I've just noticed that my 10-year-old Onkyo TX-8210 is receiving local FM stations in mono rather than stereo. My owner's manual says the setting can be changed by pushing the FM Mute/Mode button, but this did not work.
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In reality the correct way to listen to radio or any music source for that matter is in 2 channel stereo. What this means is that the front left and right will play and also the subwoofer. If you absolutely want all your speakers to play while listening to fm, than press the Multi channel button and set it to direct, or any other sound field that you may desire.
Does the display show "tuned" or "FM Stereo"? This would normally indicate a good reception. The tuner has a signal level threshold and if the signal gets to week, the receiver mutes to prevent noise in the speakers. Swithing to mono make reception less intolerant. Does the problem also occur, when you switch to mono?
I connect my iPod to my Onkyo using a stereo cable with mini-plug on one end and RCA L&R outs on the other. Just plug the RCA plugs into the AUX or TAPE IN on the Onkyo, and the stereo mini plug into the iPod and play as usual.