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My thoughts on the Onkyo HT-S8409
on December 9, 2011
I purchased this system to replace my Denon AVR-788 receiver. Onkyo had several models that I looked at, however I decided on this one because it is network capable, has the features I was looking for and is firmware upgradeable. As far as I can tell it uses a 10/100 based NIC. Out of the box and connected to my network I had access to few services, however after completing the update I had access to vTuner, Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius/XM iRadio, Slacker, Mediafly, Napster iRadio, Spotify, Last.FM, and AUPEO. There is a "My Favorites" feature where you can save up to 40 Internet radio stations. The system suppoprts DLNA certified media servers, Windows Media Player 11 and 12, and Windows Media Connect 2.0.
It can handle the following audio formats, MP3, WMA, WMA lossless, WAV, AAC, FLAC, OGG and LPCM. I could stream audio files from my PC straight to the receiver or use a plugged in USB device such as a flash drive. I also have a LG N1T1 (1 Terabyte) NAS on my network. I use it to store my music and video files. It has a built in media server and uses DLNA as well. I can tell you that the Onkyo HT-S8409 has no problems accessing and playing files straight from my NAS.
While this package is called the Onkyo HT-S8409, the receiver that comes in this package is the Onkyo TX-NR609. The system has a total of 6 HDMI inputs, 5 HDMI inputs on the back of the system and 1 HDMI input in the front of the system. It uses HDMI Version V1.4a that supports 3D video and Audio Return Channel. The system also supports 1080p Upscaling (4K (3840 x 2160)). It also sports 2 Component inputs, 4 Composite inputs, 6 audio inputs, a standard VGA PC input as well as 2 Optical, 2 Coaxial inputs and a USB port. One more thing, the system has a Powered Zone 2 audio out and supports up to two Subwoofers. So if you had a extra sub you wanted to use that would make this setup a 7.2.
For what it's worth, this receievr is THX Certified (Select2 Plus). Supports TrueHD, DD Plus,DTS-HD Master Audio, HD-High Resolution Audio, NEO:6, and Audyssey. You also receive a Mic that is used for Auto Speaker Calibration (Audyssey 2EQ).
The system comes with 2 tower speakers, 1 center, 1 powered subwoofer, and 4 satellite surround sound speakers. The sound is great, I did not think I would hear a difference upgrading from a 5.1 to a 7.1 surround sound system, however I must admit that I am impressed. There are serveral listening modes to choose from. There is also a programmable universal remote which I am sure is pretty much standard these days.
As I stated earlier this system can be updated using firmware. There are two ways you can do this, one way is to download the firmware from Onkyo's website and place it on a USB flash drive, then plug the usb drive into the receiver. Note, you need at least 32 MB of space available. The other way is to have the device plugged into your router via ethernet cable and download and install from the Onkyo Menu interface. The process should take not loanger than 60 minutes to complete. (Yes, You heard me correctly 60 minutes and yes I thought that was a bit long.)
The system comes with a 2 year limited warranty, and the only main requirement is that it is placed in an area that has good ventilation so as to avoid over heating problems. Currently I have my cable box plugged into my Logitech Revue via HDMI. My Logitech Revue, Xbox360, and Playstation 3 are plugged into the Onkyo receiver via HDMI. Lastly I have the Onkyo receiver HDMI out going into my LG 47LES5400 HDTV. As far as I can tell Amazon had the best price on this model. I looked and could not find a better price than the $644 that Amazon was selling this unit for. My system was shipped via UPS 2 day delivery and had a total weight of 107 lbs.