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CNET First Look
Onkyo's TX-NR636: Feature rich and sounds good tooThe Onkyo TX-NR636 offers a compelling mix of features and performance with "future proofing" that is unparalleled for the money
When it comes to home theatre, Onkyo is one of the category's biggest name. With it's impressive receivers leading the way. Hi, I'm Ti Pendlebury, and today I'm looking at the Onkyo TX-NR636 Receiver. It's the company's latest mid-range receiver, and while it continues the impressive work of previous years, it also hasn't changed that much. And this could be to its disadvantage. The NR636 is a 7.1 channel model which features pretty much any feature you could ask for. The latest decoders, including Dolby Atmos, which is coming. On-board wi-fi, and even a turntable input. The onboard WiFi enables media streaming from services such as Spotify and Pandora and this also comes with Bluetooth support. Design-wise, this is a pretty macho and intimidating looking machine. But the inclusion of direct source buttons such as DVD and Game are a big help for useability. Connectivity includes seven HDMI ports which, interestingly, include support for the last 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 standards. There's no such thing as future-proof, but this does get near to it. As far as usability is concerned, the remote has a few too many buttons, especially when compared to the sleek Sony remote. And the bare-bones menus are harder to read the most on any sized screen. When it comes to performance though the 636 does very well with both convincing surround and musical performance. The ability to stream and playback high rest audio capably means this is a decent choice for all your files too. At $600, the Onkyo TX-NR636 is a little pricy, but it offers a lot of features and solid performance. But if you're looking for sound quality first, I recommend the cheapest Sony DN-1050 instead. This is Ty Pendlebury for cnet.com.