By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Five new A/V receivers launched by Yamaha expand the company’s selection of A/V receivers with HDMI 1.3 inputs and decoding of all Blu-ray Disc surround-sound formats. All will be available by the end of March or early April.
The company plans to announce new receiver-based home theater in a box (HTiB) systems in May.
With the new receivers, priced from a suggested $249 to $649, the company has reduced the starting price of decoding all Blu-ray surround formats to $379 from $549 and brought 1080p up-scaling on analog-video inputs to the $479 price point from $999. Up-scaling via HDMI inputs still starts at $1,899.
Support for HDMI 1.3a’s 30- and 36-bit Deep Color capability and x.v.YCC, or extended-gamut YCC, starts at $379 compared to the previous selection’s $549, said national training manager Phil Shea. The $379 price point is also the starting price point for HDMI repeater capability, as it was last year.
Internet radio and HD Radio do not appear in these new models, but HD Radio appears in five previously introduced models at $999, $1,399, $1,899, $2,699 and $5,499. Internet radio also appears in the carryover $1,899, $2,699 and $5,499 models along with networked-PC streaming.
In one change, the opening price for dual Sirius/XM satellite-ready capability starts at $549, up from $349, in a nod to lower consumer demand for satellite-ready capability at lower price points, Shea said. Yamaha pairs satellite-ready capability with Neural Surround to decode select Neural-encoded XM channels, select Neural-encoded analog and digital FM broadcasts, and Neural-encoded music downloads in discrete 5.1 surround.
The new models start with the $249 5x100-watt RX-V365 with two HDMI 1.3a switching inputs, ability to connect to an optional stereo Bluetooth receiver and iPod dock, and proprietary compressed music enhancer.
The $379 RX-V465, rated at 5x105 watts, adds decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats, four HDMI inputs with repeater capability, adaptive dynamic range control, Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) and four Scene buttons. When overall system volume is turned down, adaptive dynamic range control automatically increases the volume when a scene transitions to a softer dialog passage. YPAO analyzes and automatically compensates for the deleterious sonic effects of a room’s acoustical qualities. Four preset Scene buttons (BD/DVD, TV, CD and radio) turn on the correct components and activate the receiver’s appropriate inputs and surround mode combinations for the selected source.
Also starting with the $379 model, Yamaha offers automatic lip sync and support for Blu-ray 24Hz refresh rates and the 120Hz refresh rates of select PC software, PCs and LCG PC monitors.
The $479 RX-V565 adds seven channels, each rated at 90 watts, and 1080p up-scaling of analog video sources.
At $549, the 7x90-watt RX-V665 adds Sirius-XM-ready capability with XM HD surround. Other step-up features include assignable amplifiers for biamping the front left-right speakers, powering presence speakers (back surround or front) or powering a second zone. It also features zone-two on/off control from the front panel, remote in/out and programmable 12-volt trigger outputs.
At $649, the RX-V765 adds 7x95-watt amplifier using discrete amplification circuitry for higher performance.
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