We've finally caught the first glance of the new multichannel receiver range from Onkyo.
The 2009 range kicks off with four budget to mid-price models. Subtly different in appearance to the previous generation, they measure slightly less in height, have larger volume controls and offer a clearer, simpler button layout.
The entry-level TX-SR307 will cost around £250, and features three HDMI inputs (and one output), as well as a 3.5mm iPod input on the front fascia. Next up is the TX-SR 507 (£350): it is the cheapest in the range to offer the full raft of HD audio decoding. It also has four HDMI inputs.
Those two both offer 5.1-channel amplification. But the next step up is to a 7-channel receiver, the TX-SR577. The '577 is basically a '507 with seven channels of amplification, and it also adds brand new surround format Dolby Pro Logic IIz. It will cost £400.
More after the break
We announced Pro Logic IIz when it was launched at CES, in our Las Vegas video show report. It adds an extra two channels of 'front height', for two surround speakers to be mounted above your front left and right speakers.
The aim is to create a bigger, more spacious and room-filling soundfield, and for Onkyo it also provides the consumer with more options when deciding how to configure a 7- or even 9-channel system.
Last but certainly not least is the £500 TX-SR607 (pictured). This features 7.2-channel amplification, has a total of six HDMI inputs – including a handy one on the front fascia for a device such as a laptop, games console or HD camcorder – and video upconversion capability.
All four receivers also feature four new game surround modes, to enhance the audio experience of particular genres of games. They are: 'RPG' (Role Player Game), 'Action', 'Music' (for Guitar Hero, Rock Band etc) and 'Sports'.
All four receivers will become available in the UK in the next few weeks, and some high-end receivers from Onkyo will be announced in May.
For more about Onkyo's new hi-fi range, check out our blog.