Beginning as barely a trickle, it is now becoming a steady stream as more and more "universal" optical-disc players reach store shelves. The latest models can play DVD-Video discs (and home-burned DVD-R/RWs recorded in the DVD-Video format), DVD-Audio discs, CDs (including CD-R/RW discs and those with MP3 files), and Super Audio CDs.
In a world of earbuds, plastic pods, and itty-bitty phones, there's something reassuring about an A/V receiver. In appearance, at least, receivers are throwbacks to the olden days of stout components and heavy lifting. But receivers are dinosaurs in weight only. Case in point: The new Onkyo TX-SR804 A/V receiver, which, looks aside, is thoroughly modern.
Aah, summertime. Lather on sunscreen, pump up the bike tires, and you’re almost set. What’s missing? Music! And we’re not talking about those antisocial earbuds that cocooned you through the dark winter. We’re talking about actual speakers that you can take along with you on outings.
Life is short. Why shouldn't you treat yourself to a porterhouse and a bottle of merlot now and then? And why not enjoy decent speakers, too? In a world of surround sound speaker systems priced around $1,000, it's easy to forget that there's a parallel universe populated by people who spend a little more money and get a lot better sound.
The XDP-100R is already available in some overseas markets (most notably in Japan, where enthusiasm for hi-res audio is very healthy) but now the player is available for us nephews and nieces of Uncle Sam.