Virology laboratories historically have used direct fluorescent-antibody assay (DFA) and culture to detect six or seven respiratory viruses. Following the discovery of five new human respiratory viruses since 2000, there is an increasing need for diagnostic tests to detect these emerging viruses. We have developed a new test that can detect 20 different respiratory virus types/subtypes in a single 5-h test. The assay employs multiplex PCR using 14 virus-specific primer pairs, followed by a multiplexed target-specific primer extension (TSPE) reaction using 21 primers for specific respiratory virus types and subtypes. TSPE products were sorted and identified by using a fluid microsphere-based array (Universal Array; TmBioscience Corporation, Toronto, Canada) and the Luminex x-MAP system. The assay detected influenza A and B viruses; influenza A virus subtypes H1, H3, and H5 (including subtype H5N1 of the Asian lineage); parainfluenza virus types 1, 2, 3, and 4; respiratory syncytial virus types A and B; adenovirus; metapneumovirus; rhinovirus; enterovirus; and coronaviruses OC43, 229E, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, NL63, and HKU1. In a prospective evaluation using 294 nasopharyngeal swab specimens, DFA/culture detected 119 positives and the respiratory virus panel (RVP) test detected 112 positives, for a sensitivity of 97%. The RVP test detected an additional 61 positive specimens that either were not detected by DFA/culture or were positive for viruses not tested for by DFA/culture. After resolution of discordant results by using a second unique PCR assay and by using a combined reference standard of positivity, the RVP test detected 180 of 183 true positives, for a sensitivity of 98.5%, whereas DFA and culture detected only 126 of 183 true positives, for a sensitivity of 68.8%. The RVP test should improve the capabilities of hospital and public health laboratories for diagnosing viral respiratory tract infections and should assist public health agencies in identifying etiologic agents in respiratory tract infection outbreaks.