Home Theater Rollouts and Revamps from Yamaha and Denon
There are plenty of wireless streaming options out there these days, but looking at the latest wave of offerings from Yamaha and Denon, it seems that Apple's AirPlay protocol is the one that looms largest in the minds of major manufacturers. Both ranges of receivers offer an impressive degree of functionality and connectivity at reasonable price points - wherever you look (and whatever your favored brand), now's really not a bad time to be in the market for a new AVR.
Today Yamaha announced a pair of new high-end AVRs, following on the new RX-V series models we told you about a few weeks back. The new, 7.2-channel RX-V773WA ($849.95) and RX-V673 ($649.95) fill out the top of that line. Like their less-full-featured sibs, the pair offer 4K-ready HDMI connectivity along with the usual host of gozintas and gozoutas, and a few nice tricks to their very-much-packed packages.
Gamers will welcome the ability to turn off the video DSP, eking out a reported two extra frames per second of performance. Amplifier outputs are assignable, so you can configure your 7 channels however you like across two zones. In keeping with the AirPlay bent of things, there's a completely redesigned controller app for iPad and iPhone. From a sound quality perspective, perhaps most interesting is the presence on the 773 of Yamaha's YPAO R.S.C reflected sound control–based room correction routine (the tech behind the company's impressive soundbars), with multi-point room measurement (the 673 offers single-point measurement only.
The 673 should be available in May, with the 773 to follow in June.
Denon, meanwhile, announced four new AVRs late last week, the 7.1 AVR-1913 ($579.99), and and three 5.1 models: the AVR-1713 ($449.99), AVR-1613 ($399.99) and AVR-1513 ($249.99). All feature an onscreen GUI for setup (which should make complex setups simpler), while all aside from the entry-level 1513 offer AirPlay connectivity, and are also DLNA certified, so they should stream whatever digital content you've got in mind, whether its stored locally or streaming over the Web. There's No 4K passthrough here, but you will find 3D passthrough across the board. The network friendly top three models include a range of streaming services, Audyssey MultEQ and a host of streaming services, while the two top-end models add Audyssey's MultEQ XT and a second configurable zone.
Denon also announced a new HTiB, the DHT-1513BA ($599), based around the 1513 AVR, and featuring transducers from sister brand Boston Acoustics - four small satellites, a center channel, and a sub are included with the 650-watt turnkey system.
And be on the watch for more from Denon, Boston Acoustics, and Marantz - those firms promise to debut more than 70 new products over the next six months. We'll be keeping an eye out for sure.