3-9 January 2014 #688

No middling affair

Yantrick

As the nerve centre of any home theatre system, an audio-video receiver is supposed to be an immaculate multitasking device. It must decode surround sound formats, coordinate your loudspeakers, and switch between audio and video components seamlessly. Which means that simply buying a Blu-ray disc and tossing it into the tray won’t guarantee you an enriched cinematic experience.

With this in mind the folks at Onkyo USA have come up with a gem. The new [TX-NR727](- http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/onkyo-tx-nr727/4505-6466_7-35636574.html) doesn’t betray the company’s reputation as a manufacturer of solid audio-video equipment. Quite the contrary. Capable of delivering surround sound at 110 watts on the 7.2 channel, the TX-NR727 is worthy of being the centrepiece of your TV room. But what impressed Yantrick the most is that it has all the hallmarks of a trustable equipment. Classic look, check. Firm, weighty feel, check. Customisable features, check. Brilliant sound, check.

And it is not all form over function. With THX Select2 Plus certification an equally fancy-sounding Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz audio processing capabilities under its hood, you are sure to get the most accurate performance from your movie and game soundtracks.

The rear end of this console comes with above par connectivity options. Eight HDMI inputs allow for multiple devices like DVD/Blu-ray players, games consoles - you name it. Two analogue to HDMI video conversion out-ports provide up to 4K HD outputs. Add to this its Marvell Qdeo video processor that also supports 3D and you are spoilt for choice.

Music lovers have an equally grand plaything. The TX has built-in wireless and Bluetooth for hassle-free connection to your smartphone, tablet, or PC. A remote control app for Apple, Android, and Kindle devices gives further options to enhance your sonic adventures.

The bane of home theatre systems has always been the difficulty one faces in setting up and calibrating them. But with an in-built microphone, the TX does this by itself. However, its interface can seem puzzling to a first-time user. But once you get more familiar with the device, you will find that all the bells and whistles have a purpose. This A/V middle-man is a friend, not a foe.

Yantrick’s verdict: retailing for approximately Rs 70,000 excluding the speakers, the Onkyo TX-NR727 is not cheap. But once you recline on your sofa and close your eyes to the entire sonic spectrum, you will hear exactly what you paid for.

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