Pros Sound quality was excellent,
Superb Video up-conversion,
Menus are very easy to navigate,
Remote is very easy to use,
6x HDMI inputs, one in front, one output,
DLNA, THX certification,
Ability to upgrade firmware via internet easily.
Cons No built-in HD Radio,
No PC control,
Summary I purchased this receiver after about a month of research on internet forums and in local stores. I've owned the receiver for a week now and i'm very pleased with my purchase. I upgraded from a Sony STR-K700 home theater in-a-box (5 years old), which was a bottom-of-the-line receiver and speaker system.
While that system was of excellent quality for the price, I needed a receiver that could handle multiple HDMI sources to use with my Samsung UN55C8000 LED TV. The receiver arrived packaged very well. I was very impressed with the manufacturing quality of the unit. It looks like a very expensive piece of audio equipment.
I am using the same speakers that came with the sony unit (pretty low quality speakers, will upgrade in the near future) with a Polk PSW10 powered subwoofer and I could immediately notice a difference in the sound quality produced by this receiver. The sound quality was excellent right out of the box, and even better after the Audessey 2EQ calibration. I was a little concerned with the lack of MultiEQ calibration, but the 2EQ did an excellent job of calibrating subwoofer volume.
The calibration was quick and painless and makes the system sound excellent in my 17' x 12' room. I have used the receiver to listen to HD Cable television programing, video games on my PS3, and blu-ray movies on the PS3. All sound outstanding. There is a very dynamic range of volume when listening to blu-ray movies but dialog is always audible.
The video quality of HDMI sources is the same if not better than having the components connected directly to my Samsung UN55C8000. I am using Monoprice 6ft 28g high speed HDMI cables with ethernet. I also have an N64, connected via composite and displayed via HDMI, that looks better than a direct composite connection. HDMI switching is very fluid and takes almost no time at all. I have not experienced any HDMI handshake issues, although once I had to reset my cable box because it was not sending any signal via HDMI (not sure if this was due to receiver or my cable box). But its worked fine ever since.
On Screen Menus:
The OSD displayed over HDMI looks much better after I updated the firmware (sharper text). The menus are very easy to navigate and it makes setting up the receiver and adjusting settings very easy.
I set up the onkyo remote control to control my Samsung UN55C8000 television as well as my Motorola HD cable box. The remote is very easy to use with the receiver but its functions are a little more difficult to use with my other components. But compared to other AV receiver remotes, this one is excellent. The remote was not important to me when making my purchasing decision, but I was surprised by how easy it is to use and its compatibility with other components.
I have used the network feature to install one firmware update. Luckily, my wireless router sits right next to the TX-NR609, so I hardwired the receiver to the network. The firmware update completed after the first attempt in about 45min with no problems. I haven't used any music streaming programs yet but I assume based on my firmware update experience that the network feature works well. I am also working on setting up a media server to stream all of my movies and music over the network, so I can update the review when that is complete.
Overall I would highly recommend this receiver. Even to those who own iOS devices and want airplay. I've done a lot of research online that suggests the TX-NR609 coupled with an AppleTV does a much better job of streaming than the built-in airplay on competing receivers. At this price point, I could not find a better receiver than the Onkyo TX-NR609.
*Note, before you're will buy this Onkyo TX - NR609, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at: ***************.info/onkyo-tx-nr609/
Thank for reading and hope my review is helpful.
Pros + Sound quality is great
+ Network connectivity and services are superb
+ Tons of inputs
+ iPhone/iPad control app
+ Superb Video up-conversion
+ THX certification
+ Powered Zone 2 audio out
Cons - No built-in HD Radio
- No video out for Zone 2
- No PC control
Summary I spotted this receiver after reading some glowing reports for it's predecessor the TX-SR608. The fact it has the Network facility and streams Internet radio stations was the clincher for me. After years of using a squeezebox to listen to internet radio and play files from my PC, I can now dispense with it , as this receiver has it all. One disappointment is the lack of a favorites button on the remote - nothing should be simpler than being able to access your stations list with one press of the remote.Edit Link
Setup is quite straight-forward using the wired microphone. But again controlling the receiver is quite a feat with the supplied remote control which has hardly any buttons compared to the one you get with Yamaha units - for example. Some of the commands are nested, meaning you have to switch modes before you can control some things. If you have an all in one remote like the Logitech Harmony, then comprehensively programming it to replace the Onkyo product requires some imagination to say the least.
This receiver replaces a five yr old Yamaha RX-V657 which had Component, S-Video and RCA connectors. The HDMI pass-thru is good in standby, but It's reported to gobble up around 45w/hr of power to do it.
The HDMI can be a bit touchy when it comes to connection with blu-ray or in my case with a satelite box. This may or may not be an Onkyo issue, as I've encountered this one before, but it does crop up in reviews for Onkyo receivers time and again. I've only had this handshake issue when starting from pass-thru and in view of my comments regarding the power burnt in pass-thru mode I don't use it anymore. Whats the point of using pass-thru if you can have your receiver powered up on with low volume and be using 5w more?
After first set-up my powered Yamaha sub-woofer wouldn't wake up from standby even with 5.1 DD movies played at mod high volume. After much angst, I read somewhere in the manual about a menu setting where you divert more bass frequency from your front speakers and divert that to your sub-woofer - that worked.
Sound quality is great, though to be honest, I did think the direct mode for two channel audio sounded a bit flat, that might be the way my KEF speakers interact with this particular receiver. I wonder why US Buyers are denied the pure direct mode that receivers destined for other markets have? Does Onkyo believe that N. America doesn't have hifi audiophiles?
Another thing missing compared to the Yamaha, is the lack of a speakers A&B switch, instead there is the powered zone 2 feature. Not bad but if you use zone 2, like I do for patio speakers then you can't bi-amp your front speakers. I wanted to bi-amp as KEF speakers recommend doing this.
All in all a great receiver, lots of features that you'd expect to only see on more expensive units.
Lastly, if you will buy the TX-NR609 I suggest for best deal at: www.amazon.com/exec/******/****/B004O0TRD8/cnet-offer-20
Updated on Oct 2, 2011
If you will buy the TX-NR609 I suggest for best deal at amazon's store at --> http://beam.to/TX-NR609
Pros Of course ALL the network features, Front HDMI/USB, VGA in, 2 Iphone apps, AND ACTUAL AUDIO/VIDEO SWITCHING! (Explanation in summary.)
Cons Setting an input to auto detect analog or digital audio signal would be nice.
Summary One feature that no one ever seems to notice on A/V recievers is video select. Meaning you can select HD Cable - watching AND hearing the game, THEN, switch to a music source, leaving the video untouched but just changing the audio source. Not everybody wants to hear what they're viewing at ALL times. This is a big feature for me, and most manufacturers don't even bother to try and incorporate it. Denon used to offer a dedicated video select button, but then you would have to scroll through the inputs. But they don't even have THAT anymore. Onkyo has figured it out in simplest way, just choose your video input, then your audio input, and you're done. If you know of other AVR manufacturers that have included this feature, please reply to this review, I hope reviewers will comment on this in the future.
Pros Network streaming and Internet Radio.
Six HDMI ports and the front HDMI input
Great sound quality.
Cons No last.fm or Spotify support in this model.
No Android remote control application;
Android phones are not supported through the USB port.
Summary Excellent receiver. The best at this price point. Very easy to operate with the GUI on primary display. The network applications are amazing especially with DLNA on Windows Media. With Windows 7, DLNA is spectacular but you need to be careful during initial setup. There is built-in driver but avoid home network group, it cannot do that. Ipod/Itouch integration is great but too bad no direct support for Android on the USB port. It would have a been a 5 star with Android support even without "Airplay." The sound quality is superb and it has a great user interface with or without the TV based GUI.
Pros Great sound , Sleak Look, Great Video Upscaling
Cons No AirPlay, Not the best sound quaility but if you had to settle id say go with the Onkyo.
Summary I bought the Denon 1912 returned it because the video up scaling was horrible and the audio playback in music mode was very bad. Movies and Video gaming sounds amazing. I exchanged it for the Onkyo TX-NR609, i was very pleased with the Onkyo except for the fact it did not have the airplay. The sound quality wasn't as good as the Denon 1912 but the overall sound was satisfying meaning movies, gaming and music sounds great. It wasn't amazing but great. So i came back to CNet to review other receivers and i came across the Pioneer VSX-1021-K CNet raves on the amazing feature such as the iPhone remote control app, Airplay and the great sound it produces. I figured I have now found the perfect receiver. So i then take the Qnkyo Tx-NR609 Back to exchange it for the Pioneer VSX-1021-K. By this time i could tell Best Buy was getting fed up with me buying and returning so much lol. I brought it home set it up and i was blown away by the amazing sound, the technology was futuristic and state of the art. I said to myself this is the one. Until i tried turning up the volume and setting the listening modes. Then i discovered THERE ARE NOT ANY ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. i said this can't be correct. I looked at the manual just to make sure i didn't have the settings wrong BUT sure enough there are no visuals at all. Denon and Onkyo has it why not Pioneer. I was very disappointed. Some of you might say this is a petty thing to complain about. But if you knew how far my reliever was from my listening area you would understand. So i may be returning the pioneer and going back to the Onkyo . Pioneer would have been the perfect receiver if they would took the extra step and installed this very simple feature ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. I think their main focus was trying to impress us with the apple features.
Denon 1912 Best Sound for Movies and Gaming (Music's Horrible)(Poor Video Up scaling)
Onkyo TX NR609 Overall Best Mid-Range Receiver great sound after a little Tweaking great video up scaling No Airplay alternative is to Buy Apple TV $99 and your set.
Pioneer VSX-1021-K Sounds Similar to the Denon Great features Amazing Video Up scaling but no ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. It's almost like they are forcing you to purchase an IPad or an iPhone.
Here's my view on all three of the most talked about AV Receivers of 2011
Hope this helps.