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Two Onkyo receivers with Faroudja video processing announced

Onkyo has announced two new midrange AV receivers, the TX-SR706 and TX-SR806, which offer up several HDMI inputs, video upconversion and THX certification.

While Onkyo has already announced its main budget receiver for the year--the TX-SR606, which we reviewed last week--today Onkyo announced two new midrange AV receivers, the TX-SR706 and TX-SR806, which both offer several HDMI inputs, video upconversion, and THX certification. These receivers are sure to appeal to audiophiles on a budget, so let's check out their key features:

The Onkyo TX-SR706


Key features of the Onkyo TX-SR706:

  • 7.1 channels, 100 watts per channel
  • 4 HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 1080p upconversion for analog signals, using Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing
  • XM- and Sirius-ready
  • Powered second zone
  • THX Loudness Plus
  • Currently available with a list price of $900

The Onkyo TX-SR806


Key step-up features of the Onkyo TX-SR806:

  • 7.1 channels, 130 watts per channel
  • 5 HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • 1080i video upconversion over component video outputs
  • THX Ultra2Plus certification
  • Available in August with a list price of $1,100

The features on these receivers are pretty straightforward, although the THX features are worth discussing. THX Loudness Plus is a type of sound processing designed to give soundtracks more impact at low volume levels. We haven't had a chance to listen to THX Loudness Plus on a receiver yet, but we're betting audiophiles will prefer clean, unprocessed sound, and leave Loudness Plus turned off. The TX-SR806 is also THX Ultra2 Plus certified, which means it meets certain technical standards set by THX. While the certification isn't meaningless, it doesn't necessarily mean a receiver is going to sound good, and there are plenty of receivers that lack THX certification and perform just as well. In other words, it's better to use your ears instead of relying on THX certifications.

We're particularly interested to get the TX-SR706 in for review, after we were significantly disappointed by the TX-SR606's video processing. While the list price for the TX-SR706 is $900--way out of the "budget" price range--it's already available online for $800, and over the past few years, Onkyo receivers tend to be available for well below their list price after a few months. However, even a considerably cheaper TX-SR706 will have to compete with Sony's STR-DG920, which has many of the same features and costs $600.