Onkyo has just released a couple of new high-end THX Ultra2 receivers upon us all, in their TX-NR906 and TX-SR876 units. Both units feature 7.1-channel surround processing, four HDMI inputs, new THX Loudness Plus processing, XM HD, and the fantastic HQV Reon-VX upscaling processor. These bad boys will upconvert just about anything you throw at it to 1080p. In terms of audio, your got both units conservatively rated - the TX-SR876 is at 140 watts per channel, while the TX-NR906 hits you with 145 watts per channel. The TX-NR906 specifically is also Windows Vista certified, and supports digital audio devices (like the Zune) by way of its front USB port. You can also stream a bunch of audio formats on your local network to it, as well as streaming Internet radio, including SIRIUS iRadio.
Both models are available now. Suggested retail comes out to $1,799 for the TX-SR876, and $2,299 for the TX-NR906, but we are sure you can find them for a lot less if you do a little shopping around. Be sure to also hit up our Onkyo TX-SR906 image gallery.
Many gamers with HDTV sets that only support the 1080i resolution have been disappointed with the way that the Playstation 3 handles upscaling issues. If a game does not natively support 1080i, the console will output a 480p signal, rather than scaling the 720p output. The officially “unofficial” Three Speech blog was able to talk with Sony about the issue, and find out the company’s viewpoint. Sony’s stance is that 720p is actually a higher resolution than 1080i; they believe that the output that one gets from a 720p signal is better than a 1080i signal. Sony claims that the lack of scaling should not impact that many users, and their ranking of signal quality is as follows:
576p (480p for the US)
576i (480i for the US)
Current limitations on the Playstation 3 prevent resolution scaling from happening, but Sony again insists that this issue could potentially be fixed with a firmware update.
Read More | Three Speech
When Xploder’s HDTV Player for the Playstation 2 was announced, it was greeted with a bit of skepticism. The HDTV Player promised to offer PS2 owners the ability to upscale their 480i games to HDTV resolutions, including 480p, 576p, 720p, and 1080i. IGN reviewed Xploder’s software to find out if it really works. The results were definitely mixed: 480p mode seemed to work the best, giving HDTV owners the option for progressive scan video output in games that normally don’t support it. Other modes like 720p and 1080i were judged unacceptable by IGN, and they were unable to test the 576p mode, which Xploder claimed to be the best mode for the player. If gamers have displays that support 576p, or are desperate to get 480p, then the software may fit those needs. However, according to the review, it appears that higher resolution display modes just do not seem to work well enough for recommendation.
Read More | IGN