sounds like they are lying then lol. I wonder why ? I always heard that cheap, sorry companies back in the day like Jensen, pyramid, majestic overrate their products while companies like Orion underrate theirs. So why would Onkyo say 130 W when in fact it's 45-55?
In this case (big name AVRs) it is more a case of measuring the amplification capabilities in different ways. I wouldn't say they are lying, as the "rated" output is likely very possible when dealing with the transient nature of music/film source material. There is really no need for any type of "continuous" power output in a home audio setting.
I just checked the first Onkyo receiver that popped up in google...the 828. It is "rated" at 130 watts into 2 channels/ 8ohm.
It measured 145 watts or so in the test.
80 watts cleanly into 7 channels / 8ohm.
Usually the capabilities will increase into 6ohm or 4ohm loads.
I do agree that the power ratings shouldn't be a primary determiner when deciding on a AVR upgrade. Reliability, inputs/outputs, feature set (Audyssey?), even the ease of use for the remote if you don't have a universal would all rank a bit higher for me.
Also, here is a link that shows a lot of AVR reviews. Many include power measurements.
Edited by Tom Vodhanel, October 19 2013 - 07:29 PM.