Onkyo TX-NR5100 8K Receiver, Hands-on: Why the players? should wait again to buy

Onkyo TX-NR5100 8K Receiver, Hands-on: Why the players? should wait again to buy

Players seek for 4K / 120Hz will find a lot from like in the TX-NR5100, some not

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

After a first rash of excitement over the next generation of 8K Receivers – OMG! 8 THOUSAND! The future it’s here! – the tumult quickly turned in a sense of confusion. The category is currently in a model of waiting and there is one principal reason because. At the end of 2020, when the first 8 THOUSAND compatible models He come on market, problems it occurred when users tried to connect Xbox Series X to its maximum capacity, which is 4K at 120Hz with VRR, which is like good how it comes until real 8K sources are coming.

Now that 8K TV I’m available, the new The Onkyo TX-NR5100 receiver offers the cutting-edge connectivity that gamers and early adopters have been clamoring for for – and after testing it I can confirm it passes the 4K / 120Hz signals that its competitors He can not. Unfortunately, few design problems keep it back.

Before entering in all of this, however, here’s a little background.

What is 4K 120Hz anyway?

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The Yamaha RX-V6A is one of the 8K concerned-compatible models

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

The new video for PC cards And game the console can produce 4K resolution at higher frame rate than before, up at 120 frames per second, which presumably leads to smoother gameplay. The Xbox Series X also supports a feature call Virtual Refresh Rate (VRR), where the refresh rate it can change dynamically in reduce tears and similar artifacts. (The PlayStation 5 want also in the end support VRR, but Sony hasn’t implemented it yet.)

Turn out that the current Cut out of 8K receivers by Denon, Yamaha and Marantz were produced using an incompatible chipset with 4K / 120Hz and VRR. When a user logs in to device using VRR a more higher than 4K / 60Hz, the receiver refuses to pass the signal. The screen is simply blank and the high-end gamers who bought the new recipients are understandably annoyed.

While the producers of affections models to have announced fixes, nobody of they are currently available – Yamaha motherboard replacement program is coming in the fall of 2021, while the Denon dongle won’t be available again until 2022. I have signed up for an adapter on the Denon website in Preparation for this article and the site responded with a message that says it will be six months up to new the adapters are ready. The original shipment has already been missing, a spokesman for by Denon parent Sound United confirmed to me.

Until the fix is in, so to speak, buy and Onkyo or Pioneer it will apparently evade this issue entirely. I have tested the TX-NR5100 and found who will pass the all-important 4K / 120Hz signals, but there are some good reasons why they wonnon finish up on my recommended receivers list.

Using the TX-NR5100

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The Onkyo TX-NR5100 is the first receiver a prove its compatibility with 4K / 120Hz video

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

It’s 2021 and 2019 Onkyo TX-NR696 it’s still mine favorite AVR, in as it offers almost everything you can need: music streaming, abundance of HDMI inputs, Dolby Atmos And of sure, great sound quality. I had hoped that, for the same $ 599, the TX-NR5100 could fill the shoes left from his venerable ancestor. In two respects it has: Yes, the new model He is able to pass 4K / 120Hz and yes it is sounds just how good as I remember being the NR696.

To get 4K / 120Hz out of the NR5100 first I needed to dig deeper into the receiver menus: Settings -> 1. Input Output Assign -> TV / OSD Output -> HDMI 4K / 8K Signal Format -> Standard 8K (the default Advanced 4K is not work).

With an Xbox Series X connected, I enjoyed it a lot playing the new Call of Duty: Special Operations – Cold War – one of the few games which offers 4K / 120Hz support. I’m usually a PC gamer and I use V-Sync to avoid tearing of the screen which is VRR also designed to prevent, e on this version of Call of I have to found there were no artifacts to speak of of. However, it doesn’t matter if I used 60Hz or 120Hz with the Xbox as I didn’t experience screen tear and smoothness of the gameplay between the two refresh rates was very similar. I had a similar one experience with the game Ori and the Will of the will-o’-the-wisps; I could see the resolution change in the menu, but it looked like it just how good in both modes.

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Ty Pendlebury / CNET

Although more games that offer will be released support for 4K / 120Hz and may offer more marked differences, they are not sure why most? people would really care. Just like 8K resolution offers diminishing returns, unless you are projecting to a building – 4K / 120Hz playback it does not seem like a huge one improvement in this phase.

On the other performance period, the TX-NR5100 sounds big and dynamic with the right material. i connected a pair of Q Acoustics 3050i speakers and an SVS SB1000 Pro subwoofer for gaming sessions as well as music listening and both were as fun and detailed as I could have hoped for for. Did I particularly like Onkyo? ability to stream at the same time music over Chromecast built-in while also indulge my son’s love for Minecraft on TV, using its separate video switching capability.

Where does it not measure up to the TX-NR5100?

The pandemic affected prices of A lot of products and this includes home Theater. The thing that really hurts the NR5100, at least for the first a few months is on sale, is that it is the same price like the excellent TX-NR696. Sure, the NR696 is older and doesn’t have 4K / 120Hz capability, but for That issue there is an easy one work- around (see below). The NR696 also offers more HDMI ports (six, with one front input) and suitable connection terminals for the speaker outputs.

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Spring clip on a $ 600 receiver?

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

On the other hand the TX-NR5100 has a limited number of HDMI Ports: Four HDMI 2.1 ports (plus two outputs) and includes spring clip speaker connections only for all except the front stereo pair. Though four HDMI ports are a nuisance, mostly for players with A lot of devices, is questlast point which is worse for passionate. If you are looking to upgrade an existing AVR, you will need to ensure you only have bare wires to connect to the spring clips ea small fit to that. i tried to buy a set of 2mm banana-spring adapters on Amazon, but even then they weren’t doing well. I managed to do three of the clips out when you try to connect them without an easy way to reinstall them.

In terms of power specifications the TX-NR5100 delivers over the power ratings from NR595 to 80 watts per channel in stereo. Likewise, also shares That models Apple’s extensive streaming capabilities AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi, Control of Sonos devices and the aforementioned Chromecast.


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The solution: just plug in the HDMI directly to your TV

Since VRR and 4K / 120Hz are only supported by the latest TVs, the inability to display this mode is not a issue for more people anyway. However, if you do want to connect an Xbox Series X to yours sound system — any sound system to all – just plug in the console On TV first (preferably to an HDMI 2.1 port if you are lucky enough to have one) and then use HDMI ARC / eARC to the receiver.

Regardless of if you have a 2012 or 2021 receiver this will still be work, and even if it may not be give you the latest Dolby Atmos sound (employee on the age of the receiver), it will provide video at 120Hz-supporting TV. Check by Geoff Morrison list here for compatible 4K televisions.

IS worth buying the 5100 purely for 4K 120Hz?

Onkyo’s reasons for the simultaneous price increases and decreases in specifications on the TX-NR5100s are understandable: a combined worldwide semiconductor shortage with the move to a newer, more expensive HDMI standard. However, it becomes difficult to justify when it is the same price like the superior TX-NR696.

The TX-NR5100 has its positives: excellent sound quality is one, along with its full streaming suite. If you really must have 4K 120Hz, then go for it – the Onkyo TX-NR5100 offers compatibility that no other model can offer. But know that it is a model unsuitable for the enthusiast he is trying to satisfy for.

Until I get there test the TX-NR6100 or TX-NR7100, is worth adopting a wait-and-see attitude with next-gen receivers.

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