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Onkyo Ht-s7700 Best Buy

PerformanceI started off with some casual TV viewing. I made sure to set my U-Verse box to Surround mode, where it outputs a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to the receiver. Queuing up the pilot episode of The CW's new series The Flash on my DVR, the first thing I noticed was not the sound, but the video. While Dolby Atmos is the feature making the headlines for this Onkyo unit, another feature--Marvell's QDEO technology--should be getting top billing, as well. The Marvell QDEO processor is the engine responsible for all the scaling and other video processing in many of the best receivers, preamps, and universal disc players out there, including those from Cambridge Audio, Pioneer Elite, and the Oppo BDP-105 that I use as my reference media player. Onkyo has put that chip into the TX-NR636 receiver and into this home theater system. The image was crystal clear, with no jagged edges, artifacts, or other blemishes. The motion was superb and also very natural, making all the special effects when Barry Allen (The Flash) zips around at super-human speed appear as realistic as possible. The picture quality was every bit as clean as it is through my Oppo--they are, after all, based on very similar technology.

onkyo ht-s7700 best buy

For the minimum configuration 5.1.2 as required by Dolby Atmos, this Onkyo system's performance more than met expectations, but it didn't quite get the full cinema Atmos experience. I suspect a 5.1.4 or, even better, a longer room utilizing a 7.1.4 channel set would be in a much better position to deliver an experience quite close to that. Given what I heard, I still think that ceiling-mounted speakers will be the best option but upward-firing drivers can provide a robust enough experience to be meaningfully close to the cinema adaptation of Atmos...but you do need to get as many channels as you can have.

With all that being said, let's gauge the HT-S7700 on its own merits. The Onkyo is an incredible value. The receiver is loaded with features. Video performance was stellar, bested only by top-dollar outboard video processors. Sonically, you have a capable receiver combined with a reasonably high-quality speaker package and better-than-expected bass performance from a decent sub. Putting together a 5.1-channel system of equal performance separately would probably cost at least $1,200. Consider the Onkyo HT-S7700 an astounding deal and the Dolby Atmos capability a free bonus on top.

Though they've plummeted in price, the biggest and best flat-screen TVs can still empty a piggy bank. And I think many of us don't evaluate the complete package when we're shopping for a home entertainment system. If the budget is $1,500, chances are, most or all of it will be spent on the screen, with little left over for other components. Since TVs come with built-in speakers, we choose to "get by" with our fabulously improved picture and leave the sound for another day.

Size, design, and sound quality all play a role in choosing speakers. There are plenty of sleek, petite options that won't crimp your aesthetics, along with built-in speakers that can be virtually hidden from view. But these options may sacrifice sonic quality. Most of the best sounding speakers will require a chunk of real estate and possibly some style compromises. Take time to find an option that marries all of your needs into one product. Also note that, like HTIB, home theater speaker packages are available, and bundling can shave costs. 041b061a72


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