Yamaha's New Receiver: 1080p Upconversion, HDMI Switching for $999.95


We all hate those "under $1,000" price declarations, especially when, with shipping and sales tax, you're well over $1,000. But Yamaha's RX-V861 receiver, due in May, is brings long awaited good news for those who have multiple game consoles, an HD cable box and a legacy DVD/VHS combo, all hanging out in a spaghetti-fest of not-necessarily-Monster cables.

It comes down to this: I want to plug all of my stuff into one receiver, then connect that receiver to my TV with one cable. Who cares if my Wii is outputting at 480p through component cables, or that the VHS is going through S-Video? Whatever goes in, high-def or not, must come out the HDMI pipe. That's the key offering of the RX-V861, which was officially announced today, but got a little play early this month.

Follow the jump for more features.

The 735-watt receiver has features that are found on other Yamaha receivers, such as the YPAO microphone-aided room-setup tool (which I tend to use because I hate manual setup). It also has an optional iPod docking station, optional XM satellite radio—but not Sirius—and HDMI 1.2a, which allows it to receive multichannel linear PCM audio, and also DVD-Audio and SACD.

The only big beef I have with Yamaha is that the receiver interface has never been terrifically coherent. Here's hoping, now that they're getting the right specs at better price points, we start seeing some R&D in the UI arena.

Product Page [Yamaha]

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