By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
BUENA PARK, CALIF. – Yamaha is adding Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) connections to four of five new RXV-series A/V receivers (AVRs).
MHL is also expected to appear for the first time on top-end Aventage AVRs later in the year.
The opening-price model in the RXV series ships this month at a suggested $299, and the others RXV models ship in March and April. The series tops out at a suggested $849.
The MHL-equipped AVRs, which starts at a suggested $449, enable an MHL-equipped smartphone to display its user interface and HD video on a connected TV. The phone will also stream multichannel surround sound to the AVR. The MHL connection will also charge the smartphone and enables navigation of the smartphone’s UI via the AVR’s remote.
In other changes, dual subwoofer outputs will appear in the RXV series for the first time, starting at $549 in the RXV-575, which is the starting price point for a seven-channel AVR.
The company also launched its first Bluetooth dongle, priced at a suggested $69, for use with current and past RXV-series AVRs and potentially with other AVR brands, the company said. The Bluetooth dongle plugs into an AVR’s USB port.
The company continues to offer an existing $99-suggested Wi-Fi dongle, which connects to an AVR’s Ethernet port. Like last year, the Wi-Fi adapter will be bundled with the series’ top-end model, which this year is the $849-suggested RXV-775.
In another change, the series offers discrete amplifiers instead of chip amps at the opening rice of $299.
Like last year, vTuner Internet radio, Pandora and DLNA networking, which designed to stream audio from networked PCs and network-attached storage (NAS) drives, starts at a suggested $449, as does Apple’s AirPlay. At $649, the company adds the Rhapsody music service.
4K by 2K passthrough continues to start at $299, and 4K by 2K up-scaling from analog and HDMI sources remains in the $649 and $849 models.
All four network models are compatible with the free Yamaha AV Controller App for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices to control the AVRs and enable playback of music stored on smartphones and tablets. For the RXV775WA and RX-V675, the app also controls the AVRs’ powered Zone 2 feature.
Via the Android app, users can push smartphone-stored music to the networked AVRs without requiring the user to separately turn on the phone’s DLNA server function, the company said.
The models starting with the $449 RX-V475 come with Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad front-panel USB to stream stored music in digital PCM form to the AVRs and charge the mobile devices. The opening-price $299 V375 offers this direct digital connection for iPods and iPhones. Once the Apple devices are connected, song titles appear on the receivers’ onscreen displays.
The top two models, the $849 RX-V775WA and $649 RX-V675, feature Burr-Brown DACs, Yamaha Cinema DSP 3D processing, and intelligent assignable amplifiers that automatically direct output power from the surround back speaker terminals to either the front presence (front height) speakers or to Zone 2 speakers as needed so users don’t have to change the speaker connections and setup menus to be changed.
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