Onkyo DV-BD606 review

For the money you should experience corking Blu-ray pictures, but the Onkyo struggles to compete with players almost half its price Tested at £400.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

For the money you should experience corking Blu-ray pictures, but the Onkyo struggles to compete with players almost half its price


  • +

    Enjoyable high-def audio

  • +

    impressive DVD playback


  • -

    Oddly ho-hum Blu-ray images for the money

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Regular readers of What Hi-fi? Sound and Vision will no doubt be familiar with Onkyo's sterling contribution to the realm of home cinema receivers but, believe it or not, the DV-BD606 is the Japanese company's first Blu-ray spinner.

First impressions are that the 'BD606 isn't particularly blessed in the looks department. The black fascia looks dated and the overly plasticky theme extends to the remote control which is functional but flimsy.

There are no real complaints where specification is concerned. The lack of multichannel analogue outputs will disappoint owners of more elderly amplifiers, but in all other respects the Onkyo stacks up satisfactorily.

Bitstreamed Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are available via HDMI, as is decoded PCM sound. The same output can also deliver 1080p/24fps Blu-ray images as well as DVD pictures upscaled to 1080p.

Soft images don't impress
Playing a Blu-ray of The Love Guru, the DV-BD606 is a little disappointing. Compared to similarly priced rivals, images lack that last ounce of detail – there's a vague, but undeniable hint of softness to on-screen images.

Impression of depth doesn't convince like the best players around either and dark images don't carry as much information as they might. Colours appear subdued too.The 'BD606 makes a far better impression with high-definition sound.

It's weighty and distinct, so soundtracks are presented expansively, with dialogue well-defined and effects distributed confidently. There's dynamic potency on tap and the sort of punch and attack that makes action movies a visceral pleasure to watch.

Switching to a DVD of the hilarious Tropic Thunder shows the Onkyo's picture in a more flattering light. Upscaling to 1080p, the 'BD606 displays the sort of clarity and stability more readily associated with comparably priced DVD players, as well as a more confident colour palette.

The fact that the quality of the Onkyo DV-BD606's DVD playback is better than its Blu-ray performance is damning for a player at this price point – believe us when we say your money can be better spent elsewhere.

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