Yamaha’s new 11.2 channel A/V receiver is certainly impressive, featuring HDMI 1.3 (5 inputs, 2 outputs), 1080p upscaling, 2 usb ports, and ethernet which can connect to a networked drive or Yamaha’s MusicCast service. But for $5500 dollars, there are a couple of glaring omissions in the RX-Z11.First, the lack of Wi-Fi is disappointing. If Denon is including Wi-Fi, not to mention a better UI, in their flagship (which is $300 cheaper), it should be in the Yamaha. Second, iPod integration is only available for an extra $100. If we’re going to spend more on our receiver than our TV, 13 speakers and a handful HDMI 1.3 ports are not enough.
In addition to the RX-Z11, Yamaha released two cheaper 7.1 receivers. The VX-3800 ($1700) and the VX-1800 ($1200), feature many of the same video features as the RX-Z11, but lack the number of speakers, USB ports, and in the case of the VX-1800, an ethernet port. The flagship RX-Z11 hits stores in November.