Pros Blows you away, Upconverts everything!
Cons No HD Radio, Expensive, Power Hog
Summary (Note: I have the black version not the silver one, but the page for the black one is down for the moment)
I received my Onkyo TX-SR805 in the mail yesterday and I couldn’t be any more thrilled! The behemoth weighs in at 61 lbs. and you can tell it means business. Daunting as it may look, the setup is a breeze due to the fact that everything you plug into the receiver’s many inputs, can be output to the TV through one simple HDMI cable. It upconverts any analog connection you can throw at it whether it’s S-video, Component, or simple RCA. If you still have a Hi-Fi VCR or other Standard Definition electronics, I’d suggest investing in at least an S-Video cable for that, or if it does have an RGB Component Cable use that because even though it upconverts RCA it can only do so much for the picture quality. That being said it does upconvert all of these analog signals into 720p, 1080i or 1080p. (For input/output specs refer to the “Specifications” Tab located near the top of this page)
The integrated Faroudja DCDi technology is wonderful! If you thought that your 480p signal was decent before, wait till you see how well this deinterlacing works! Edges have much less noise and things in SD are cleaned up very well through the receiver.
Setup was easy as far as speaker configuration, the Audyssey MultEQ XT auto calibration system runs a speaker measurement set up for up to 8 listening positions in your room! so if you want it to take into account your entire living room seating arrangement, just move the little wired speaker microphone to each listening position and it does all the work.
Unlike some receivers like my recently sold Sony DG800, the receiver’s setup menu can be output onto your TV screen. So instead of squinting at the receivers display from across the room, you can see everything right up on the TV screen. However, if you do like to tweak settings while watching TV you can choose not to have it output onto the TV.
If you’re actually considering spending around $1000 on a receiver, THIS is the only thing you should be looking at! At the moment, the highest end Denon AVR4306 does just about everything that this Onkyo can do but the Onkyo Receivers are the FIRST receivers to truly decode DTS HD signals, and Dolby True HD! It’s absolutely insane all the details that can come out of High Definition Surround Sound! I Recently acquired a Playstation 3 and although I don’t plan on converting my DVD collection (500 dvds) to Blu Ray or HD-DVD I did purchase Speed on Blu Ray and I can tell you from what I heard, the future of High Definition Audio is here in this Onkyo TX-SR805! Every detail that they mixed into the movie’s original track is encoded into these two cutting edge soundtracks. It’s literally translated from the original format without any loss of quality. It’s ridiculous how amazing it sounds.
You may not hear a huge difference, but when movies start being encoded with this HD Audio, eventually you’ll go back to an old DVD and cringe at the sound difference (or at least notice the lack of detail in the audio). If you don’t have a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player don’t fret, there’s still a vast array of audio settings between Dolby Digital, and DTS there’s also THX Ultra2 certified settings that blow you away! I currently have my DVD player setup to THX Cinema and watching the Pod Race in Star Wars Episode One: Phantom Menace is something you should check out A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
All the features can be overwhelming and the remote isn’t the most intuitive, but when you spend a little time getting used to the buttons you need to push to make things work in harmony, you’ll be happy with what you’ve got. Not to mention the beefy remote that comes with it can learn button functions which I love. For example when I coded in my HD Dishnetwork Box I couldn’t get to the On screen TV Guide or my Recorded TV Menu, so I assigned the buttons manually and now the universal remote does everything my Cable DVR Remote does! If only I could code it to my Windows Media Center Remote oh well.
My one and only tiny complaint about this receiver is that it doesn’t have HD Radio. It supports XM and Sirius radio but not HD FM Signals (not sure how to explain it but it’s CD quality Free Local Radio Stations). The radio itself sounds fine and I don’t listen to the radio very often anyways so it’s not a big deal to me, but being as future proof as this receiver is, it should have HD radio. (Since I don’t have XM, Sirius, or an Ipod I can’t comment on the Docking capabilities or the Satellite Radio quality)
Last but not least make sure you have a big heavy duty surge protector, this thing is a power monster, you’ll want a surge protector to make sure the receiver is getting a regulated amount of power, when I was setting it up I had all my components on at once and someone decided to turn on the hair dryer and a few fans, and there went the power. So be forewarned if you like 4 components on at once. also for $30 a 3 year protection plan is highly recommended just in case something shorts out in the receiver (knock on wood) you can service it for free, and get a replacement if necessary, Circuit City is super good about that at least that’s what I’ve experienced.
These aren’t available in the store(ordered mine online at CC) and the sales people don’t have much info on the receiver itself since it came out in May(about a month prior to today) but it’s comparable to the TX-SR804, so feel free to ask me any questions you have about itUpdated
I just found out the Video Upconversion is up to 720p only. I didn't realize it before since I have a 720p Samsung so I don't utilize the 1080p. So you'll still get 1080p out of your HDMI connections, but all your S-video and composite connections will be limited to 720p. To get full 1080p upconversion from your composites you'll need to get the TX-SR875 which retails for about $1500.
Pros inputs / connectivity (has phono!); decent power, flexible assignable inputs, excellent remote.
Cons bit cumbersome to set up, runs VERY hot, the unit I got turned itself off randomly....
Summary I've been doing some research to build a new media room set-up and after hearing and reading about this unit, picked one up as soon as it was available (ckt city was one of the first in town to carry it). One of my requirements is tight integration of a computer for both internet tv display to the sony xbr 46" as well as capture of sources connected to the AV unit (E.g. convert old vhs taped home movies to dvd).
My first impression when I tried to 'set it up quickly' was.... too many setup features/options and I probably pushed the wrong button sequence on the front panel at some point that caused the remote to not work when I started using it (Assigned it to the wrong unit # as I later discovered).
As I took a step back, read the entire manual and then set everything up, I became more and more impressed with the capabilities of this unit. I essentially filled up most of the connections in the back (5.1 speaker only) as the capture device still required the s-video/rca jacks to be hooked up in addition to the HDMI connections (Most everything upconverts to HDMI, but component and HDMI don't downconvert, hence still needing the RCA/S-Vid connections). I liked that it left the last video path input selected when selecting an alternative audio only source. This means you can dub captured video with a different audio source if desired (probably better to do this via video editing software, but I thougth a good indication of a well thought design of the receiver's switching functionality).
So after playing with it for a while, I hooked up my networked media player (Rapsody N35) to look at some converted home videos in highest possible resolution. Simply said -- WOW - they looked better then I had seen before due to upconversion !
Finally I played with the remote control to see how flexible it was. I was pleased to find out that not only did it have a vast range of programmable devices, additionally you can modify the codes button by button, which proved valuable with my simple cyberhome dvd player. (The codes/buttons were actually not controlling the right functions for this player - a little bug in the remote's firmware I presume..).
Now for the bad news... From the start I had noticed the unit had a tendency to put itself in standby mode when turned on (intermittently). I did not think much of this / look into this until I experienced a few random shut-offs during movie play. After a bit of research on the internet, I found that some older onkyo models experienced the same problem. I called onkyo and they confirmed the unit should not be doing this, so I decided to return it to circuitcity before my 30 day trial expired. Also, this unit runs very very hot, even when volume is not up much. I had to mount a fan in the cabinet to make sure the air circulated to keep it cool.
As for scoring, I would have given this unit a score of 10 if it wasn't for the complexity, but more importantly if it wasn't for the problem this unit had. Without the problem alone I would give it a 9, but because of the problem I will only give it a 7 for now. (Really a '0' because it did not work right, but I felt so good about the functionalities that it provided that it did not seem fair to give the entire unit that low of a score. I assume at this time that this is an isolated problem. If more pervasive, then obviously the score should drop dramatically...)
Because I am in the market for a new unit now, I will be looking at some other alternatives (High current amp devices - I hear Denon is coming out with new stuff as well), however at the pricepoint of this unit, will still give it some serious consideration to actually pick one up again in the hopes not to run into the aumomatic shutoff problem again (This apears to be an oversensitivity in the amp protection circuit, perhaps ground loop related or some thing like that as I have so much equipment connected to it). I know it wasn't my speakers or set-up because both my older units do not experience this problem with this setup (but are only 2 channel units - e.g. luxmann, aiwa) That is... if they become more readily available, and at a reasonable price (I picked it up at ckt city for ~$950.=). Once you get into the low to mid 1000 range I feel there are other alternatives that can provide more features and a better amp driver. We'll have to see what the prices are going to be for some of the other brands that are coming out with similar specs. Also, I may want the silver model instead, as the text on the black one is a bit hard to read.
Conclusion: If it wasn't for the problem I ran into, I would have most certainly kept it and been very happy with it's functionality and performance for the price.
Pros Onkyo AV recivers make excellent doorstops and boat anchors.
Available at all major AV component discounters. Price - Feature set attractive
Cons This is a poorly engineered and constructed reciever. My units were returned multiple times without satisfaction. Poor Longevity. Poor Engineering. Poor Construction. Poor Service/Support.
Summary This is just a poor quality receiver. While the price and feature set were attractive at the time of purchase, I would not consider purchasing another piece of Onkyo audio or video equipment. In my opinion, the price and feature set were achieved by using substandard components and shoddy engineering. (This is despite the THX certification?what bunk)
I have two units that are about a year old. Each of the units has been returned to Fry?s multiple times. Each time Fry?s sets up the receiver and confirms the defect prior to replacing. At this point, Fry?s will no longer replace the units since they are out of warranty. Thank you Onkyo for my $1,000 worth of doorstops.
Living room unit will not switch composite video sources. The on/off switch needs to be cycled tens of times prior to producing a video signal from a composite source. If you want to watch TV?it takes about 15 minutes to get a video signal to the monitor. The unit has been replaced twice and is now out of warranty. I have temporarily resolved this issue by replacing the monitor with an HTMI compliant monitor and using all HDMI components, but still can not easily view a composite video source.
Bedroom unit has developed a ?thump? followed by a drop of the sound at random times during operation. Switching between Std and HD TV channels results in a loud thump and bass rumble. Onkyo has suggested that it is the DirecTV unit?but the problem does not occur when my old receiver is swapped for the Onkyo.
It takes about two hours to disconnect remove then reconnect and reinstall a modern AV receiver. While I?m technically savvy and can easily perform the swap, I hate having to do it due to no fault of my own. I can only imagine the hassle if you are not technically adept and need to arrange to have a friend or AV service (ouch) do this for you.
My experience with both of these Onkyo units has led me to believe that these are poorly engineered and constructed receivers.
I can not recommend these Onkyo units.
Pros Lots of current to drive low impedance speakers, Hi-def audio decoding, connectivity galore including phono and powered zone 2(but limits you to 5.1 in your main room), and it sounds excellent.
Cons Runs hot, is quite heavy(over 50 lbs, although to me this is also a sign of a good power supply), mic'd auto eq feature made my sound worse.
Summary Coming from a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated amp, this unit sounded great with all the surround goodies and drove my Infinity RS 2.5's with gusto...with value off the charts.
I come from an audio background having modified my speakers over the years with better crossovers, bi-wiring and utilizing high end Musical Fidelity and Krell components. This is my first "surround" receiver and I was a little hesitant coming from a high end integrated amp. I was pleasantly surprised with the units power capabilities, sound, and surround decoding. I was particularly choosy about a good power supply since many surround receivers skimp on the amp's ability to drive difficult lower impedance loads. This thing can produce 60 amps of current which is amazing for a receiver(hence it runs hot). I actually pull the outer case back exposing the heat sinks for better heat dissipation. I use the receiver in the "6 ohm" mode with 4 ohm speakers....I know, it's not recommended but it's really all about heat dissipation...
The unit sounds best in direct mode which bypasses tone controls and other circuitry. Generally the surround modes border on gimmicky because there are so many..but you don't have to use them. I found the Neural THX surround mode the most natural sounding surround with stereo sources.
I have a HD-DVD player that ouputs PCM instead of the bitstream Dolby TrueHD but these discs still sound significantly better than good ol' Dolby 5.1 on standard DVD. I'm interested in hearing the real thing when I purchase a Blu-Ray player because they actually output Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master HD in bitstream format instead of converting these to PCM.
All in all, I'm amazed at what a good receiver can do these days particularly with great sound quality and all the audio surround decoding options at a reasonable price.
Pros Great build quality and workmanship. Excellent sound production and video processing. Nicely equipped sound calibration microphone with great processing power. Nice on screen menu that isn't over done.
Cons Might be heavy for some, not enough HDMI ports,
Summary I have now had Yamaha, Denon and Pioneer Elite receivers and my judgement overwhelming concludes that the Onkyo 805 is best for the buck. It not only gives you great sound and processing power, but gives you a clean look to your home theater set-up as well as perform better than higher priced models out there. It beats back the Pioneer Elite VSX-82TXS or 94TXH back with a stick. I would recommend any future home theater enthusiast to try the Onkyo and shoponkyo.com to get the best deals.