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Onkyo 308 Review
Onkyo 308 Review 5.1-Channel Receiver: Simple Value, Powerful Performance
At the budget-conscious end of the home entertainment spectrum, you’re looking to maximize performance and features without putting undue strain on your finances. Onkyo understands that, which is why they've redefined the entry-level A/V receiver with the high-value TX-SR308. Not only is it ready for the 3D video future thanks to its HDMI 1.4 specification, but it also handles high-definition lossless audio codecs from Dolby and DTS. Advanced A/V processing on a bedrock of classic Onkyo engineering is complemented by a bevy of convenient features like a new overlaid On-Screen Display for easy adjustment of settings, a Universal Port for single-cable connection of peripherals, and a front-panel audio input for direct connection of iPods and other MP3 players. With the TX-SR308, you get a simple but powerful home theater centerpiece that's ready to drive the latest high-def entertainment sources available today and beyond.
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HDMI® 1.4a Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
The TX-SR308's three HDMI inputs let you simultaneously connect high-def sources such as a Blu-ray player, a gaming console, and a cable/satellite tuner. As the latest version of this connector, HDMI 1.4a adds the exciting possibilities of 3D video and an Audio Return Channel. 3D video is the next big thing in home entertainment, with movie, game, and broadcast content on the increase and 3D-compatible HDTVs on the near horizon--the TX-SR308 gets you ready for this next generation of content at a surprising value.
The Latest Hi-Def Audio Decoders for Rich, Lifeike Movies and Music
The Onkyo 308 Review A/V receiver can decode Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™--two lossless formats that enable delivery of a bit-for-bit soundtrack identical to the studio master track. Previously available only on mid-range and high-end receivers, now you can take full advantage of your Blu-ray movies for a true cinematic audio experience. The TX-SR308 also handles Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio™.
Convenient Overlaid Graphical On-Screen Display via HDMI
Changing your A/V receiver's settings is now more seamless than ever, thanks to the TX-SR308's new overlaid graphical On-Screen Display (OSD) feature. Simply press the Home button on the included remote controller, and semi-transparent graphical set-up menus appear overlaid on the video image you're watching. This means you can adjust the settings immediately, without having to switch back and forth from a blank screen background.
Universal Port for Single-Cable Connection of Optional Onkyo Dock for iPhone™/iPod® or HD Radio™ Tuner
A proprietary Universal Port located on the rear side of the Onkyo 308 Review lets you connect an optional UP-A1 Dock for iPhone/iPod or UP-HT1 HD Radio Tuner (both sold separately). If you have both peripheral devices, they can easily be "daisy chained" via an input on the UP-HT1. A key advantage of the Universal Port is that it accepts video and audio signals through the same cable that sends a power supply from the receiver to the devices. Net result: more connectivity, less cable clutter.
Playback of Different Audio Sources in Two Different Zones
With Powered Zone 2, you can enjoy surround sound entertainment in the main room, while playing back a different stereo source in a second zone equipped with a pair of speakers. Alternatively, you can use the Zone 2 line out to send an unamplified audio signal to an amplifier (and speakers) in the second room.
Four Game Modes for More Realistic Action
These four gaming modes create an audio experience with more realism and impact. You can select from Rock, Sports, Action, or RPG (Role Playing Game) modes to match your gaming content.
Music Optimizer to Support Compressed Digital Music Files
While MP3 or AAC files may sound fine on a portable digital player, the limitations of these compressed files can be exposed when played back through a home entertainment system. Onkyo has designed onboard Music Optimizer technology to improve the quality of compressed audio signals. Compressed music loses a substantial amount of bit information at higher frequencies, so the Music Optimizer technology works to overcome this limitation and enhance audio quality.
Theater-Dimensional Circuitry Easily Puts Surround Sound Anywhere
Onkyo's exclusive Theater-Dimensional circuitry takes the complexity out of conventional surround-sound set-ups and lets you experience the excitement of surround sound from as few as two ordinary speakers. Want more? Theater-Dimensional's unique multi-speaker modes let you place up to five speakers conveniently by the TV, for the most realistic virtual-surround sound possible.
Remote Interactive over HDMI (RIHD)
Onkyo A/V receivers offer integrated system control with certain HDMI-compatible high-definition displays, DVD and hard-disk recorders, and Blu-ray Disc players. With one remote control, you can control functions such as Standby, Volume, and Direct Change.
Front-Panel Audio Input for Portable Devices
If you have an iPod® or other MP3 player, you can connect it to the TX-SR308's front panel for quick and convenient audio playback. Your player's compressed digital music files can then receive a quality boost from the receiver's Music Optimizer technology.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is what Onkyo does best. This thing offers great performance. It
is rock solid, no nonsense, just what you need and not much else. What it
does, it does very well: decode most everything, and HDMI 1.4!!!
I was surprised how similar this unit was to my old 2006 model Onkyo 5.1 reciever. This model is clearly a new generation of the same line, with many features and design choices being identical. What sets this unit apart from those of yesterday is the connectivity. 3 HDMI 1.4 inputs, full 3D compatibility for down the road, two optical inputs, composite inputs, and more.
What is not so hot are the "frills". I say "frills" because they are not so frilly. The alternate listening modes are mostly useless- just like they were 5 years ago. The on unit display looks very, very dated, and the remote is even worse than before. In fact, the display and listening modes are identical to my old unit. After setup, dont expect to be pressing more than about 4 buttons on the full-sized remote unless you have other Onkyo components- this remote is NOT universal. This unit does support some "control via HDMI" functionality, so depending on your TV you may be able to sync them to some degree and use one remote for most casual functions on both devices. It also does not upconvert lesser video inputs to HDMI, which is nice to have, but nobody really does that very well until you get into the much higher price points anyway.
But who really buys one of these for a remote and boring sound effects? Not me. I bought this for one reason only: Onkyo quality sound. And this unit does not disappoint. Aside from just sounding great, the functional aspects of this unit are absolutely rock solid and do exactly what you would expect from Onkyo. For the money, I dont know how you could beat this unit. You get Onkyo's top notch, no nonsense audio performance and everything that comes along with HDMI 1.4. Auto a/v sync is here as is deep color if your TV and other components support them. You will be ready if 3D really takes off, or if the reasonably priced HDTV's keep getting much better within the next 3-5 years. This budget unit can grow with your home theater as the industry evolves over the next few years, and keep sounding great the whole time- which is big plus considering where we are in the technology cycle. Onkyo really got it right this year with this model at this price point.
I fully recommend this unit to anyone looking for solid 5.1 surround at this price point that they dont want to throw away in 2 years.
2) 42 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
Was looking to upgrade my onkyo 6.1 receiver that I purchased 7 years ago.
I came across this model at a local electronic store and was blown away by the
sound and price.
It will decode DTS-HD Master audio and Dolby True HD. Which is important to me, because I just moved over to blu-ray and wanted the best sound possible for play back. I hooked up my new sony BDP-S570 blu-ray player and put in Avatar as a test movie. I running a HDMI cable to the Onkyo and a HDMI out to the TV. When the movie finally started, I couldn't get DTS-HD Master audio to come on the receiver. After some research you need to make sure your DVD player is not decoding the audio and sending it to your reciver to decode. Once I got this fixed and saw the DTS-HD master audio I was very impressed. My kids stopped what they were doing and came over to HEAR the movie and not just watch like last time.
Again, This Onkyo rec is a Great buy for under $300 and is also future proof for when 3D TV goes main stream in the next year of so.
P.S. Currently run my Cable box, PS3 and Blu-ray player via HDMI and all work very well with sound and picture.
However when I got this, the BD/DVD HDMI input port would not pass any Audio or Video. I contacted Onkyo support.
Had to do a factory reset on it... To do that, turn it off. Then hold the power/standby button then hold the VCR input button until it says CLEAR on the receiver. Then turn it back on.
Once I did the factory reset. It worked just fine.
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