Onkyo is to become the first retailer to offer 3D-ready home cinema receivers and systems.
The UK branch of the company confirmed yesterday that it will support HDMI 4.1a (3D) for its recently announced home cinema products including the TX-SR308, TX-SR508 and TX-SR608 home cinema receivers.
The Onkyo TX-SR308 audio-video receiver, which costs £250, is the entry-level model in the range. A 5.1 audio device, it supports both Dolby and DTS high-definition lossless audio codecs, has three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. Its amplifier can produce up to 100 watts of sound, while D-A conversion is up to 192kHz (24bit audio). A DAB radio tuner can be added as an optional extra.
Higher in the range is the Onkyo TX-SSD608 model which, at £499, has six HDMI ports, analogue RGB video inputs so it can be hooked up to a PC and an upscaling feature that improves the resolution and look of any video source, even if it's not 1080i or 720p encoded.
The HDMI 4.1a (3D) specification has recently become a mandatory format for 3D broadcasting, as laid down by HDMI LLC, which is the agent responsible for the HDMI specification. The additional formats that must be supported are Side-By-Side (Half): 1080i at 50Hz or 59.94Hz/60Hz and Top-and-Bottom: 720p at 50Hz or 59.94Hz/60Hz, 1080p at 23.97Hz/24Hz. These additions were announced at the start of March and Onkyo is the first company worldwide to announce it is already able to comply with them.
HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) ports are found on an increasing number of TVs, monitors, laptops, Blu-ray and DVD players; games consoles, 3D TVs, network media players, camcorders and digital cameras.
So far, we only know of one company, Panasonic, that has announced it is to launch a 3D camcorder. However, industry commentators believe this year set to be the year 3D entertainment makes inroads into the home, so it makes sense for companies such as Onkyo to start offering receivers to help consumers make the most of the films and TV programmes that are now being offered in 3D.
The Onkyo TX-SR308 3D home cinema receiver supports 3D HD video playback
Home cinema fans will find the Onkyo TX-SR608 3D AV receiver has six HDMI ports, all of which support the HDMI 1.4a (3D) standard
See also: Sky 3D kicks off on 3 April
See also: home entertainment buying advice