Buena Park, Calif. – Yamaha mated its thinnest-ever
surround bar, at 2 inches in height, with a first-of-its-kind A/V receiver with
built-in subwoofer to produce the $599-suggested YHT-S400
two-piece home theater in a box (HTiB) system.
The system uses proprietary Air Surround Xtreme technology to deliver a virtual 5.1-channel
surround experience from the surround bar’s three embedded full-range drivers. It’s
also the first Yamaha product to incorporate proprietary UniVolume
volume-leveling technology, which maintains a consistent volume level when
channels or sources are switched and when commercials come on.
The A/V receiver-subwoofer connects to the surround bar via a
single cable. The receiver-sub, which can be placed in a cabinet or on the
floor, features FM tuner, 5-inch subwoofer, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround
decoding, and three HDMI 1.3 inputs that accept uncompressed multichannel PCM
audio from connected Blu-ray players. Amplification is rated at 3×50 watts plus
The surround bar is sized to fit in front of most 32- to 50-inch
flat TVs without blocking the picture. The bar’s feet can be adjusted in
For optimal sound
quality, the YHT-S400 accepts HD Audio signals (linear PCM transmission) from
Blu-ray disc players. Three 1080-compatible HDMI inputs enable three different
HDMI sources to be connected to the receiver.
include proprietary Extended Stereo technology, which widens the stereo stage,
and HDMI CEC functionality that lets
the TV remote control the YHT-S400’s volume. CEC-compatibility
also provides advanced functions with other components.
The system also
connects to an optional Bluetooth receiver and iPod dock.
Yamaha has offered
two-piece virtual surround systems before, but this is its first with an
included A/V receiver, a spokesman said.
The virtual surround technology differs from that used in higher
priced Digital Sound Projectors, which deliver multichannel surround sound from a single active sound bar
that fits underneath a flat-panel television. These devices contain
multiple tiny drivers, each driven by its own dedicated digital amplifier to
create focused “beams” of sound to produce direct and reflected sound waves
deliver multichannel surround effects. They also incorporate FM tuner, amplification surround decoders and DSP.