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Onkyo Audio BD-SP809 THX Blu-ray Player Preview

Onkyo Audio BD-SP809 Blu-ray player

Onkyo Audio BD-SP809 Blu-ray player


  • Product Name: BD-SP809 Blu-ray player
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: July 14, 2011 05:05
  • MSRP: $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • THX Certified
  • 1080p Upscaling of Standard Video Sources (1080i, 720p, and 480i/p) with Qdeo Technology by Marvell
  • Supports Blu-ray 3D Playback (When Connected to a 3D-Compatible TV)
  • Video On Demand Capability (Netflix 3.0, Film Fresh, Blockbuster, VUDU)
  • Playback of Blu-ray Discs with Full High-Definition 1080p Video Resolution
  • Delivers a Pure Data Bitstream from Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Codecs
  • Supports Deep Color for Over One Billion Colors
  • 297 MHz/12-Bit NSV DAC
  • Bonus View for Picture-in-Picture Video and Audio
  • User-Friendly Onscreen Display (OSD) for Settings and Playback
  • Dimensions: 17 1/8" x 4 1/8" x 12 5/16"
  • Weight: 10.4lbs

Executive Overview

Now that the Oppo players have been out for a while, manufacturers have had a while to figure out how to differentiate themselves from them without trying to undercut their price with a similar feature set (something that seems to be impossible to do). The key, it seems, is to offer a player with features that were not available when the Oppo players were released to entice consumers to their players.

Onkyo has been known for their full-featured receivers for quite some time. Their newest Blu-ray player, the BD-SP809, looks to continue that trend. First and foremost, Onkyo got the BD-SP809 THX certified. This is sure to attract the attention of quite a few consumers. According to the THX website:

The THX test bench evaluates color and black levels and video processing to make sure Blu-ray players accurately reproduce the highest resolutions without introducing distracting artifacts, jaggies and video noise. And, THX certification ensures every audio format and technology is tested to make sure your surround sound experience can be reproduced with the fidelity of the original studio mix.

These days, you can't release a device that doesn't have a 3D sticker on it somewhere. The Onkyo BS-SP809 will playback all the latest 3D encoded Blu-ray discs as well as CD and DVDs. It is compatible with DivX HD, MP3, and WMA. It isn't, however, compatible with DVD-A or SACD. Honestly, that's becoming less and less of an issue these days.


The Onkyo BD-SP809 has dual (2) HDMI outputs, a component and composite video out, and one each coaxial and optical digital audio outputs. There is, of course, an Ethernet input for networking features, RS-232 for control, and an IR in and out. The BD-SP809 has a rear-mounted USB port for integrating a mass storage device. Lastly, there is a stereo pair of analogue outputs.

Networking is another of those "must-have" features these days and the BD-SP809 is no slouch. It can stream content from your DLNA 1.5 certified media servers. It is also out-of-the-box ready to stream Netflix 3.0, Blockbuster, Film Fresh, and VUDU. Lastly, it can upconvert all your content to 1080p with its Marvell Qdeo chipset. It also provides deinterlacing and noise-reduction.

Onkyo is touting their high-precision clock inside the BD-SP809 as well as a physical design that incorporates separate blocks for video/audio circuitry and a vibration-reducing top cover. They also have a 297 MHz/12-Bit NSV DAC.


There a few things to consider before choosing the Onkyo BD-809 Blu-ray Player. If you are interested in all the latest streaming, top notch video upconversion and DACs, and dual HDMI outputs, this THX certified Blu-ray player might be for you. But if you have a lot of (or any) SACDs or DVD-As, want full 7.1 analogue outputs, and don't mind missing out on Film Fresh streaming, you can save $100 and go with the Oppo. Either way, the Onkyo BD-809 looks to be a very solid offering.

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

tn001d posts on July 15, 2011 01:46
Is this any better or cheaper than the oppo ?
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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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