Match that up with its three component video inputs and the STR-DA5300ES's plentiful input names, and … Read more
Denon is certainly one of the heavy hitters in the AV receiver market, and its full 2007 AV receiver line has now been announced. In general, you can expect Denon's receivers to be pricier than similarly equipped competitors, but in many cases, Denon is trying to justify the price premium with premium features. For example, all the receivers from the AVR-3808CI to the AVR-5308CI feature Denon's new graphical user interface, which replaces the old blocky-text look. Denon is also stressing networking functionality, which is available on the same receivers with the GUI and allows you to you play … Read more
We're slated to attend a Denon press event on July 24, where we'll almost certainly get the details on its new line of receivers, but it looks like the good guys over at Audioholics got on early look at a couple of the new models--the AVR-3808CI and AVR-4308CI. You can check out the full details at Audioholics, but here's the short story:
The AVR-3808CI comes loaded with four HDMI 1.3 inputs and a single HDMI output. It also features a new graphical user interface (GUI), and we're betting it probably looks like the leaked photos we blogged before. Like the new Onkyo receivers, the 3808 has built-in decoding for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, although prospective buyers should be aware that currently no Blu-ray or HD DVD player is capable of outputting these soundtracks' formats to the receiver in bitstream format. The 3808 can also upconvert analog signals to HDMI, along with scaling them to 1080p. Some enthusiasts have lamented that Denon decided to use Faroudja video processing on these models instead of HQV (seen on Onkyo's receivers, like the TX-SR875 and TX-NR905), but we'll withhold our judgment until we actually get our hands on it. There's also an Ethernet jack, and you'll be able to stream digital music files and Internet radio to the receiver. The Ethernet jack also enables custom installers to log into your receiver and make adjustments offsite.… Read more
After finishing dead last in a comparative antivirus test, Microsoft Windows Live OneCare recently garnered some positive press. The latest tests performed by AV-Comparatives.org seem to show an improvement, with OneCare moving up two places. While OneCare is certified by West Coast Labs and ICSA, it is the competitive independent antivirus testing results that mean more in terms of how well a product performs in the real world against real malware. Thus, some might argue that things are looking up for the nascent Redmond antimalware team.
That's until you look closer at the tests. AV-Comparatives performed two different … Read more
Back in February we blogged some possible leaked specs of Denon's upcoming 2008 AV receiver line, including the fact that Denon was including a new graphical user interface (GUI) on two high-end models, the AVR-3808CI and AVR-4308CI. Thanks to a thread on AVS Forum, we were able to turn up what look to be pictures of the new Denon GUI from Area DVD's coverage of the High End 2007 show in Munich, Germany. While Denon's 2008 AV receivers are still officially unannounced, the images of the AVR-4308 and the new GUI from the High End 2007 show … Read more
HDMI isn't just for HDTVs any more. As the high-def movement continues to march forward, HDMI connections are becoming standard equipment on everything from cable and satellite boxes, DVRs, game consoles, AV receivers, and DVD players to network media devices, PC video cards, and even camcorders. That means even a fairly modest home theater setup--say, an HD DVR, PlayStation 3, Apple TV, and a DVD recorder--could have three or more HDMI-equipped AV sources. While many higher-end TVs and AV receivers are beginning to sport three or even four HDMI inputs, the industry standard is still stuck at around two.
Traditionally, HD aficionados suffering from an HDMI deficit would bite the bullet and run their sources via component once they ran out of HDMI inputs. But doing so obviates the whole advantage of HDMI to begin with; in addition to losing any fidelity advantage offered by HDMI, you quadruple or quintuple the cable needs (three separate component cables, plus one or two for audio) per source. But there's an easy and straightforward solution: an HDMI switcher. Switchers have one simple task--toggling between multiple inputs--and they can expand the number of available HDMI inputs to your HDTV or AV receiver by a factor of two, three, or even four. … Read more
For the past 12 to 18 months, astute readers may have noticed an increased bit of hedging in our reviews for AV receivers. Yes, even low-end receivers offer more features and flexibility than $1,500 models did just three or four years ago and yes, there are plenty of great-sounding receivers available out there at great prices. But smart shoppers looking for a no-compromise, future-proof AV receiver have been stymied, even if they've been willing to pay upwards of $2,000.
At least, that was the case--until today. Onkyo has become the first mainstream manufacturer to officially announce an array of home audio products that offer the two big features that have been MIA on home audio products to date: HDMI 1.3; and onboard decoding of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. The news itself wasn't a surprise, as most of the details had been leaked on the Web earlier this month. And there is no doubt that other manufacturers will be announcing similarly equipped receivers in the next few weeks and months. But because specs, pricing, and availability have been confirmed, we can now say authoritatively that Onkyo looks to be offering some of the most exciting--and surprisingly affordable--A/V receivers seen in recent years.… Read more
For better or worse, most consumer electronics companies don't announce products with Apple-like fanfare. There's no gilded invite, no glitzy PR event at the Moscone Center, no 90-minute Steve Jobs presentation. For most companies, it's a booth at CES in January, and a press release. Three to eight months later, the product pops up at Amazon, Best Buy, or J&R, often with more of a whimper than a bang.
Take the new AV receivers from Yamaha and Onkyo. Keen eyes at AVS Forum and other enthusiast sites began noticing that new entry- and midlevel receivers … Read more
There are some very enterprising members on AVS Forum. Poster "Ohgami" did some digging around the Internet to find some new information about Onkyo's upcoming receivers and happened to stumble upon specs for the entire 2007 lineup. Read all the details of his Onkyo receiver search (plus a very detailed post), or we've edited down the most important info below. We're not 100 percent sure this information is correct, and of course Onkyo has the ability to change the specs before the products are actually released, but we'll find out for sure at Onkyo'… Read more