Introduction to the Onkyo TX-NR609:
Video Inputs and Outputs:
The TX-NR609 upconverts all standard definition analog video input signals to HDMI video outputs, with upscaling, to simplify Receiver connections to an HDTV.
Audio Inputs and Outputs:
Dolby Prologic IIz and Audyssey DSX:
In addition, Audyssey DSX provides for the option of adding either height or an extra set of side placed wide channel speakers set between the front and surround sound speakers.
Loudspeaker Connections and Configuration Options:
A useful speaker connection option is the ability for the TX-NR609 to be used in a full 7.2 channel configuration, or in a 5.2 channel setup in the main home theater room, with simultaneous 2 channel operation in a second room. However, if you want to use the full 7.2 channels for your home theater environment, you can still run an additional 2-channel system in another room by using the Zone 2 preamp outputs. in this setup you will have to add a second amplifier to power the speakers in Zone 2.
On the video side, the TX-NR609 has 6 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 4K upscaling (provided you have a 4K display) via its built-in Marvell QDEO processing chip.
Front Panel Display and LFE:
The fluorescent front panel display makes setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast; wireless remote control provided. Also featured is an adjustable crossover on the Subwoofer LFE (Low Frequency Effects) pre-out channels.
Internet Radio and Network Connectivity via Ethernet:
The TX-NR609 has internet radio access (including Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius Internet Radio, vTuner). The TX-NR609 is also Windows 7 Compatible and DLNA Certified for access to digital media files stored on PCs, Media Servers, and other compatible network-connected devices.
Audio Return Channel:
For example, if you receive your TV signals over the air, the audio from those signals goes directly to your TV. Ordinarily to get the audio from those signals to your Home Theater receiver, you would have to connect an extra cable from the TV to the home theater receiver for this purpose. However, with audio return channel, you can simply take advantage of the cable you already have connected between the TV and the home theater receiver to transfer audio in both directions.
Zone 2 Option:
The Zone 2 function allows control of either the same, or separate, source than the one being listened to in the main room, in another location. For example, the user can be watching a Blu-ray Disc or DVD movie with surround sound in the main room, while someone else can listen to a CD Player in another room, at the same time. Both the Blu-ray Disc or DVD player and CD player are connected to the same Receiver, but are accessed and controlled separately using the same main Receiver.
The TX-NR609 also features an automated speaker setup function called Audyssey 2EQ. By connecting the provided microphone to the TX-NR609 and following the instructions outlined in the user manual. The Audyssey 2EQ uses a series of test tones to determine the proper speaker levels, based on how it reads the speaker placement in relation to the acoustical properties of your room. However, keep in mind that you may still have to some minor adjustments manually after the automatic set up is completed in order to conform to you own listening tastes.
Audyssey Dynamic EQ:
The Onkyo TX-NR609 also incorporates the Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume features. Dynamic EQ allows for real-time frequency response compensation when the user changes volume settings, For more specifics on how Dynamic EQ works in relation to volume settings and room characteristics, and how this can benefit the user, check out the official Audyssey Dynamic EQ page.
Audyssey Dynamic Volume:
Audyssey Dynamic Volume stabilizes the sound listening labels so that the softer parts of a soundtrack, such as dialog, is not overwhelmed by the impact of loud portions of the soundtrack. For more details, check out the Audyssey Dynamic Volume page.
With the TX-NR609, Onkyo has incorporated high end features in a reasonbly priced home theater receiver, such as 3D pass through, six HDMI inputs, HDMI video and audio switching with analog-to-HDMI video conversion and upscaling, advanced HDMI audio capabilities, as well as Internet Radio, HD Radio, and iPod compatibility.
Also, the TX-NR609 has a "Universal Connection Port" on the rear panel that will accept an accessory Onkyo HD-Radio Tuner or iPod Dock. Another connection feature that is included is a front-mounted HDMI input, which is great for Game Systems, such as the Sony Playstation 3 or high definition Camcorders. For more added flexibility, the TX-NR609 also supplies two subwoofer line outputs (thus the .2 reference in the 7.2 channel description). There is also a front-mounted USB port for connection of flash drives and other compatible USB devices containing media files.
On the other hand, the TX-NR609 does not have a dedicated Phono input for a turntable, nor does it have any S-Video inputs or outputs.
Two other notable omissions are the lack of of 5.1 channel audio inputs as well as the lack of 5.1/7.1 channel preamp outputs. What this means is that if you have an SACD player or DVD-Audio compatible DVD player that does not have an HDMI output, then you will not be able to access multi-channel SACD or DVD-Audio content from those devices using analog audio connections.
One the other hand, if you are planning to purchase a mid-range priced home theater receiver, and you don't need multi-channel analog audio inputs, a dedicated phono input, or S-Video connection, the TX-NR609 is THX Select2 Plus Certified and offers practical features that complement the new generation of source devices, such as 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players and Televisions, iPods, the internet, and your network-connected devices. The TX-NR609 is even ready for 4K resolution TVs or video projectors, should that be a need in the future.
The TX-NR609 has a suggested retail price of $599. Manufacturer's Site