Buena Park, Calif. – Built-in Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi, and HDCP 2.2 copy protection get leading roles in Yamaha’s 2015 series of low- to mid-price RX-V audio/video receivers (AVRs), but not object-based surround decoding or HDMI 2.0a.
Four new RX-V AVRs unveiled today can’t be upgraded to add the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object-based surround formats, so these features will wait presumably for the launch later this year of the company’s step-up Aventage series of AVRs, which range in price from $699 to $2,199. The company already offers Atmos in the current $1,699 and $2,199 Aventage receivers and has said it plans fall availability of DTS:X in AVRs.
While it prepares to launch the Aventage series, Yamaha this month is launching four new RX-V series AVRs at $449, $549, $649 and $849 to complement a $299-suggested 5.1-channel RX-V379 previously shipped.
The $299 model was Yamaha’s first RX-V receiver with built-in Bluetooth and first announced AVR in any Yamaha series with HDCP 2.2 copy protection on HDMI 2.0 ports. Like its predecessor, it lacks networking.
The four latest AVRs, unlike their predecessors, offer built-in Bluetooth and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. Like their predecessors, all four are networked, but now built-in Wi-Fi now starts at $449 instead of $549. Also like their predecessors, they feature DLNA, AirPlay, Pandora, Spotify Connect, and vTuner but drop HTC Connect. And like before, SiriusXM Internet Radio and Rhapsody start at $649.
Though all RX-V series receivers feature HDMI 2.0, full-speed 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 doesn’t start until the $649 price point, enabling the receivers to pass through 4K Ultra HD at 60p 4:4:4 color sampling. The $449 and $549 models feature slower speed HDMI, delivering 4K Ultra HD at 60p 4:2:0 color sampling.
With the addition of HDCP 2.2 copy-protection technology to the 2015 RX-V lineup, the AVRs pass through HDCP 2.2-protected 4K content from future 4K settop devices and future 4K Blu-ray players to HDCP2.2-equipped TVs. Consumers who try to stream protected 4K content through an AVR lacking HDCP 2.2 would get a black TV screen.
The AVR features HDMI 2.0 but not HDMI 2.0a, which would pass through UHD content with high dynamic range (HDR). The company wasn’t certain whether the AVR could be upgraded to add HDMI 2.0a.
All of the RX-V models, like last year’s models, feature Virtual Cinema Front, which is promoted as an option for rooms in which a traditional 5.1-speaker setup is not practical. The feature uses Air Surround Xtreme virtual-surround technology, which is used in the company’s lower priced active soundbars. With the 5.1-channel AVR, five up-front speakers deliver virtual 5.1-channel surround, and with the 7.2-channel AVRs, five up-front speakers deliver virtual 7.2-channel surround.
All four can be controlled from the company’s AV Controller App for iOS and Android devices, and all come with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio HD Audio surround decoding.
All four AVRs also feature Compressed Music Enhancer, Wi-Fi Direct if a home lacks a Wi-Fi router, and Wi-Fi streaming of high-resolution audio files such as DSD, WAV and FLAC.
The $449 model is a 5.1-channel receiver, and the others step up to 7.2 channels. The $849 model adds HDMI Zone B to send HDMI audio and video feed to a second room.