HDMI has changed everything for receivers in a copy-protection-driven, Blu-ray-centric market. A few years ago, you were lucky to get a receiver that had component inputs for HD sources. Today, consumers are upset if the AV receiver won't somehow calculate your taxes (of course, avoiding AMT). With the Onkyo TX-SR805 reviewed here and priced around $1,000, you get one of the nicer-sounding, most feature-packed receivers on the market today. Armed with HDMI v.1.3, with three HDMI inputs and a single monitor out, the Onkyo 805 will produce beautiful images, with the help of its internal Faroudja video processing, from some of your older components, as well as be able to showcase newer sources in stunning HD with all of its glory. The 805 can play all of the latest uncompressed music formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. The receiver is a true 7.1 surround sound receiver with built-in Audyssey room correction that is not only automated, but almost always necessary. Seriously, the 805 can almost do it all and it looks stunning for a receiver, being minimal yet supremely functional. The set-up and operational menus are among the best in the industry and the remote is a personal favorite of mine, giving up a little aesthetic flare for pure functionality.
• The Onkyo 805 is arguably one of the best-sounding receivers in its price class, possessing a full-bodied, non-etched sound with incredible bass definition and impact.
• The Onkyo 805 has 130 watts on tap across all seven of its channels and, based on my listening test, I would say those numbers are conservative, or at least accurate. The internal amps are very good.
• Video quality is topnotch and the Faroudja processing and up-conversion actually improves the look of legacy video sources, although it is important to note that the video processor is no miracle worker. Even the best standalone units like the DVDO VP50pro can only do so much for lousy-looking video.
• The 805's daily livability is as simple as it gets and boasts a very user-friendly interface, compared to other similarly-priced receivers.
• The 805 boasts probably more connection options then the average consumer will need. However, even in the face of so many choices, the rear panel of the 805 is cleanly and clearly laid out, with plenty of room for even the bulkiest of cables.
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For close to $1,000, the Onkyo 805 is one of my favorite receivers available today. Sure, it doesn't up-convert everything to 1080p, but that's about all it lacks in terms of features when stacking it up against the competition. However, that little "cheat" so many enthusiasts like to spew out at you will cost you more and, if you already have the HD sources like a Blu-ray, HD DVD or DVR player, then save your money and rest assured that the Onkyo 805 is probably all the receiver you're going to need for a long time.