Yamaha Aventage Series To Get Blu-ray Player

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Buena Park, Calif. - Yamaha's new


-series label will appear on one Blu-ray player in the coming months, joining the first Aventage series of A/V receivers (AVRs)

unveiled last week

at suggested retails from $649 to $1,899.

Aventage (Ah-Ven-Taj), which stands for AV ENTertainment New AGE, designates a series of products that, the company contends, "embody obsessive attention" and "a multitude of engineering refinements" designed to "achieve peak performance at affordable price points."

The AVRs, said product training manager Phil Shea, were "two years in the making," so they don't represent the "little evolutionary steps" that suppliers often make to AVRs from year to year. Engineers evaluated every component and design parameter in the AVRs to deliver the best possible sound and video quality, he said. A fifth foot in the middle of the receivers' underside generated a "significant improvement" in sound quality, he noted. Hundreds of other enhancements, ranging from the choice of 12-amp glass fuses to power supplies, were all designed to improve sonic performance, he continued.

Yamaha will bring that attention to detail to an Aventage Blu-ray player due in October. Details were unavailable, but the Blu-ray player's cosmetics will match the Aventage AVRs and, like the AVRs, feature a metal front face.

Aventage AVRs replace the RX-V series name at price points of $649 and up. The RX-V name will continue to be applied to lower-priced AVRs. Current RX-V models

introduced earlier this year

are priced at a suggested $249 to $599.

The Aventage series, which features a 50-percent-longer warranty, will be franchised separately from the RX-V series, as were lower- and higher-priced RX-V models in the past, Shea said. Like the higher-priced RX-V models of last year, the Aventage AVRs will be sold through online and brick-and-mortar retailers with the capability to "explain and support" the products, Shea said.

 In the Aventage series, Yamaha is incorporating a new virtual presence technology that delivers virtual front-height channels without the addition of separate front-height speakers. The technology, not available last year from the company, also appears in the top-end RX-V receiver at $599.

Also in the Aventage series, Yamaha is bringing DLNA 1.5 certification to the $1,099 price point from $1,399, bringing dual HDMI outputs down to $799 from $1,399, and bringing Internet radio down to $1,099 from $1,399. Those models access the Sirius and Rhapsody music services as well as Internet radio stations.

 The Aventage models, like the top-end RX-V model at $599, feature an onscreen GUI that overlays 1080p and 3D video. All Aventage models also feature 3D-compatible HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs with HDMI's audio return channel, as do this year's RX-V models.

HD Radio starts at a suggested $799 in this year's Yamaha lineup, and HDMI passthrough in standby mode starts at $649 in this year's AVR lineup.

The top two Aventage models are the industry's first AVRs to incorporate the HQV Vida video-processing chipset to ensure peak video performance.

Features common to all Aventage models include 7.2-channel output, decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats, compatibility with Yamaha's wired and wireless iPod docks, Bluetooth option, YPAO room optimizer, analog-to-HDMI 1080p video up-scaling, Deep Color (30/36 bit) technology, x.v.Color, 24Hz refresh rates and auto lip-sync compensation.


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