Onkyo Adds HDMI 2.0 and “4K” Video to Multichannel Receivers – Two new networked AV receivers are their first to support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. Their UHD video support is at a 60Hz frame rate and are the first to support the 21:9 widescreen format. The two are the TX-NR535 5.1-channel at $499 and the TX-NR636 7.2-channel at $699. They both have built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11. double0DSD playback and gapless playback of downloaded music, a new room-correction technology, and a compressed-music optimizer for stereo Bluetooth are other additions. The 636 model adds a mag. phono input, and has six rear HDMI inputs. Both models also have DLNA 1.5 networking, 192/24 FLAC and WAV playback and 96/24 ALAC playback. Built-in Internet streaming services are Pandora, Spotify, Aupeo, TuneIn Radio, Slacker and SiriusXM. A firmware upgrade later this year will support Spotify Connect, allowing subscribers to stream Spotify via Wi-Fi directly from the Spotify app. Both models also feature USB input supporting most lossless-audio formats on flash-memory devices.
Increased Consumer Confidence – A new study carried out the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) showed consumer confidence toward technology spending reached its highest level in March in seven years. The Index of Consumer Expectations, which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, increased 2.5 points from last month to reach 170.2 in March. A spokes said there was a negative drag from severe weather events in the first quarter, consumers are now feeling more optimistic.
D-Link Has Wi-Fi Extender – The DAP-1520 ($70) is a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi range extender that delivers wireless speeds of up to 750Mbps. It is intended for heard-to-reach areas in the home, including basements, upstairs bedrooms and outdoor areas. It works with almost any existing router, takes advantage of the latest in wireless technology, and is ideal for HD video streaming and online gaming. One only has to plug it into a wall socket within range of a wireless signal and it expands the wireless network to the furthest corners of the home. It has support for WPA or WPA2 security.
Sharp Universal Player Transmits Hi-Res Audio and HD Video Wirelessly – The SD-WH1000U handles Blu-ray, DVD and SACD and comes with 3 HDMI inputs and 2 USB ports. It uses WiSA technology to deliver uncompressed audio and HD video wirelessly. It can transmit 96/24 7.1 audio to up to 8 WiSA-compliant speakers, and it can transmit hi-res audio to speakers with WiSA tech using Sharp’s separate Wireless Bridge ($999). It can play full 1080p HD video wirelessly thru its WiHD output. It will be available in June for $4999.