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Yamaha AVRs, HTiBs Tap New Sources

2/27/2008 01:14:00 PM Eastern

Buena Park, Calif. — Yamaha is tapping into more audio sources with the launch of new mainstream A/V receivers (AVRs) and home theater in a box systems (HTiBs).

With the shipment of five AVRs priced from a suggested $229 to $999, the company is expanding its selection of HD-Radio-equipped AVRs to two, incorporating dual XM/Sirius-ready capability for the first time, offering a stereo Bluetooth option for the first time, and expanding its selection of AVRs with HDMI 1.3 inputs and decoding of all Blu-ray and HD-DVD surround-sound formats.

With the shipment of four new HTiBs from $399 to $849, the company is incorporating dual XM/Sirius-ready capability for the first time and offering a stereo Bluetooth option for the first time.

The launches supplement three high-end AVRs launched late last year at suggested retails of $1,299, $1,699 and $5,499.

yamaha




The $549-suggested RX-V663.

Receivers: With the five new receivers, Yamaha brought the opening price of HDMI 1.3 and decoding of all HD-disc surround formats to suggested retails of $549 and $999 on the RX-V663 and RX-V863, respectively. The first Yamaha AVRs with these features were launched late last year at $1,299, $1,699, and $5,499.

The $999 model also brings the opening price of a 1080p/up-scaling AVR down from $1,299 and the opening price of an HD-Radio-equipped AVR down from the flagship RX-Z11’s $5,499. These are the only two Yamaha AVRs with HD Radio.

In another change, all of the new receivers, except the opening-price $229 model, get dual XM- and Sirius-ready capability. These satellite-ready models also offer Neural’s XM HD Surround to decode select XM channels in discrete 5.1 surround. Previously, Yamaha offered only XM-ready AVRs and HTiBs.

The $449, $549, and $999 models feature seven-channel amplifiers, with the $549 and $999 units adding dual subwoofer outputs instead of one. The $229 and $349 models are 5.1-channel units.

Like last year, all of the new models accept an optional Yamaha iPod docking/recharging stand, but this year, the AVRs and HTiBs also get an optional Bluetooth module to reproduce stereo music streamed from a Bluetooth-equipped cellphone or Bluetooth-equipped MP3 player. The option connects to the AVRs and HTiBs via 3.5mm minijack input. Pricing was unavailable.

HTiBs: Of four new 5.1-channel models, the $649 and $849 models are the company’s first with XM- and Sirius-ready capability. The two also feature Neural XM HD Surround and Yamaha’s proprietary Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO).

All four new models, including the $399 and $549 models, feature two HDMI inputs and one output, and all accept optional Bluetooth module. As in the previous line, all connect to an optional iPod dock and feature compressed-music enhancer circuitry.

One of the models, the $849 YHT-690 features 1080i/up-scaling DVD player. The $849 790 and $549 YHT-590 feature five flat speakers and a slim subwoofer for use with flat-panel displays.