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Onkyo's 2012 midrange receiver line goes up to 8 HDMI inputs

Onkyo's 2012 line of midrange receivers goes all the way to eight HDMI inputs, while also including MHL compatibility and networking functionality.

Onkyo TX-NR616
Onkyo TX-NR616 Onkyo

If you thought midrange AV receivers were going to max out at six HDMI inputs, you were wrong.

Onkyo announced its 2012 line of midrange AV receivers this morning, with the TX-NR515 and TX-NR616 each featuring eight HDMI inputs, enough to handle your cable box, PS3, Xbox 360, Roku LT, Apple TV, and three other home theater gadgets. The front-panel HDMI input on those two models is also MHL-compatible, which means you can connect a compatible smartphone or other MHL gadgets like the upcoming Roku Streaming Stick.

Here's a quick breakdown of the new models and most important features:

Onkyo TX-SR313

Onkyo TX-SR313
Onkyo TX-SR313 Onkyo

Key features of the Onkyo TX-SR313:

Onkyo TX-NR414

Onkyo TX-SN414
Onkyo TX-NR414 Onkyo

Key step-up features of the Onkyo TX-NR414:

  • 5.1-channel AV receiver
  • Six HDMI inputs
  • InstaPrevue (picture-in-picture for HDMI inputs)
  • Four digital inputs (two optical, two coaxial)
  • Network-enabled via Ethernet port or optional USB Wi-Fi adapter
  • Controllable via iPhone/Android app
  • Streaming support for Spotify, MP3Tunes, and Internet radio
  • $500 list price; available in March

Onkyo TX-NR515

Onkyo TX-NR515
Onkyo TX-NR515 Onkyo

Key step-up features of the Onkyo TX-NR515:

  • 7.2-channel AV receiver
  • Eight HDMI inputs (including a front-panel input), two outputs
  • Front panel HDMI input is MHL compatible
  • Qdeo video processing
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIz processing
  • Powered second zone functionality
  • Two USB ports (one front panel, one back panel)
  • $600 list price; available in March

Onkyo TX-NR616

Onkyo TX-NR616
Onkyo TX-NR616 Onkyo

Key step-up features of the Onkyo TX-NR616:

  • 7.2-channel AV receiver
  • Eight HDMI inputs, two outputs
  • THX Select2 Plus certification
  • Audyssey DSX processing
  • Powered second zone, unpowered third-zone functionality
  • $700 list price; available in April

Onkyo receivers are always jam-packed with features, but the new line seems even more robust than most. The TX-NR414 is likely to be an incredible value (Onkyo receivers generally have a street price much lower than list) with enough features for the average person. The two step-up models are also attractive, although none of the step-up features seem particularly worth paying for. (The MHL port is cool, but the front-panel location would make it awkward to have a device permanently connected, like the Roku's Streaming Stick.)

The one surprise is that Onkyo is choosing again not to feature built-in AirPlay compatibility, which was featured on competing Denon and Pioneer receivers last year. It's not exactly a deal breaker for Apple fans, who can choose to add an Apple TV or Onkyo's upcoming UBT-1 USB Bluetooth adapter for wireless music streaming, but I've found built-in AirPlay streaming to be a pretty compelling feature in an AV receiver, especially compared with other media-streaming features.