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Onkyo HT-RC270 7.2 Channel Network Receiver Preview

Onkyo HT-RC270 Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo HT-RC270 Home Theater Receiver


  • Product Name: HT-RC270
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo USA
  • Review Date: August 19, 2010 06:10
  • MSRP: $849
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!


     # Channels    7.2
     Power (8ohms 20-20kHz 0.08%) /Ch    100W
     Power (8ohms 20-20kHz 0.05%) /Ch    -
     THX Certified    (Select2 Plus)
     Continuous 6ohms Rated   
     Certified 4ohms performance   
     All Discrete Circuitry   
     3-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry   
     PUSH-PULL Design   
     Independent Block Construction (Amp/Preprocessor)    -
     Toroidal Transformer    -
     Independent Power Supply    -
     Bi-amp Capability For Front   
     BTL Capability For Front    -


     DOLBY Decoder    True HD, DD Plus, PLIIz
     DTS Decoder    DTS-HD Master Audio
     Dolby PLIIz   
     ONKYO GAME Surround Modes   
     DTS Surround Sensation Speaker / Headphone    - / -
     Neural Surround    -
     THX Processing Mode   
     Audyssey DSX   
     Audyssey Dynamic EQ   
     Audyssey Dynamic Volume   
     Direct/Pure Mode    / -
     Music Optimizer   
     192K/24 Bit DACs    (Burr-Brown)
     VLSC    -
     isf Certified Calibration Control    -


     Audio I/O    7 / 1
     Phono Input   
     Digital Audio IN (OPT/COAX)    2 / 3
     Digital Audio OUT (OPT/COAX)    -
     Composite I/O    5 / 1
     S-Video I/O    4 / 2
     Component Video I/O    2 / 1
     Front-Panel A/V    L / R / V
     Front-Panel Optical    -
     Front-Panel Portable input (stereo mini jack)   
     HDMI I/O    6 (5+1)/ 1
     HDMI Version    V1.4a (supports 3D video and Audio Return Channel)
     Component Video Upconversion    -
     Analog To HDMI UpConversion   
     1080i Upscaling    -
     1080p Upscaling    (DCDi Cinema)
     Multi-Channel Input    7.1 channel
     Analog Pre-Outs    7.2 channel
     Speaker A/+B    -
     Powered Zone2   
     Zone 2 Line Out   
     Zone 2 Video Out    -
     Zone 3 Line Out    -
     iPod Ready    (optional UP-A1)
     HD Radio Ready    (optional UP-HT1)
     XM Radio Ready    -
     SIRIUS Radio Ready    -
     Internet Radio Capable   
     Streaming Audio From PC   
     Streaming Audio From USB memory   
     PC Input (15 pin D-sub)   

Integration Access

     RS-232    -
     IR Input   
     ONKYO-RI System Control   
     12V Trigger    -


     Pre-Pro/Learning Remote    / -
     Back-Lit Remote    -
     On Screen Remote Programming    -
     Bi-directional Remote Setup via GUI    -
     Activity Based Remote    -
     Color-Coded Speaker Terminals   
     Auto Speaker Calibration W/Mic.    (Audyssey MultEQ)
     OSD Out    (advanced "Home" GUI via HDMI only)
     Solid Aluminum Front   
     Warranty    2 YEARS

We are in a very exciting time for AV. If you like new features without a lot of new cost, you love recessions. Frankly, where a few years ago you'd see new features in the top of the line models that would, after a few years, trickle down to the more budget-conscience models, now we're seeing manufacturers trip all over themselves trying to get you to buy ANY model. Add to that the vast number of different features that can be added... well, it really is a buyer's market. The question is, what are you into? What do you want out of your receiver? Do you want high end video processing? Do you want the best, most robust amp section? Are you looking for streaming, networking, or 3D? It's all out there. At this point, it is imperative that consumers take a hard look at what is available at their price range because, chances are, the offerings from different manufacturers will have widely different feature sets.

Onkyo's new HT-RC270 is betting on networkablility. If you are a fan of streaming from the Internet or from a networked computer, you're going to find the HT-RC270 very attractive. With the DLNA 1.5, the RC270 is out-of-the-box ready to connect to your Windows 7 PC for content streaming. Our experiences with DLNA have been very positive. Once the device is plugged into the network and turned on, it shows up on the PC quickly and without a hassle. But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves here.


The front of the HT-RC270 is a bit busy with the standard LED display plus a slew of individual buttons for selecting different inputs, DSPs, zone control, pure audio, and power. There are controls for accessing and navigating the setup menus, a volume knob, and dimmer. There is an HDMI, a USB, and standard composite video/stereo audio inputs as well as a headphone and setup mic jack. The USB port will allow users to stream audio as well as connect an iPod or iPhone. In a world where a clean, streamlined look often turns heads, the HT-RC270 definitely went the route of functionality. 

The back of the HT-RC270, in comparison, looks fairly clean. While there are still more composite video inputs than anyone should be legally allowed to need in this day and age, there are two component and five (in addition to the one on the front) HDMI inputs all assignable. There are two optical and three coaxial digital audio inputs, a PC input, and a proprietary "Universal" port for adding one of Onkyo's various peripherals. For those with legacy gear (like those of us with HD DVD players still in our systems because we don't want to re-buy Batman Begins on Blu-ray), Onkyo has included 7.1 channel analogue inputs as well as 7.2 outputs. We've always been a fan of the dual subwoofer outputs and Onkyo was one of the first to include them. There are enough 5-way binding posts for 11 speakers.

That's right - 11.

While the HT-RC270 only has seven internal amps (100 watts per channel), you can connect speakers for a supported Zone 2 or height or width channels for Audyssey DSX. We love this as it allows you to connect all the speakers you may want to use at the same time while supporting different configurations directly from the System menu. Have a big party going? Set the receiver for Zone 2. Want the ultimate movie experience? Eschew Zone 2 for 7.2 or 5.2 with height or width channels. All without having to switch out speaker wires.

Of course, you'd expect support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio codecs but the HDMI 1.4a inputs mean that you won't have to worry about the receiver passing all the latest 3D formats - it will. Onkyo has also included support for the ARC (Audio Return Channel) which means if your brand new display can do something your receiver can't, you won't need an extra cable to get access to the audio. As mentioned, Audyssey DSX is on board as is Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Auto-calibration is handled by Audyssey's MultEQ which includes Audyssey's Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. THX Select2 certification has been obtained for the HT-RC270 so you'll have access to the THX DSP modes as well. Through the included Ethernet port you'll have access not only to PCs on your network, but a slew of online services. Expect, out of the box, to find support for Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, Mediafly, Slacker, vTuner, and Sirius Internet Radio. 

Onkyo isn't stopping with network features. They have included in the HT-RC270 their proprietary WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) amplifiers with new three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry for high dynamics and low distortion. Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs are provided for all channels. Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing has been included to upscale video to full 1080p output (via HDMI) regardless of the source resolution. Analogue to HDMI upconversion is available to make all your VHS tapes and Wii games look slightly less crappy. The OSD (onscreen display) is available only over HDMI but... well, it's available over HDMI which is good. For those without an HDMI capable display, there's a bunch of buttons on the front. Have fun.


Is the Onkyo HT-RC270 the perfect receiver? Not for everyone we're sure. It does have a slew of features, but if you aren't interested in adding more speakers to your system or accessing content on the Internet or your PC (and why not? that stuff is cool), it may not be the one for you. At $849 it certainly isn't an impulse buy. What it is, however, is a great value for the amount of features you get. Onkyo has impressed us in the past in how many features you get for your dollar and the HT-RC270 is no different. While there are a few things we find to be interesting (what exactly do we need a "Role-Playing" DSP for?), we love most everything they've shoehorned into the HT-RC270. If you are looking for a receiver, the Onkyo HT-RC270 should be on your radar. 

For more information, please contact www.us.onkyo.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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