Onkyo 6.1 Receiver Earns 'THX Select' Badge

Onkyo continues to carve a name for itself as a maker of affordable home theater receivers. The company's new THX Select-certified TX-DS787 is the only 6.1-channel Surround EX receiver in the under-$1500 price class. The receiver's suggested list price is $1099.95.

The TX-DS787 may be the ticket for movie fans on a budget. Compatible with both Dolby Digital and DTS programs encoded for a rear center surround channel, the new receiver features six channels of amplifier power at 100 watts each into an 8-ohm load. Analog input connections include four video (composite and S-video) and four audio source components (including phono) and one 7.1 multi-channel input for future DVD-Audio players and other components.

Digital inputs consist of two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, assignable to any audio or audio/video source. All eight output channels include line-level preamp outputs for feeding external power amplifiers or powered loudspeakers. Inboard 96KHz/24bit digital-to-analog converters insure absolute fidelity with music and soundtracks. An "Optimum Gain Control" keeps low-level audio signals above the noise floor, so no details are ever lost.

Onkyo's Smart Scan Setup makes the TX-DS787 simple to set up and control. The new unit boasts "professional grade video switching" and is claimed to be compatible with HDTV systems. An additional feature not usually found in receivers in this price range is a two-zone preamplifier output for multi-room or multi-source operation---operable via dual-zone infrared remote inputs. An assignable 12V trigger can be used to turn on equipment such as a power amp located in another room. Speaker outputs for a second zone complete the package on this versatile unit.

The latest advancement from LucasFilm's technical wizards, THX Surround EX uses a rear center channel to place film viewers precisely in the middle of the action. Special effects such as helicopter and jet flyovers are said to be much more realistic with six-channel surround than with a five-channel array.