This is my first attempt in writing a review on a product so here i go.
The product review is of the new Harman Kardon AVR255 RRP $999
7 x 50W 7.1-Channel A/V Receiver with HDMI 1.3a Repeater, Audio/Video Processing and Upscaling to 1080p
Stereo Power (FTC): 65 x 2
Multichannel Power (FTC): 50 x 7
Amplifier Type: High-current ±35 amps
Bandwidth @ 1W (+0dB/-3dB): 10Hz – 130kHz
Audio multizone capability
3 Coax Digital Inputs, 3 Optical Digital Inputs, 1 Coax Digital Output, 1 Optical Digital Output
3 HDMI Inputs, 1 HDMI output – HDMI 1.3a with audio/video processing
Video processing/conversion by Faroudja DCDi Cinema™ scaling to 1080p
Dolby Digital True HD and DTS Master Audio Decoding
Multi room with use of surround back channel if not in use.
Dimensions (H x W x D): 151mm x 440mm x 351mm
As soon as i upacked this new generation HK reciever i was amazed at how modern these units look compared to the older HK products.
The new classy sleek design with white lighting should sit well with most wives.
Upon hookup and configuring of this receiver i have discovered alot things about this product.
If you were used to the old menu interface of the HK products they have done a full redesign and i gotta admit the onscreen setup menu looks great, though if you liked the quick setup that used to be done from the front panel of the amp its no longer as easy. onscreen setup is now a must for these amps i feel.
all of the inputs of this receiver can be assigned to any source including analogue which is a feature that i like.
for each source you can have custom video setup whether its output resolution or even enhancements to the image like brightness, contrast etc, also lip sync can be adjusted for each source.
one thing i found with this product was the video performance for blue ray was very jittery but once the amp is reset and set to Pal this problem no longer existed.
i have found the hdmi compatibility pretty good with what i have connected: pioneer blue ray, benq w5000, digital view pvr
I ran this amp for a few days to give it a good run in before a real listen to it and once doing that i gotta say for the money its great.
as usual for HK it may sound like low wattage compared to a Pioneer LX-50 but i gotta say it seems to have alot more grunt than the Pioneer.
this amp handles dvd surround sounds with ease and with the new built in decoders for blue ray its does a great job there as well.
the 2 channel performance i found to be reasonable this amp as warmth in the sound and also the central imaging is a bit more focused than what a marantz SR7002 but the marantz is clearly better with high frequencies but again you would expect that for the price being payed for the marantz.
overall if you're a person that wants an exceptional theater amp for a low cost with great features you cant go wrong with the AVR255 RRP $999. If you feel more power is needed go the AVR355 RRP $1399 HK will have models coming out above these early next year.
Great theater performance.
Upscaling to 1080P
HD audio decoding
good hdmi performance
very nice looking menu interface
1080p24 pass through
Ipod dock handles iPod Touch/iPhone plus video from these(optional RRP $129)
Remote is a 2 hander
needs to be setup using on screen display
volume feedback onscreen cannot be turned off only reduced to being on screen for 2 seconds.
Out of box amp needs to be set to the right HZ 50/60 to get rid of jittery image on blue ray