Samsung Unpacked Livestream Wednesday New Wordle Strategy Nest vs. Ecobee Thermostat Best Deals Under $25 Fitness Supplements Laptops for High School Samsung QLED vs. LG OLED TV Samsung Unpacked Predictions
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

Onkyo announces TX-SR606 AV receiver, update to 2007's groundbreaking TX-SR605

Onkyo has announced the TX-SR606 AV receiver, which has four HDMI inputs, 1080i upconversion, and replaces the popular TX-SR605.

The new Onkyo TX-SR606 looks a lot like the old TX-SR605, at least cosmetically.

Last year, Onkyo pretty much dominated the budget AV receiver market with the TX-SR605, which offered up cutting-edge features like onboard high-resolution audio decoding at a bargain price--and it earned our Editors' Choice award. Today Onkyo has announced its successor, the TX-SR606, which adds some significant features, such as four total HDMI inputs and 1080i upscaling. Here are the details:


The Onkyo TX-SR606


Key features of the Onkyo TX-SR606:

  • 7.1 channels, 90 watts per channel
  • Four HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 1080i upconversion for analog signals
  • New "music optimizer" software that claims to improve the sound quality of MP3 sources
  • Powered second zone
  • Available in April with a list price of $580

There's a lot to like about the TX-SR606, but we're tempering our enthusiasm, at least for now. For starters, there's the price: The $580 list price actually translates to a more affordable $500 street price (at least according to Circuit City, where the product is already listed for preorder). But last year's TX-SR605 is still widely available for around $400. Secondly, the playing field has leveled quite a bit from 2007. Sony's upcoming STR-DG920 has a list price of $600, has four HDMI inputs, upscales to 1080p, and will feature an icon-driven menu system, probably similar to what we've seen on the STR-DA5300ES. Lastly, in most cases, analog video upconversion past simple 480p (480i deinterlacing) just isn't that important to us in an AV receiver, since most quality HDTVs already do a solid job converting 480p signals to the set's native resolution (see this column for more info). And we've seen enough issues with AV receiver video processing that we're at least a little skeptical that it will do a better job than your existing HDTV.

That doesn't mean the TX-SR606 won't be a good option--it's definitely the best price-to-performance model in Onkyo's line, as the step-down TX-SR576 doesn't offer any kind of analog upconversion at its $480 price point. As always, though, we're reserving judgment until we get to do a thorough hands-on evaluation of the TX-SR606. Onkyo's PR agency has indicated that we'll be getting a review sample in "two to three weeks," so--if they stick to that schedule--look for a full review of the TX-SR606 by CNET sometime in May.