(June 1, 2021) 11 Trading Company (11TC) recently showcased Integra's new trio of AV receivers to partners in the custom install and integrator space, revealing new details and advanced tools rarely seen in the sub-$3,000 category. Before we dive into Integra specifics, here's a quick update on 2021's class of Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, and Elite AV receivers:
- 11TC product managers have final working prototypes in-house and have paced them through extensive testing. These managers say brand engineers have remained receptive and accommodating to technology and performance requests, leading to quite a few exciting tech inclusions.
- As first reported here, pricing remains undetermined as costs associated with raw materials, electronics, and shipping continue to fluctuate. It appears to have held relatively stable, with minor increases applied to select models. Still, we won't know the final numbers until shipping begins. 11TC says seven of the brands' ten models are slated to ship during July, with Integra's DRX 2.4, Onkyo's TX-NR6100, and Elite's VSX-LX105 arriving in the October/November timeframe.
- 11 Trading Company says that Dirac Bass Control is still a possibility. Rest assured, product managers have heard the enthusiast community's desire for its inclusion.
On the performance front, 11TC says the entire Integra line carries the latest chips from NXP. Thanks to a high-bandwidth networking protocol, these chips "stay awake" on a network and can be immediately recognized by third-party controls. Also, as previously disclosed, the receivers' HDMI 2.1 cards meet the specification's maximum requirement for hardware data transfer rates (40Gbps), allowing for single-source 8K media to be shared with two different displays, or multi-source 8K and 4K media to be shown in two different zones. Aside from HDMI 2.1's advantages for modern console gaming platforms, 11TC's product managers highlight 2.1's Quick Media Switching (QMS) feature, which eliminates frustrating "black screens" experienced during source switching with earlier versions of HDMI.
As for integration, Onkyo and 11TC have developed a new remote web browser-based set-up process for select 2019 and 2021 Integra, Elite, Onkyo, and Pioneer AV receivers. This allows installers to perform initial set-up and full customization without being in the same room as a receiver (thus, eliminating the use of a physical remote control). 11TC says this web-based tool is easy to initiate and can be performed by a single person with a computer, allowing for navigation of Initial Set-up windows, assigning inputs and outputs, defining speaker configurations, running acoustic calibration software, and much more.
Of course, web-based controls also give installers off-site access to monitoring and diagnostic tools, making remote troubleshooting and problem solving a reality.
For complete details, read 11TC's official press document (below).
Audio performance is enhanced by Dirac Live Room Calibration (which can be performed wirelessly, using a provided wired microphone and app, or with a PC and an approved USB microphone) and the inclusion of AccuEQ. New for this year is a Klipsch Reference Speaker Mode (KRSM) within AccuEQ. KRSM gives installers of 2019's Onkyo TX-NR696 and 2021's Onkyo TX-RZ50, TX-NR7100, TX-NR6100, TX-NR6050*, TX-NR5100, and Integra's DRX-5.4, DRX-3.4, and DRX-2.4 access to preferred – pre-programmed – crossover settings suggested by Klipsch Engineers for the brand's entire line of Reference speakers. This feature will become available via a firmware update later this summer.
Lastly, a feature that caught my eye is the inclusion of AptX HD Bluetooth for connection to compatible wireless headphones, which allows a receiver to stream audio content to headphones when speakers are in use or when discrete audio is needed. This not only provides owners with the ability to eliminate the use of speakers, but also allows viewers with hearing deficits to enjoy elevated volume levels while others enjoy normal volume levels.
AV NIRVANA will continue to update shipping timelines and pricing as more information becomes available.
* Onkyo's TX-NR6050 is a Costco derivative model of the 6100, which lack the THX certification of the 6100, and drops from 100W per channel to 90W per channel.
06.01.21 - New Web Setup for Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite AVRs
Onkyo Home Entertainment and 11 Trading Company have unveiled a completely updated remote, web browser-based setup and configuration tool for select 2019 and new 2021 Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite multi-channel home theater AVRs.
“Web Setup” allows the custom integrator access to all features and functions for the AVR over any web browser from any mobile device, regardless of operating system. This enables the CI to completely customize every feature and function of the AVR without requiring the CI to be in the same room as the AVR!
Due to the legalities surrounding the many types of included streaming services available to end-users of networked home theater components, those components require the person setting them up to first navigate a series of “Initial Setup” menu screens. These include permissions for those apps, and accepting or denying these permissions must be done before the customer can actually use the AVR. Typically, being able to read the legal disclaimers for these services requires the use of a TV screen. For many users who are installing the AVR in the same room as their home theater, this is easily accomplished by plugging in the AVR to the TV, picking up the AVR’s remote control, or pressing buttons on the AVR’s front panel, and following the on-screen instructions.
But, as is very common in custom installations, the AVR and other components are usually in a rack safely tucked away out of sight in a completely different room from the home theater. How does the CI navigate the Initial Setup menu if he or she is in front of the AVR and can’t see the TV is an upstairs room in the client’s house? Or, if the CI is in the same room as the TV, then the AVR’s front panel controls can’t be reached, and the remote control can’t be used. It can be time-consuming, stressful, and even embarrassing, to have to run back and forth in front of your client between the home theater space upstairs, and the AVR equipment rack in the basement to get this done.
Look Ma, No Hands! Web Setup to the Rescue!
Once select 2019 and 2021 Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite AVRs are connected via Ethernet to a local network, the CI can easily find the IP address of the AVR on their client’s network, then enter that address into a web browser on any mobile device such as a laptop or phone. Web Setup will automatically load in the web browser for quick and efficient configuring, all without having to ever touch the AVR, or even be in the same room!
When activated, Web Setup will always scan the AVR for its current status, and if it needs to first run through the Initial Setup’s on-screen legal permissions menus, a Virtual Remote Control will be displayed in the browser window, which can then be used to proceed through the Initial Setup menus on the client’s TV. You no longer need to relay commands to a second CI stationed in front of the AVR over a phone or walkie-talkie. Web Setup’s virtual remote is immediately ready for a single CI---or even a DIY customer---to quickly navigate through the Initial Setup options, and then move on to configuring the AVR for full use.
From that point forward, there is no need to refer to the main TV again. All features and functions of the AVR can be accessed and customized via Web Setup in the web browser of your choice.
Web Setup Offers Full Control, Including…
- Virtual Remote Control
- Input & Output Assignments
- Speaker Configurations
- Audio Adjustments
- Works With Sonos
- Firmware Updates
- Acoustic Room Calibration
- Audio Modes
- HDMI Diagnostics (including Limit and Test modes)*
- Backup and remote reinstallation of saved configurations
- Changing the default user password
- And much, much more
2019 models that are Web Setup enabled via firmware update:
- TX-NR696, TX-NR797, TX-RZ840
- DRX-3.3, DRX-3.4, DRX-5.4
- VSX-LX304, VSX-LX504. SC-LX704, SC-LX904
- TX-NR5100, TX-NR6100, TX-NR7100, TX-RZ50
- DRX-2.4, DRX-3.4, DRX-5.4
- VSX-LX105, VSX-LX305, VSX-LX505