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Onkyo TX-SR508 7.1-Channel Receiver: Professional Performance Meets Value
Onkyo's mission is to deliver outstanding audio and video quality to your home, no matter what budget you're on. With the 7.1-channel TX-SR508, you get an entry-level home theater centerpiece built to unleash the potential of your favorite entertainment sources. The TX-SR508 arrives brimming with processing and connectivity features previously unheard of at this level. Four 3D-ready HDMI 1.4a inputs for connecting your high-definition sources, studio master-quality HD audio formats from Dolby and DTS, Dolby Pro Logic IIz for new surround-sound possibilities, powered Zone 2 and bi-amping for more speaker flexibility, and a Universal Port and front-side input for connecting peripherals and portable devices. Meanwhile, Audyssey volume and equalization technologies ensure comfortable listening and a room-fitting soundstage. Underpinning it all is decades of Onkyo amplifier expertise in the form of WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) and a high-current, low-impedance drive.
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HDMI® 1.4a Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
The TX-SR508's four 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-SR508 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 TX-SR508 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-SR508 also handles Dolby® Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio™.
Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz Adds New Dimensions to Surround Sound
As with previous versions of Dolby Pro
Logic, this latest version delivers a convincing
surround-sound experience from any movie or music
source—even a stereo one. On the TX-SR508, Dolby Pro Logic
IIz enables you to incorporate two "front high" speakers
into your surround-sound set-up as an alternative to the two
surround back speakers. The front high channels carry
ambient, non-directional audio that helps immerse you even
more deeply into your movies and games.
A Suite of Audyssey Technologies Crafts Your Ideal Listening Environment
Beginning with the TX-SR508 all 2010 Onkyo A/V receivers come with a suite of Audyssey technologies that help create the most suitable listening environment for your home.
- Audyssey 2EQ™ tailors multi-channel audio for your home theater speaker set-up by measuring three room positions and applying a resolution filter to the satellite speakers to correct for room acoustics.
- Audyssey Dynamic Volume™ automatically compensates for volume fluctuations in different audio content—for example, during commercial breaks—while optimizing the dynamic range.
- Audyssey Dynamic EQ™ maintains a consistent bass response, tonal balance, and surround-sound effect at different volume levels, so you can enjoy the natural dynamics of your content regardless of the volume.
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-SR508'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 TX-SR508 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.
Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT)--A Total Design for Amplification Power
The cornerstone of any Onkyo A/V receiver, WRAT supports high-quality audio reproduction of the latest high-definition A/V formats. It comprises three key elements: A low negative feedback design for cleaner audio across the frequency range; a closed ground-loop circuit to cancel individual circuit noise and keep the ground potential free of distortion; and a high instantaneous current capability to handle speaker reflex energy and impedance fluctuations.
- Onkyo's low negative-feedback design with audiophile-grade, close-tolerance components achieves a frequency response out to 100 kHz for high-definition and regular DVD formats, high-resolution DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD, regular CDs, digital music files and the latest gaming software.
- A sophisticated closed-circuit design enables each circuit to go and return directly to the power supply which, coupled with the use of thick brass grounding plates, helps cancel any individual circuit noise and keeps the ground potential free of distortion.
- The instantaneous current capability of Onkyo's WRAT receivers exceeds that of most conventional units, which commonly have less than half the current capability. An Onkyo receiver will deliver movie soundtracks with cinema-standard dynamics and clarity.
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.
HD Radio™ and SIRIUS™ Satellite Radio Ready
Onkyo's TX-SR508 offers compatibility with optional tuners for both HD Radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. HD Radio broadcasts your favorite AM and FM stations digitally, with none of the hiss, distortion, or station drop-off of analog radio. SIRIUS provides exclusive access to over 130 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, and comedy.
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-SR508'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
The sound from my ten year old Onkyo TX-DS474 was now
inferior and I had read very good reviews of the Onkyo SR 507, so decided
to pre order the brand new SR 508. It arrived from Amazon on April 29th. I
used the built in equalizer to set up the speakers, connected the receiver
with brand new HDMI v1.4 cables and connected it to my Dish satellite
receiver, my Panasonic BluRay DVD player and my Panasonic HDTV. The sound
was excellent. Whereas before we had to turn up the volume too loud to
follow dialog on some shows, or else it was not clear, with the SR 508 the
sound was so much clearer that we could keep the volume much lower.
After about three days I noticed that although I would assign the input as cab/sat, the receiver indicated ipod (now no ipod dock was connected to the receiver) but the sound still came through from the satellite box. Strange but no problem. Then exactly one week after receiving the receiver, in the middle of watching a show, the picture and sound went blank. No pushing of different buttons on the remote would make it work. My first reaction was a bad HDMI cable, so I changed it. Nothing. I switched to the DVD player, but again blank. So then I hooked up the satellite box and the DVD player directly to the TV by separate HDMI cables, turned on the TV speakers, and the TV works again. Obviously the SR 508 suddenly failed and would not even work as a pass through. I am returning the set to Amazon for a replacement. If the replacement works fine for a reasonable amount of time, I will update this review.
I chose Onkyo partially because of its RIHD feature in conjunction with Panasonic. In my experience that only works so-so. Turning on the BluRay DVD player did switch the receiver directly to DVD. But turning it off does not switch back automatically to cab/sat. Turning off the TV also turns off the Onkyo, but not vice versa. You still have to turn on the Onkyo receiver separately.
One unexpected problem with the receiver is that the zone 2 input works only with an analog signal. On my DS-474, I have set up output B to speakers in my screened in porch to be able to listen to CDs or TV there. The B speakers work with digital. Now all my signal inputs for zone 2 are digital, so it appears that the zone 2 feature is useless. Bummer!
I should specify that I am not at all techie, so there may be work arounds that I don't know!
Update#1: The unit failed Thursday evening, I requested a replacement online from Amazon on Friday noon, it arrived at my house on Saturday at about 2pm. I'm sure everyone would agree that that is outstanding customer service from Amazon. I have now (Sunday) installed the replacement unit and again it appears to be working great. Provided it continues to do so, I will add a second update and change my rating to four stars. I remain disappointed that the zone 2 is not digital, hence not 5 stars.
Update #2: Four days after installing the second receiver, it also failed in the same way. However, at the bottom of the "Troubleshooting" page in the user manual, I found the following comment: "The AV receiver contains a microcomputer for signal processing and control functions. In very rare situations, severe interference, noise from an external source, or static electricity may cause it to lock up. In the unlikely event this happens, unplug the power cord from the wall outlet, wait at least five seconds and then plug it in again."
That worked and it has not locked up again in the last ten days. However, I certainly take issue with the "rare circumstances" and "unlikely event" and I can't imagine any special event that may have caused it. My receiver is in a cabinet with the plug behind it, so unplugging is quite inconvenient. This said, the sound from the receiver is really clear so, if this problem does not recur frequently, I will be happy with the purchase. I'm changing my rating from one star to three stars.
I bought this to replace my Sony receiver I purchased
from Amazon 3 years ago (almost to the day). While there was nothing
"wrong" with my Sony receiver, I quickly realized once I plugged the Onkyo
in, that my surround speakers were not being utilized as they should be.
While I am not an audiophile, I do have some quality speakers, and I do like having a quaility sound while watching movies (and playing Xbox). The sound is so clear and crisp with this receiver. Further, the set up with the 4 HDMI inputs made my stereo cabinet so much cleaner, and I got rid of all of my YRW and RBG wires. I am sure I could have invested another $300 and really got some really high end equipment, but honestly, the Onkyo is worth it. The funny thing is, I spent the same amount on the new Onkyo as I did on the old Sony, and the difference is just amazing.
The on-screen set up is great. It makes customizing the inputs and the equilizer so easy. And the speaker test really lets you know what where you need to place you speakers. What else can I say about this product? Honestly, this is the best purchase I have made in a long time. I think the 4 HDMI inputs alone make this a must-have over any other receiver similarly priced. I almost bought another Sony instead of the Onkyo (mostly because I have never purchased anything other than Sony receivers), but I am glad I made the switch. Now that I have experienced Onkyo, I think I have made a life long switch.
If you have any hesitations about buying this product, please feel free to send me a message, and I will try to answer your question before you buy. And if you have never bought an Onkyo before, try it first, and I am pretty sure you will like it (I would almost guarantee it). If not, return it to Amazon. They are really good with returns. But I doubt you will even want to return it once you get it set up.
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