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The Skinny On New AVRs


NAD is offering free HDMI 2.0 plug-in upgrade modules with HDCP 2.2 copy protection to purchasers of its modular T 777 and T 787 A/V receivers and to its T 187 preamp/surround processor.

Purchasers of the T758 AVR will be eligible for a $199 upgrade.

Consumers buying the AVRs and preamp processor for the first time are getting a certificate entitling them to a plug-in upgrade card. The certificates will be fulfilled through NAD dealers.

NAD expects to offer the upgrade module “later in 2015.” Its regular price will be a suggested $599 for previously purchased modular NAD AVRs and pre-pros going back to 2006.

The upgrade module will support 10.2Gbps HDMI 2.0.


Dolby Atmos, HDCP 2.2, and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will play major roles in Pioneer Home Entertainment’s 2015 A/V receiver lineup.

The company planned April availability of the $399 VSX-830 and $599 VSX-1130 in the Pioneer series and the $450 VSX-45 and $700 VSX-90 in the Elite series.

All four are the brand’s first AVRs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which appears on HDMI 2.0 inputs and outputs that deliver the 2.0 spec’s maximum 18Gbps data rate. The high data rate supports passthrough of 4:4:4 24-bit color for 60 fps 4K UHD video, high-dynamic range video, 32 audio channels and other enhancements enabled by higher speeds.

Dolby Atmos also comes way down in price, starting at $599 in the Pioneer series and $700 in the Elite series. From Pioneer, Atmos had previously been available only on three Elite AVRs at $1,600, $2,000 and $3,000. They were launched last year and continue in the line

None of the new or previously available Atmos AVRs is upgradable to add DTS:X surround decoding. All four new models are also Pioneer’s first AVRs with built-in Bluetooth and built-in Wi-Fi, making add-on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth dongles unnecessary.

Networking and Apple AirPlay continue to start at $399.


Two new Wi-Fi-equipped networked AVRs at $499 and $599 feature high-resolution audio playback and HDCP 2.2. They’re also the company’s first two AVRs with and wireless multiroom-audio capability.

The company said it is evaluating the addition of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround to its AVRs. The AVRs will be available in May.

The AVRs are the 7×150-watt $499 STR-DN860 and $599 7×165-watt STRDN1060. Both feature 1/1 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, wireless multiroom audio, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, GoogleCast for audio streaming services, Miracast screen mirroring for Android phones, high-res audio playback including DSD, IP control, MHL port, Bluetooth with NFC, and LDAC technology to stream high-res content in near-high-res quality to LDAC-equipped Sony headphones.

The $499 model features a total of 5 HDMI ins and one out. The $599 steps up to 7×165 watts and six HDMI ins and two HDMI outs.


Built-in Bluetooth and HDCP 2.2 copy protection will be among the big changes coming this year to Yamaha’s low- to mid-price RX-V series of audio/video receivers (AVRs), if the launch of an opening-price model is any indication.

The $299-suggested 5.1-channel RX-V379, shipping in April, is Yamaha’s first RV-X receiver with built-in Bluetooth and first announced receiver of any series with HDCP 2.2 copy protection on HDMI 2.0 ports.

Though it lacks Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object based surround decoding, one or both technologies could still come this year to the series, which ranges up to $849 in suggested retail price. The upper-scale Aventage series, in contrast, ranges from $699 to $2,199.

The AVR’s HDMI 2.0 ports enable 4K Ultra HD passthrough at 60 fps with 4:2:0 color sampling, though not with 4:4:4 color sampling.