The DTR 8.8 is the perfect receiver for someone who wants to upgrade their entry-level receiver to provide more features and functionality, while offering superb performance and remaining easy to use. Setup is easy, because the $2,400 Integra DTR 8.8 has Audyssey MultEQ XT room acoustics correction that measures your room, provides feedback to the receiver, then adjusts audio accordingly for optimal performance. The remote has a joystick for easy navigation and is very well laid out and intuitive. The unit has more than enough high-def inputs to keep users with a lot of components connected, including four HDMI 1.3 inputs and three component video inputs. Plus, the receiver can decode all the latest high-resolution surround sound formats found on Blu-ray discs, including Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Advanced features include things like integration with AMX and Crestron control systems, bi-directional RS-232, three programmable 12-volt triggers, dual IR inputs, and three unique assignable IR code sets, and multi-zone capabilities--such as second-zone composite and component video outputs and the ability to reconfigure Zone 1 surrounds for stereo audio in the second zone (while still maintaining 5.1 zones of audio in the first zone).
Audio from various sources is good across the board. Dialogue from Blu-ray movies, for example is intelligible and natural, while surround sound effects through the side and rear channels is believable and crystal clear--everything from a plane flying overhead to the delicate sound of rainfall are reproduced with finesse. Music fares equally well--even highly compressed digital audio tracks, which were energetic and relatively detailed through the DTR 8.8. The receiver makes several accommodations for connecting your digital music tracks, including a USB thumb drive on the front panel and the ability to network digital music or listen to Internet radio. It also has a built-in HD Radio tuner and is XM- and Sirius-ready and is Microsoft PlaysForSure certified.
When it came to watching movies or TV through the DTR 8.8, the receiver wasn't fazed in the slightest. The Silicon Optix HQV Reon-VX video processor makes legacy DVDs look their best, while Blu-ray and HD broadcasts were pristine, with nature images looking like you could reach out and touch them.
• The Integra DTR-8.8 is high-end receiver at a fair price ($2,400). The amount of features and connections combine with its sheer performance to make this an enticing receiver for those looking to take their home theater to the next level.
• The upscaling capabilities of the HQV Reon-VX video processor are outstanding, ideal for watching older sources, such as legacy DVDs.
• While the receiver offers more functionality than an entry-level model, it is still simple to use. The excellent Audyssey auto setup feature is included here, which makes optimizing the receiver for your room a breeze.
• HDMI 1.3 inputs allow for all the latest surround sound formats, including DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, meaning you can take advantage of these high-resolution soundtracks from your favorite Blu-ray movies for truly dynamic multi-channel surround sound.
• There are plenty of option for enjoying digital music through the Integra DTR-8.8, including a USB drive, Internet radio, and an Ethernet port on back for networking.
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• The included remote is a little dated-looking, though it is easy to operate.
Turning off the room correction is complicated thus making a quick A-B
demo of the feature tough to perform. Trust me, you will want to use it
and leave it on but if you need to prove it to yourself - it can be hard
to switch on and off.
The price is right
for this high-end receiver, which offers a lot of great features, plenty
of connections for your HD and non-HD sources, and outstanding
performance on both audio and video. Ease of use is also a key factor
when setting up the receiver and optimizing it for your room. There is
not much to complain about here. Those looking to upgrade their
entry-level receiver can't go wrong with the DTR-8.8.