Onkyo HT-RC360 7.2 Channel 3D/Network Home Theater Receiver

A Reasonably-priced Home Theater Receiver That Offers More Than You Might Expect

Onkyo HT-RC360 3D Network Home Theater Receiver - Front View with Accessories
Onkyo HT-RC360 3D Network Home Theater Receiver - Front View with Accessories. Photo (c) Robert Silva Licensed to About.com

The Onkyo HT-RC360 packs in a lot features for a reasonably-priced home theater receiver. It sports a 7.2 channel configuration (7 channels plus 2 subwoofer outs) with TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and both Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX processing. On the video side, the HT-RC360 has 3D-compatible HDMI inputs with analog to HDMI video conversion and up to 4K upscaling (provided you have a 4K display) via its built-in Marvell QDEO processing chip. Extra bonuses include iPod/iPhone connectivity, Internet, and DLNA connectivity. After reading this review, also check out my supplementary Photos and Video Performance Test Results.

Please note that this product has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but may be available as used.

Product Overview

Features of the Onkyo HT-RC360 include:

  1. 7.2 channel home theater receiver (7 channels plus 2 subwoofer outs) delivering 100 Watts into 7 channels at .08% THD (measured with 2 channels driven).
  2. Audio Decoding: Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX/Pro logic IIx, DTS 5.1/ES, 96/24, Neo:6.
  3. Additional Audio Processing: Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Audyssey DSX, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume, Music Optimizer.
  4. Audio Inputs (Analog): 5 Stereo Analog.
  5. Audio Inputs (Digital - Excluding HDMI): 2 Digital Optical, 2 Digital Coaxial.
  6. Audio Outputs (Excluding HDMI): 1 Set - Analog Stereo, One set - Zone 2 Analog Stereo Pre-outs and 2 Subwoofer Pre-outs.
  7. Speaker connection options for Front Height/Surround Back/Bi-amp and Powered Zone 2 provided. One set of Zone 2 line audio outputs (requires additional amp/speakers for operation).
  8. Video Inputs: 6 HDMI ver 1.4a (3D pass through/Audio Return Channel capable), 2 Component, 5 Composite. One composite video input mounted on front panel.
  9. Video Outputs: 1 HDMI, 1 Component Video, 2 Composite Video.
  1. Analog to HDMI video conversion (480i to 480p) and 720p, 1080i, 1080p, or 4K via upscaling using Marvell QDEO processing. HDMI pass-through of native 1080p and 3D signals.
  2. Audyssey 2EQ automatic speaker setup system. By connecting the provided microphone, Audyssey 2EQ uses a series of test tones to determine the proper speaker levels, based on how it reads the speaker placement in relation to the acoustical properties of your room.
  3. 40 Preset AM/FM/HD Radio-Ready (accessory module required) Tuner.
  4. Network/Internet Connectivity via Ethernet or Optional USB Wireless Internet Adapter.
  5. Internet Radio access includes Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius Internet Radio, vTuner.
  6. DLNA Certified for access to digital media files stored on PCs, Media Servers, and other compatible network-connected devices.
  7. Windows 7 Compatible.
  8. USB Connection for access to audio files stored on flash drives or for use of the previously mentioned optional USB Wireless Internet Adapter.
  9. iPod/iPhone connectivity/control via front USB port or optional docking station. Rear mounted docking port provided.
  1. Onkyo Remote App for iPhone/iPod touch available.
  2. One RI connection for control of an additional connected compatible device.

Audio Performance

The core purpose of any home theater receiver is the ability to provide power and audio processing for your speakers and room size. For its price class, the Onkyo HT-RC360 does pretty well. The HT-RC360 reproduced decoded and processed surround sound accurately from both analog and digital sources in both 5.1 and 7.1 channel setups. The HT-RC360 also provided good stability during very dynamic audio tracks and delivered a sustained output (suitable for a small or medium size room) over long periods of time without eliciting listening fatigue.

I also checked out the front height (Prologic IIz/Audyssey DSX) options, which I have done with other receivers offering these options. So far, I feel that these options deliver mixed results. Both processing modes do provide a somewhat fuller sound field in front and above the listening space, filling gaps in the sound field in between and above the front left, center and right speakers moving towards the listening position, but the effect is not as dramatic that would necessarily justify the added expense of purchasing additional speakers to take advantage of the effect, especially if you have a good balance 5.1 or 7.1 channel speaker setup already.

However, having a front height channel option does give consumers added flexibility in speaker setup. Depending on the room, the rest of the speaker layout, and using source material that lends itself for height channel enhancement, the Pro Logic IIz/Audyssey DSX may be a viable option for you. Keep in mind there are no Blu-ray or DVD soundtracks specifically mixed for front height channels.

One important thing to keep in mind is that because the HT-RC360 is a 7 channel receiver, if you want to take advantage of either Dolby Prologic IIz or Audyssey DSX processing, you will have to forgo a setup that includes surround back channels.

Zone 2

The Onkyo HT-RC360 also offers Zone 2 setup. Running the 5.1 channel mode for the main room and using the two spare channels (normally devoted to the surround back speakers) I was able to access DVD and Blu-ray audio in the main 5.1 channel setup and access CD playback (using analog audio connections) and radio play in the two channel setup in another room. Also, I could run the same music source in both rooms simultaneously, one using the 5.1 channel configuration and second using 2 channels. The Onkyo HT-RC360 can perform second zone operation with its own amplifiers or use a separate external amplifier via Zone 2 preamp output. It is important to note that only analog audio sources are available in a 2nd Zone.

Video Performance

The HT-RC360 has an abundance of both HDMI and analog video inputs, but continues the trend of eliminating S-video, inputs, and outputs from the mix, and also limited the number of component video inputs to two sets.

Also, while HT-RC360 has the ability to upscale incoming video sources up to 4K, that aspect was not testable as I did not have access to a 4K capable video display. 

That being said, the HT-RC360 does provide good overall video performance for resolutions up to 1080p. For one, the images on the HDTVs used showed no visible difference, whether the HDMI signal came directly from one of the 1080p source players or was routed through the HT-RC360 before reaching the monitor.

What this means is that irrespective of the video upscaling of standard definition sources, the HT-RC360 provides excellent pass through and switching of HDMI source signals and I did not have any HDMI handshake issues.

I found that although the internal scaler of the HT-RC360 does a good job, especially for a home theater receiver in this price range.

The HT-RC360 passed a majority of the tests on the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD, which provides an indication of the video performance with regards to video processing and upscaling. For a more complete look at HT-RC360's video performance, refer to my video performance test results.

3D

An added feature, that is now standard on almost all home theater receivers, is the ability to pass 3D signals. There is no video processing function involved, the HT-RC360 (and other 3D-enabled home theater receivers) are intended to merely serve as conduits for 3D video signals coming from a source device on their way to a 3D TV.

As hoped, the 3D Pass-Through function of the HT-RC360 did not appear to introduce any added artifacts associated with 3D performance, such as crosstalk (ghosting) or jitter that wasn't already present in the source material, or in the video display/glasses interaction process. I tested this by alternately passing the 3D signal from a 3D Blu-ray source directly to the 3D TV without going through the HT-RC360, while in a second setup I passed the 3D signal from the Blu-ray Disc player through the HT-RC360 before going to the 3D TV.

Internet Radio and DLNA

I found that the internet radio offers were quite extensive. Some of the internet radio offerings include vTunerPandora, and Napster). Sirius Internet Radio.

Another bonus for a receiver in this price range is Windows 7 and DLNA compatibility, which allows for access to digital media files stored on PCs, Media Servers, and other compatible network-connected devices. Using the Onkyo's remote and onscreen menu, I found it easy to access music and photo files from my PC's hard drive.

USB

In addition, the front mounted USB port can also be used to access audio files stored on a USB flash drive or an iPod, which includes iPod control using the Onkyo's remote. Album art is also displayed if it is included in the files. The only downside is that there is only one USB port, which means that if you are using the optional USB internet adapter, you cannot plug in and access content from a USB flash drive or in iPod at the same time. However, you can also access iPod connect using an optional accessory docking station plugged into the Universal connection port that is located on the rear panel of the HT-RC360 - unless you happen to use the accessory HD Radio tuner. I 

What I Liked

  1. Lots of HDMI inputs (6)!
  2. Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX adds speaker placement flexibility.
  3. Good analog to HDMI video conversion and upscaling.
  4. 3D pass-through function works well.
  5. Good internet radio content selection and DLNA compatibility.
  6. Easy-to-use onscreen menu.
  7. Color coding kit speaker wiring and connection cables provided.
  8. Onkyo Remote App for iPhone/iPod touch available.

What I Didn't Like

  1. Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX effect not always effective.
  2. No analog multi-channel 5.1/7.1 channel inputs or outputs - No S-video connections.
  3. No dedicated phono/turntable input.
  4. Can't use USB WiFi Adapter and direct USB iPod connection at the same time.
  5. No digital optical audio input option on front panel.
  6. Audyssey extra-wide channel setup option not included - height channel option only.

Final Take

The Onkyo HT-RC360 is a good example of the accelerated pace at which "high-end" features have filtered down to reasonably priced home theater receivers. In addition to all the audio features you would expect a good home theater receiver to have these days, which the HT-RC360 handles very well, additional features such as Dolby Prologic IIz/Audyssey DSX, 3D passthrough, Internet Radio, DLNA functions, HD Radio, and a USB port for connection of flash drives and other compatible devices (such as an iPod) are also included.

In addition, the HT-RC360 has a "Universal Connection Port" on the rear panel that will accept an accessory Onkyo HD-Radio Tuner or iPod Dock. Another connection feature that is included is a front-mounted HDMI input, which is great for game systems, such as the Sony Playstation 3 or high definition Camcorders. For more flexibility, the HT-RC360 also has two subwoofer line outputs (thus the .2 reference in the 7.2 channel description), and can also run a 2nd Zone audio system.

On the other hand, the HT-RC360 does not have a dedicated Phono input for a turntable, nor does it have any S-Video inputs or outputs.

Two other notable omissions are the lack of 5.1 channel audio inputs as well as the lack of 5.1/7.1 channel preamp outputs. What this means is that if you have an SACD player or DVD-Audio compatible DVD player that does not have an HDMI output, then you will not be able to access multi-channel SACD or DVD-Audio content from those devices using analog audio connections.

Taking all into consideration, if you are shopping for a home theater receiver that is reasonably-priced, and you don't need multi-channel analog audio inputs, a dedicated phono input, or S-Video connections, the HT-RC360 offers practical features that complement the new generation of source devices, such as 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players and Televisions, iPods, the internet, and your network-connected devices. The HT-RC360 is even ready for 4K resolution TVs or video projectors, should that be a need in the future.  

Now that you have read this review, also be sure to check out more about the Onkyo HT-RC360 in my Photo Profile and Video Performance Test Results.

For more about Onkyo, check out their Website and Facebook Page

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.