Customer Review

119 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Receiver Overall, but Know All Features!, May 27, 2011
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This review is from: Onkyo TX-NR509 5.1 Channel Network A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Overall, this is a good receiver and I have come to be very happy with it. However, there are some very important things that a prospective buyer needs to know about it first; I didn't know these things when I bought it but fortunately I was able to work around them.

The receiver doesn't covert between video formats. This may be a standard thing with receivers, but it was unbeknownst to me when I bought it and then read about it with dismay in the manual. What this means is if you have, say, an HDMI cable in the video out source on your cable/satellite/DVD running into the receiver, and then a composite video cable going out from the receiver to your TV, you won't get any video because it won't convert between the HDMI and composite connection.

The above is very important because the receiver's on-screen display menus will ONLY work over an HDMI connection, meaning you must be running an HDMI cable out from the receiver to your TV as well as out from your video source devices. I have an older TV without HDMI and was initially unable to do this.

I was ultimately saved because my TV has a DVI input, so I bought an HDMI->DVI converter and now all is well. But be aware of these things before you buy!

The receiver's on screen menus are great and it makes it easy to configure the set up items as well as listen to Internet music sources or an iPod.

I have a Verizon iPhone 4 and I can listen to any audio source from the phone whether it's mp3 music via the phone's iPod app or streaming audio from the TuneIn radio app. You control the iPod music from the receiver, but control the TuneIn app from the phone. It also charges my phone when it's plugged in and I now use the receiver as my main charging source (the receiver has to be on of course though to charge the phone).

I've been using Pandora a lot and it works well. The on-screen menus let you pick a station, add new ones, and like/not like a song. You can do all of this from the receiver itself if the TV is off, but it's not quite as convenient as doing it on the TV screen. Entering the account information the first time through the receiver was hell; you had to type each character individually through a tedious scrolling menu (this was before I discovered my DVI input and got the on-screen menus working), but I discovered later that you can also input account information for Internet audio sources through the receiver's web interface. I would definitely recommend the latter for setting up your Web accounts.

vTuner is a nice option for Internet streaming audio too. The way I've mostly used this is I went onto the vTuner web site, I found stations I wanted to save for listening, and then I went into the receiver web interface using a computer on my local network (you just type the receiver's IP address into a web browser), and under the "my favorites" tab in the web interface you can copy and paste the URL's of the stations into a saved list of favorites that you can then play from the receiver. Not every URL I used worked (some would just fail to play for whatever reason), but I was ultimately able to find some of my favorite shows on different stations that had working URL's. You can save up to 40 favorite stations in this manner.

One thing I wish the receiver had is a screen saver for the on-screen TV interface. I have an older plasma TV that is subject to screen burns and if you leave music playing with the on-screen stuff on the TV, it will never go into a screen saver mode. For this reason I generally listen to music with the TV off.

I've played with the iPhone app for controlling the receiver some too. It was easy to set up. It offers more limited functionality compared to the receiver's actual remote but is a nice option for controlling from another room. When playing Pandora, it will show the artist/track information from within the app too which is cool.

I hope this information helps prospective buyers!
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 11-14 of 14 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2012 1:58:47 PM PST
Ron S. says:
Ian,
I am shopping for a receiver that will output Component when the input is HDMI so I really appreciated your review. Do you have any idea if the TX-NR609 with convert downward? This spec. is hard to find.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2012 5:10:58 PM PST
I. Smith says:
I don't think so as I seem to recall I had it set up that way when I first got it, but don't quote me on it. One thing I do know is that if the output from receiver is not HDMI you do not get the receiver's on screen features (ie browsing menus). That only works with the HDMI output.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 5:45:38 PM PST
Ron S. says:
Ian,
Am I losing a lot of functionality if I can't access on screen features? My TV only has component video.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 5:52:26 PM PST
I. Smith says:
No, I don't think so. I rarely use the onscreen features as I mainly see it as an energy drain or screen burn risk to leave the tv on while I'm listening to Internet radio. It's helpful with pandora but not essential. You can see info and interact with the menus on the receiver's screen.
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