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Yamaha Steps Up Connectivity In Aventage AVRs

Buena Park, Calif. – Connectivity is the key
in Yamaha’s


series of step-up A/V receivers (AVRs).

In launching five Aventage
models priced from a suggested $649 to $1,999, Yamaha is expanding networking
capabilities to all models, offering iPod-compatible USB ports for the first
time, and expanding control from an iPhone app to all models. The company also
plans in the coming months to offer an Android smartphone app to control the

With the
introductions, Yamaha is also launching the series’ first two nine-channel

Two of five
Aventage models are already available, with the remainder arriving in August
and September. Suggested retails range from $649 to $1,999.

 In the new series, HD Radio with iTunes tagging
starts at $1,099, compared with the 2010’s lines starting price of $799. None
of the new models features Apple’s AirPlay technology.

In expanding
network capability, Yamaha brought the price of Internet radio streaming, DLNA
1.5-certified networking and Windows 7 compatibility to a suggested $699 from
$1,099. Like last year, the networked models stream Internet radio stations as
well as the Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody and Sirius XM Internet Radio services.
From a networked PC, the devices stream music but not video from a networked

 In adding iPod-compatible USB ports to
Aventage for the first time, Yamaha is putting the ports on the front panels of
all models. The ports, which accept iPod-stored audio in uncompressed PCM
format, also stream and control audio from other-brand MP3 players. In the
previous Aventage lineup, the top three models featured front-panel USB ports,
but they supported connections only to USB drives.

  iPod-compatible USBs also appeared for the
first time in most AVRs in the lower-priced RX-V series

earlier this year


 Compatibility with the company’s iPhone/iPod
control app has been extended from last year’s three models to all five 2011 models.
The app turns the handheld devices into a Wi-Fi remote with control over a wide
variety of functions in all zones. A more basic version of the app is available
for an AVR in the RX-V series.

The Aventage
series’ first two AVRs with nine-channel amps are at the top of the line. They
are the $1,599 RX-A2010 and $1,999 RX-A3010, both due in September. Both
feature dual subwoofer outputs. The other models in the 2011 Aventage line are
7.1- or 7.2-channel models.

 Like last year, all models feature
3D-compatible HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs with audio return channel, 1080p up-scaling
from analog and HDMI sources, a virtual presence function to deliver
front-height speaker effects without the front speakers, onscreen GUI that
overlays 1080p and 3D video, HDMI passthrough in standby mode, and decoding of
all Blu-ray surround formats. Also like last year, all feature adaptive dynamic
range control to even out abrupt changes in volume. All models are also
compatible with such accessories as a stereo Bluetooth accessory, a wired
iPod/iPhone dock to stream audio and video, and an accessory that lets users
stream iPod-stored content wirelessly to the AVRs.

Also like last
year, all include a variety of engineering refinements launched with the series
2010 debut to enhance sound quality, including an aluminum front panel and a
fifth foot placed in the middle of the receivers’ underside.

 The new lineup starts with the $649 7×90-watt
RX-A710, rated from 20Hz to 20kHz into 8 ohms with two channels driven with THD
of less than 0.1 percent. It comes with six HDMI inputs (one on front), one
HDMI output, proprietary YPAO room-correction technology, powered zone 2 audio
output, and versatile zone control to automatically reconfigure two amp
channels to power a second zone when the zone is turned on. Scene mode features
four preset buttons that turn on the receiver and activate the appropriate
inputs, A/V features, and surround mode for a particular source. Four presets
are available for the main zone, and four are available for the second zone.

 At $849, the 7×100-watt RX-A810 adds such
enhancements as a second subwoofer output, eight HDMI inputs, two simultaneous
HDMI outputs, and multipoint YPAO room-correction technology allowing for optimizing
sound quality for eight different listening positions.

 At $1,099, the 7×110-watt RX-A1010 adds such
features as HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, zone 2 video output (component, S-video
and composite), and Scene Plus, which brings the number of presets to 12 for
the main zone, with four for remote zones.

 At $1,599, the 9×140-watt RX-A2010 adds HQV
10-bit video signal processing, powered zone 3 audio, zone 3 video, and YPAO
with Reflected Sound Control (RSC) to control room acoustic echoes.

 Among other things, the $1,999 9×150-watt
RV-A3010 adds zone 4 audio (digital optical), and zone 4 video.