+1 looking to pull the trigger on this receiver sometime this weekend.
11-28-09, 05:59 AM
A friend of mine and I both pulled the trigger on the HT-RC160 less than 3 weeks ago. Newegg had been running a deal where you got the iPod dock for free with the receiver, though we had to pay $350.
I have to say that this is one of the best home theater decisions I have ever made. I had 6 year old Pioneer receiver that only did composite video and only had 1 coax and 1 optical digital audio hookup. It sounded good, but the Onkyo blows it away in every way.
Having 5 HDMI hookups is really sweet, especially after buying a PS3 in October. I have a DVR, HD DVD player, PS3, and my PC hooked up to it, and still have another HDMI to spare.
But it really does come down to sound with there things, and that is where the Onkyo really shines. Everything from my MP3s on my PC, to games on the PS3 to movies sound so much better now. And that's not even taking about the HD audio. I watched Shoot 'Em Up, which has a 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio track, and was blown away by just how great the track sounded. I don't want to say it was a new experience over a standard DVD track, but it's pretty damn good.
There are some negatives for this receiver. There are no S-Video connections, which isn't that big of a deal at this point, but should be mentioned. It also lacks 5.1 Analog inputs, so if you happened to have an SACD/DVD-A player that requires analog to get the full quality, you're out of luck. But these complaints aren't limited to Onkyo as it seems that all the mid range receivers are dropping S-Video and 5.1 inputs.
Those minor quibbles aside, I couldn't be more satisfied with my 160, and my friend feels the same way about his. Obviously if you have a receiver that is meeting your needs already, I'm sure you could find other uses for your money. But I don't think you'd feel that your money was wasted here. for what the 160 can do, $330 is a great price.
11-28-09, 06:11 AM
I think the lossless audio is noticeable, but it is a matter of degree. It also depends greatly on the specific blu ray disc you are playing. Some have amazing sounds, others not so much. You may or may not notice it, and if you do you may shrug your shoulders and think "is that all there is?", or you may simply smile and say "wow!". Over on the AVS Forum there is a thread in the blu ray section that rates audio quality. The discs in the reference tear will likely impress you in True HD or DTS-HS Master Audio. Others not rated so highly may not. All of this is to say it is a matter of degree and there are so many variable including source, your speakers, the acoustics of your room, and your own preferences that go into how much of a difference you will experience. For me, I am really glad I spent the money on an HDMI equipped receiver (an Onkyo 606 almost exactly a year ago) both so I could get the lossless sound and also to use as a switcher. If you expect to be blown away every time and suddenly hear new and great things, you will likely be disappointed. If on the other hand you understand it is almost always an incremental change and that some discs sound incredible and others not so much, you will likely be satisfied.