Onkyo's New HDMI HTiB's with 1080i Upscaling
Onkyo has just introduced two new home theater systems with HDMI connectivity up the wazoo, plus 1080i video upscaling.
Both systems have 7.1-channel speakers, complete with a powered subwoofer. Both systems have 130-watt-per-channel A/V receivers, and both have four - yup -four HDMI inputs. In addition to these inputs for high-resolution audio, they have a low-resolution input too - they both have an iPod dock.
More features shared by the HTIB's include the Audyssey automatic calibration system and support for 1080p video and DeepColor capability on the video side. Audio processing supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio for full support of Blu-ray sources.
Alas, these systems do not include a source unit. No Blu-ray player, DVD, or CD. However, with the HDMI inputs, just pick your own favorite and you're good to go.
What's the difference between the two new systems?
Not much. The HT-S7100 and the HT-R6100 both have Onkyo's exclusive iPod dock/charging unit, but only the HT-S7100 has the A/V capable dock, while the HT-R6100 has the audio-only version. Plus, the HT-S7100 is Sirius Satellite Radio-Ready and comes with a pair of speaker stands.
Both systems have seven satellite speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer powered by an internal 290-watt amplifier. The front and center satellites use two 3-1/8 inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter, while the surround satellites have just one woofer with the same tweeter.
Both integrate with other brands of equipment through the HDMI connection, and both have Onkyo's Music Optimizer software that's said to improve the sound quality of MP3 and AAC files.
The Onkyo HT-S7100 will retail for $799 beginning in August, and the HT-S6100 is currently selling for $699.
Systems like these are what's needed to begin to appreciate the benefits of Blu-ray. -Leslie Shapiro