Impressions on the Onkyo TX-NR1030

I need to start this post by officially thanking Onkyo for the great customer service they gave me after my initial receiver arrived with a major issue, either due to a bad unit or to transport from the online retailer I purchased it from. On a late Friday night, the social media people on the Onkyo team replied to me through Twitter and helped me confirm the issue and start the replacement process.

Onkyo then went over the usual level of service as they did accept to replace my unit instead of sending it for repair as my retailer did not have any in stock to help me. Instead of being stuck without my home theater for weeks, the replacement unit was shipped on the next business day. This is tremendous support and it is definitively a good way to keep customers with the brand.

Having said that, I’ve been using the receiver for a week now and I can say that I’m very happy with the experience. To start, I picked the Onkyo TX-NR1030 because of its support of 11 channels. The receiver includes amplification for 9 channels and you can connect an additional stereo amplifier to go up to a reference Atmos implementation of 7.1.4. To do this, I added a AudioSource AMP-100 stereo power amplifier, simple but efficient and because it’s used for the height back speaker, it can provide the required power for a good price.

Onkyo TX-NR1030
The connections behind the Onkyo TX-NR1030 are interesting, the speaker connectors are more accessible than the previous models I owned.


The switch from my previous system at 5.1.2 (with an Onkyo TX-NR737) is noticeable and a great improvement. Not only does the two additional height channels add a more dimensional effect to the height layer, but the addition of two surround speakers also support better the 360 degrees effect, even better with Atmos movies and object positioning. The TX-NR1030 has enough power to drive the 9 channels in a very efficient way and the sound quality is very good.

The Atmos demos (available as downloadable on Demo World) are impressive in 7.1.4 and the thing that surprises me is that different the trailers are now my favorite ones from when I tried in 5.1.2, mainly because of the added dimension and sense of movement.

The receiver configuration tools is quite well done and the AccuEQ calibration works well. I have a read a lot about it being inferior to Audyssey that was used before by Onkyo, but I cannot judge as I did not use it before. I played multiple sources with and without AccuEQ room correct enabled and my final selection is to keep it on as it improves the dynamics and the clarity of movies.

I also appreciate the net functionalities of the receiver, including DLNA and Spotify Connect. My only grudge with the feature is with the file server mode as it only support some shares and not the ones my router and NAS provide, it seems too tied to typical Windows file servers.

In a nutshell, I can say I’m very happy with the receiver and with the new 7.1.4 setup it can support. My only hope is that Onkyo will confirm an upgrade path for the receiver to DTS:X when it’s officially announced next month, I’ll keep you updated on this.


John Wick : Dolby Atmos Review

How Reviews Are Done On : Here are some ground rules for review on this site. The first thing is that the movie itself will never be reviewed, as this is not the intention and tastes and opinion regarding movies are up to the viewer. Furthermore, the review will concentrate on the next generation element of the content, so in this case the Dolby Atmos track, while presenting the other aspects. A Blu-Ray 4K would for example be reviewed for visual performance only. There will not by any grades either, just comments and a purchase recommandation in the conclusion.

The Movie

John Wick tells the story of a retired hitman who needs to go back to work after a bad gang hurt the little things he still had and loved in life. The movie tells a story of revenge, with a linear but efficient storyline and a great visual universe.

Continue reading John Wick : Dolby Atmos Review

Universal Announces Unbroken In Dolby Atmos

I don’t know if “When it rain it pours” is really adapted to the situation, but after more than two weeks without anything announced related to next generation home theater, I have a second announcement for you in less than 12 hours.

Universal announced today it’s first ever Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, for the Angelina Jolie’s directed movie Unbroken.

The movie will be released on March 24th and it will then become the 9th movie available on Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos in North America. Hey, we’re almost double digits now…

Please note the listing of Dolby Atmos Blu-rays has been updated accordingly.

On Any Sunday : The Next Chapter Includes Dolby Atmos Track

Multiple sources seem to confirm that the new documentary about moto racing called On Any Sunday : The Next Chapter, which extended trailer was one of the demos on the Atmos demo disc, has indeed been released with a Dolby Atmos track.

The Blu-ray is out today on Amazon and details are not included to confirm, but multiple sources are confirming the Atmos inclusion.

You can follow the link on the image to purchase from Amazon. I will let you know as soon as I can try the disc. Meanwhile, I updated the list of Atmos Blu-rays on the site.