Onkyo TX-NR579 Network AV Receiver

We continue our way up the 2011 Onkyo AV Receiver range with a look at the new network enabled TX-NR579. Before we start though, let’s not get too excited – this model won’t be available in the UK, but it’s worth having a quick look through the specs anyway before we get to the big one – the 609. Sporting a new front end panel design, the 579 supports DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD audio through its 7.1 channels. It has 4 HDMI inputs, designed to provide high-definition connection across audio and video devices and two digital jacks and four analogue jacks to support your audio input. Powered to enable 4k up-scaling, it is designed to give a big screen video experience. This means the receiver can handle up conversion of S-video and composite for transmission via HDMI, to present the videos in a high resolution, precise display. A front USB port enables playback from different USB mass storage devices, and digital connection to iPods and iPhones. With this feature, you get to enjoy music from any of these devices in an amplified, home theatre-like experience. Connection to multiple speakers and/or an external amplifier can be done via any of the channels. The Onkyo TX-NR579 has networking capabilities and is DLNA compliant meaning it can connect to existing audio in the home so you can stream audio from your PC, and internet radio too. There is a built in Ethernet port at the back for this, or alternatively, users can opt for the wireless USB Adapter which provides a Wi-Fi connection. The USB Adapter is also a new 2011 release available to all Onkyo TX-NR579 receivers that have USB ports. It should be noted that this receiver does not stream video from PC. Users can use the overlaid display with GUI graphics to adjust settings and maintain control over the receiver’s operations. When playing digital content from USB devices or the iPod/iPhone, the display can guide you in selecting what to play or skip. The large control knob to the top left side of the receiver illuminates when it is dark, making it easy to increase or decrease the volume. The jump from the 509 to the 609 is a big one, and the 579 might have filled a nice gap between the two for those who don’t need the features of the 609, but want a little more than the 509 offers. Whether this model is a good purchase or not is pretty irrelevant as it won’t be available to us UK buyers. There is probably not quite enough on the 579 to make it a popular choice anyway, and apart from the 7.1, 1080p Video Upscaling and Dolby Pro Logic IIz processing, the Onkyo TX-NR509 should suit most, and if not the 609 most definitely will – and then some.