Onkyo TX-SR604 Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR604 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-SR604 Home Theater Receiver - Front and Rear View. Images provided by Onkyo USA

Introducing The Onkyo TX-SR604

The role of the home theater receiver is definitely changing. With introduction of HDTV and, now Blu-ray Disc, video is coming just as important as audio, and to keep pace with those developments, home theater receivers are becoming central hubs for both audio and video connectivity. Also, if you haven't shopped for a home theater receiver in a while, you will find some other interesting additions.

The Onkyo TX-SR604 provides several surround sound processing options, both audio and video connectivity, plenty of power, and more. The following rundown provides are detailed look.

Amplifier Characteristics

The Onkyo TX-SR604 delivers 90 Watts per channel into 8-Ohms via its seven internal high-current WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) power amplifiers. With amplifier frequency response from 10 Hz to 100 kHz and a THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) rating of .08%, the TX-SR604 is up to the challenge from any source, including Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, CDs. and more.

Audio Features - Sound Processing

The TX-SR604 features extensive surround sound processing options, including: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and DTS 96/24.

Also, the inclusion of DTS Neo:6 and Dolby Pro-logic IIx processing enables the TX-SR604 to extract 7.1-channel audio from any stereo or multichannel source. The receiver features linear PCM 192 kHz/24-bit D/A (Digital-to-Analog) converters and 32-bit DSP (Digital Sound Processing) modes.

In addition, the TX-SR604 also offers XM Neural Surround (now referred to as DTS Neural Surround), which allows access to surround sound programing available via XM satellite radio.

Audio Inputs and Outputs

The TX-SR604 has five assignable Digital Audio inputs (two coaxial and three optical ), RCA audio connections for a CD player and CD or Cassette audio recorder, and a subwoofer preamplifier output.

The TX-SR604 also has a set of 5.1 channel audio inputs to accommodate 5.1 channel DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray, or HD-DVD 5.1 channel analog audio connection options. In addition, the TX-SR604 can also access the audio portion of the HDMI connection.

Loudspeaker Connections

Speaker connections consist of dual banana-plug-compatible multi-way speaker binding posts for all main channels with color-coding for simplified wiring.

Zone 2 Operation

In addition to the ability to provide a 7.1 channel configuration for home theater setups, the TX-SR604 also includes a Zone 2 feature that allows users to operate the TX-SR604 as 5.1 channel receiver in the home theater room, and also send a another stereo audio source to a second room, using two of the 604's onboard amplifiers.

In addition, if you prefer to have both a 7.1 channel setup in the main room, and a stereo setup in a second room with the SR604, you can opt to use the provided Zone 2 preamp outputs to supply an audio signal to an optional 2-channel amplifier in a second room.

Video Inputs and Outputs

The TX-SR604 has 2 HDMI inputs and one output, 3 HD-compatible component video inputs and one output, 4 composite and S-video inputs, plus front panel AV inputs for connection of another source, such as a camcorder.

The TX-SR604 also has composite and S-video to Component video conversion. This allows simplified connection between the receiver's monitor output options and an HDTV.

VCR and DVD Recorder Connectivity

The TX-SR604 has two VCR audio/video connection in/out loops. If you have a VCR and DVD recorder, you can use one of the connection loops for the VCR and second for the DVD Recorder. This allows the video dubbing of non-copy-protected video content between the VCR and DVD Recorder.

Additional Features - Front Panel Display and LFE Features

The fluorescent front panel display of the TX-SR604 makes setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast.

Also featured is an crossover on the subwoofer pre-out channel. LFE (Low Frequency Effects) channel signals can be cutoff at 80, 100, 120, 150, or 200 Hz.

Additional Features - AM/FM /XM RadioTuner:

The receiver's AM/FM tuner section has 40 random presets, and FM automatic scan tuning.

In addition, the TX-SR604 has a built-in XM Satellite Radio Tuner and has the capability of decoding 5.1 channel broadcasts with its Neural Surround decoder. Subscription and optional antenna are required for receiving XM Satellite Radio Service.

Additional Features - iPOD Connectivity and Lip Synch Adjustment

With the optional iPOD dock, in conjunction with the TX-SR604, you can incorporate your iPOD listening right into your home theater system.

In addition, the incorporation of a Lip-Synch adjustment on the TX-SR604 allows the user to compensate for audio/video time discrepancies that may be encountered from various audio/video sources.

Additional Features - Audyssey 2EQ

The TX-SR604 features an automated speaker setup function called Audyssey 2EQ. The 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.

However, keep in mind that you may still have to make some minor adjustments manually after the automatic set up is completed in order to conform to you own listening tastes.

More Info

With the TX-SR604, Onkyo has added useful features to the traditional home theater receiver, such as HDMI video and audio Switching, XM Radio with Neural Surround Processing, and iPOD compatibility; all at a very reasonable price.

If you are planning to purchase a mid-range home theater receiver, with lots of flexibility, and good performance, then TX-SR604 may deserve your attention, especially if you own an HDTV, Blu-ray Disc, HD-DVD, or upscaling DVD player.

Official Product Page

NOTE: Since the posting of the above article, the Onkyo TX-SR604 has been discontinued after a successful 2006/2007 production run.

For current alternatives to the TX-SR604, check out my periodically updated listing of Home Theater Receivers priced at $399 or Less, $400 to $1,299, and $1,300 and Up

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