Pioneer and Onkyo Announce eARC and MQA Updates

Helping to keep your devices up to date, for a little bit longer.

by Aaron Macarthy Beards Oct 16, 2018 at 10:15 AM

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    Pioneer and Onkyo Announce eARC and MQA Updates
    Possibly the worst part of owning a nice bit of hardware is, when a new standard arrives, your device can quickly become out of date.
    To that end, Pioneer and Onkyo have announced some updates to help older bits of kit keep up with the times. The former has just announced that eARC capability has been added to its 7.2-channel SC-LX502 and 9.2-channel VSX-LX503 AV receivers.

    The LX503 supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X plus DTS Neural:X. There is a Google Chromecast built-into the device so it's good to see such a device getting extra future proofing.

    Onkyo’s updates will initially give eARC to the 9.2-channel Onkyo TX-RZ830 and Integra DRX-5.2 network AV receivers.

    Enhanced Audio Return Channel (or eARC) is being implemented in the upcoming HDMI 2.1 specification. Unlike ARC, eARC allows for high bitrate formats, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, to be transmitted between your TV and soundbar, or AV receiver.

    MQA support:

    The number of devices with support for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is growing. Pioneer claim that later this month a firmware update will add MQA compatibility to Pioneer’s N-70AE and N-50AE music streamers. The update will also add support to the company's NC-50/NC-50DAB networked CD players.

    With the digital world changing so quickly, even the most expensive high-end pieces of kit can become outdated very quickly. As the amount of MQA content continues to grow it’s nice that companies are adding support to existing products.
    Pioneer claim that they hope to have MQA playback supported on more home audio products in the future. The company says it plans to announce further availability in the coming months.

    Do standards update too quickly for consumers to keep up? Or does the fast pace nature of digital innovation bringing more benefits than problems?

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