Customer Review

342 of 345 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mid-range AV Receiver with more than most others, April 6, 2011
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This review is from: Onkyo TX - NR609 7.2 Channel Network THX Certified A/V Receiver (Electronics)
I upgraded from an old non-HDMI Yamaha HTR-5850.

I looked at the following:
- Onkyo TX-SR608
- Denon AVR-1911
- Pioneer VSX-1020-K
- Pioneer VSX-1021-K
- Yamaha RX-V667
- A few others
- Onkyo HT-RC360 is also a very similar one that merits comparison, esp. with the price.

First impression:
- Box was well packaged.
- Easy to connect right out of the box. I have a simple 5.1 set up, but even the 7.2 seems easy enough. Plenty of space between things, except the power cord seems to be in a slightly awkward location, but definitely not a game changer or something to lose more than 5 minutes thought to.
- Plenty of ports (more on that below).
- Very nice and mostly intuitive GUI OSD. I am one of those guys who does not read the manual unless I have to, and the only time I had to was knowing how to program in a radio station.
- Remote is just ok. Could use a heavier feel to it and a better explanation of what things do. I got used to it or use my iPhone remote (more on that below too).

Pros of this one:
- 6x HDMI inputs, one in front, one output.
- Network capable. I use Pandora A LOT and it integrates nicely, but it has many other internet music capabilities.
- Nice On Screen Display (OSD) of its GUI (Graphical User Interface).
- 4K Support Via Marvell Qdeo (3840 x 2160 resolution vs 1920 x 1080, though most TVs do not support this, yet...).
- iPhone/iPad control app (give it a sec, I have more to say on this below).
- All the standard HDMI 1.4 features (HDMI stand by pass-through, 3D, Audio Return Channel).
- Powered Zone 2 audio out.
- iPhone/iPod connectivity right out of the box via your standard USB cable in the front (no need for an additional (more money) port, though one is available: Onkyo UP-A1 Dock for the iPod).
- PC VGA In (but really, most have HDMI out now anyway).
- Optional Onkyo UP-HT1 HD Radio Tuner.
- Superb Audio quality.
- Superb Video up-conversion. I took an old DVD and set the output to 480i (standard definition) and let the Receiver up-convert it. Then compared it to the output from my PS3 at 1080 as well as an old HD DVD player (lol) and a standalone DVD player with 1080 upconversion and this receiver just blew it away. (Note: on a 50inch top of the line Sony TV.)
- DLNA (for connecting to a home media system or a PC with music).
- THX certification (just for show for me and the cool factor as I could not tell much difference).
- Of course it does Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA and all the other standard decoders.
- Ability to upgrade firmware via internet easily.

Cons of this one:
- No built-in HD Radio.
- No built-in AirPlay (like some Denon and the Pioneer VSX-1021-k).
- No video out for Zone 2.
- No PC control.

A few things to note:
- The iPhone remote is a bit lacking. It does your basic things you expect it to: control the station, input, turn it on/off, change music from Pandora/DLNA/iPod connected/etc., but the volume could use some work and the ability to control bass/treble as big buttons instead of the volume is useless. Two things I wish this had: The ability to vote for Pandora or any such interaction and the ability to fine tune the audio levels of each speaker. Connecting it is easy and it is pretty simple to use. Very nice bonus.

- When using the Stand-by through, you can choose "last used input", "a specific output", or "Auto". If you change it, it powers on. The "Auto" option can be flaky, sometimes switching to something that is off, but it after turning the thing I want it to be off then back on, it catches it.

- There is a cooling fan on the top but have yet to notice it, even in the dead silence of a scary movie, even after having the receiver going for 5-6 hours straight for a few days in a row. Maybe it will later on.

I am very pleased with this and would (and have already) recommend this as a purchase.

Update 06/20/11:
- Added the Onkyo HT-RC360 as a comparable option. One of the only major difference is the price and lack of THX. Should definitely be on people's radar! Thanks Joshua.
- A couple minor grammar things.

Since having this for a couple months now I have to say I am still quite happy with this receiver. Here are a few updates:
- I barely notice the fan at all. Sometimes I will get up and check to see if it is even running (out of curiosity) and can see/hear it when I am up close. It was mentioned that cleaning this may be an issue. Thanks Mastercard!
- HDMI Stand-By Pass-Through is not a problem. The "Auto" works pretty well with only 3 or 4 times in the past couple months it has been finicky, in which case I whip out my iPhone or the remote to change it.
- The iPhone app is quite basic but I like it. I can control Pandora, the input, and the volume, which is all anyone really needs.
- On Android you can use a DLNA player such as 2Player and select this receiver as the target to stream music. Thanks George!
- Sound quality and video quality are still going strong / well.
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Comments

Tracked by 15 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 77 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 10, 2011 9:55:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011 9:55:54 AM PDT
S. Quinn says:
Have you (or anyone) noticed the same HDMI video issues as the Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black), which was extensively discussed in the comments in this popular review from "WDH": http://www.amazon.com/review/R1CUXUJPBC1HEN/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1CUXUJPBC1HEN
?

Specifically: "1. 24 bit sources (like cable hdtv) are upconverted to 30 bit when output on a display; AND 2. for some inexplicable reason, 1080p 24fps sources stutter intermittently as if a frame is dropped."

I'm on the fence between these 2 receivers, and knowing the HDMI thru issue is resolved would help greatly. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 2:36:08 PM PDT
snakeye142 says:
I compared the two as well: the 608 and this (609) as well. I eventually ended with the 609 (obviously) for the added features, the new-ness of it, etc.

I did see the review and really hoped Onkyo fixed these two you had mentioned and indeed they did.

1) I just double checked and 24-bit input remains as 24-bit output.
2) I have seen most of my movies in 1080p24 with no stutter.

Anything else, let me know.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2011 9:49:38 PM PDT
S. Quinn says:
That's IT! The above info + in the LAN port just made it worth the extra cash. Will probably order tonight.

Snakeye: I can't tell you how much I appreciate the same day reply. I knew I asked on the right person's review. Thanks!

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 4:38:51 AM PDT
S. Price says:
I saw it says analog sources only for Zone 2, but how does it handle the network channels (specifically Pandora) ? Can you shoot pandora to both zones at the same time, or even zone 2 independently ? My ideal is if I could watch a movie and my lady can listen to pandora in the other room and I was wondering if that was possible.

Thanks.
---S.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2011 9:42:33 AM PDT
snakeye142 says:
S,

You are correct, Zone 2 is for analog sources only.

When you select network channels (I tried a variety of them as well as the USB port), you can stream them to the Main Zone or Main Zone and Zone 2 together, but not Zone 2 independently of the Main zone.

I could not get your statement to work: "I could watch a movie and my lady can listen to pandora in the other room."

For Radio stations, only one can be selected. What you can do is select the "Main" zone to be TV and Zone 2 and radio station, but you cannot have your Main zone FM station 102.1 and Zone 2 be 106.1.

I do not own an HD Radio or iPhone port adapter so I cannot try those. What I do is stream my iPhone's music (either Pandora or iPod music) to an AppleTV and then to the receiver. I use HDMI, but there is an optical out. Maybe there is something similar with an analog out, if that is an option.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011 4:49:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2011 4:50:17 PM PDT
S. Price says:
Snakeye,

If I'm reading this correct: you can NOT mix zones and sources correct ? IE: Main Zone and Zone 2 are hearing something from a different source; Say Main Zone is Bluray via HDMI, and you want Zone 2 to be a CD player via composite (analog) this cannot work, correct? It's Either Main Zone or Main + Zone 2 from the same source correct?

Thanks.
---S.

PS: Does it consider "Network sources" (Pandora, DLNA) as analog or Zone 2 compatible ?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2011 6:36:33 AM PDT
snakeye142 says:
S,

I apologize for the confusion:

What you said IS possible: "IE: Main Zone and Zone 2 are hearing something from a different source; Say Main Zone is Bluray via HDMI, and you want Zone 2 to be a CD player via composite (analog)"

As long as Zone 2 is coming from an Analog input

"Does it consider "Network sources" (Pandora, DLNA) as analog or Zone 2 compatible ?"
- Network Sources are indeed considered a digital input and cannot be split up to Zone 2 independent of Main Zone.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2011 7:10:27 AM PDT
S. Price says:
Fantastic. THANK YOU!

Posted on Apr 23, 2011 8:20:54 AM PDT
E. Lewis says:
Sorry for such a basic question, but if you run all your components into the receiver, then run an hdmi to the TV, does the receiver have to be on to see/hear the cable? I've got some folks in my house who don't want 5.1 all the time! Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011 9:22:38 AM PDT
snakeye142 says:
E-

It is best if you ask and get an answer than not ask and be disappointed. :)

Most modern receivers (this one included) have what is called "standby pass through". This is exactly what you described: Where you the receiver while in "off/standby" will still route the sound and video to the TV.

There are three options for this receiver:
- Last (where the last used component is routed to the TV when the receiver is turned off)
- Auto (where it detects what is currently in use)
- Or a specific input (PC, Game, Aux, Cbl/Sat, etc.)

As an example: I am watching a movie from HBO in HD with my receiver on from my cable box. I finish the movie and turn the TV, cable box and receiver off. Someone else in my house wants to watch TV but does not know how to use the receiver or does not need surround sound. They just turn on the TV and cable box and it works as normal as if the cable box was connected directly to the TV. The receiver is in stand by mode and passes the signal from the cable box to the TV.

Make sense?
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