PROS / The Onkyo HT-RC260 has six HDMI inputs.
CONS / This AV receiver uses a lot of power.
VERDICT / This is a pretty good option for the price point.
The Onkyo HT-RC260 is almost exactly the same AV receiver as the Onkyo TX-SR608. If you read our review on the other Onkyo receiver and look at what it has, you may notice some similarities here. There are some minor differences and unlike with the Yamaha receivers we reviewed, the lesser of these two is priced to match the lack of additional features.
There are a couple of interesting features that come with the RC260, one of which is an underlying gaming tone in the audio presets. There are four DSP gaming modes to accommodate a range of gamers. Most AV receivers will have presets that are more universal and music/movie focused like concert, hall, jazz, studio, theater and others. However these are titled Rock, Sports, Action and Role Playing. Aside from "Rock" which probably refers to music games like "Rock Band," the rest are for a few of the main genres of games. These presets are probably similar to the standard ones and merely have different names in order to promote their product to the gaming world.
Just like the TX-SR608, this Onkyo AV receiver has a signal-to-noise ratio of 106dB, which puts these receivers above most of the close competition in that aspect. The frequency response spans from 5Hz to 100kHz. Converting digital signals to analog can be done at the common high-end rate of 24-bit at 192kHZ. Where both AV receivers take a dip down is with the level of harmonic distortion, which is nearly double some of the other leading AV receivers. It also takes a hit with its level of power consumption. No other consumes even near as much as these two from Onkyo. If you're not worried about going green or lowering your energy bill a little, then neither of these is a bad choice.
For analog output and input there are two component inputs and a single output. There are four AV composite inputs and one output. For audio-only devices like a CD you'll have two additional audio inputs and one output. Also there is a separate extra video output if you need it. Last but not least there is a single stereo 6.3mm headphone jack.
That leaves the digital ports, which have become far more popular, especially for video, due to HD. Until the release of HDMI, component video was the standard set of cables for HD. This AV receiver has two sets of component input ports and one for output. For HD audio the Onkyo HT-RC260 gives you two optical inputs and two coaxial. However, this AV receiver has six HDMI input ports, which negates any need for those other ports. Since HDMI is audio and video combined into a single cable, and provides the highest quality of both, there's almost no use for other connections.
The other ports that can be found on both Onkyo AV receivers starting with a SIRIUS satellite radio port. SIRIUS for a while was battling it out with XM satellite radio but eventually was joined by them. The next is a set of ports that make up the front panel. There is also AM and FM radio. The last little extra is a set of speaker connections for speaker output separate from the main set. This set is for a second zone or room and allows you to utilize different inputs in separate areas of your house. In other words, your kids can watch a movie while you listen to the radio or a CD in your bedroom, all though the same AV receiver.
Most other features are also the same between the two Onkyo AV receivers like the DTS and Dolby Digital technologies that are integrated in. The big differences are that the Onkyo HT-RC260 isn't THX certified and it doesn't have the PC connection that the big brother has. Also, we were unable to find an automatic speaker calibration for this one.
It may not have everything that the TX-SR608 has, but the Onkyo HT-RC260 also doesn't cost as much. With bang for your buck in mind they are about the same. What it comes down to, if you want to go with one of these two AV receivers from Onkyo, is whether or not you would really use those few extra features. If not then this is the smarter choice.