More news from across the pond, and this time it's Yamaha rolling out some serious home cinema hardware, in the form of two upmarket receivers and an 11.2-channel, 7x140W plus 4x50W, $5500 battleship. In case you were wondering, those four extra channels are there to deliver height and rear presence information!

All three new models - the line-up also includes the $1700 RX-V3800 and $1300 RX-V1800 - feature 1080P upscaling from any video source, 24-frame working and also 120Hz capability for use with forthcoming reduced-flicker LCD TVs. The RX-V3800 delivers 7x140W, and the RX-V1800 7x130W, and they share with the big receiver the company's YPAO automatic calibration and set-up system.

But it's the RX-Z11 that looks set to clock up all the firsts: it sees the debut of THX Ultra 2 Plus certification, and THX Loudness Plus technology, to enhance listening at low levels. It supports HDMI 1.3's 30-bit and 36-bit Deep Colour capability, and also xvYCC extended colour space where discs support it, and has automatic lip-synch when used with compatible displays.

iPod docking is standard across the trio, using a $99 optional dock unit, and the Z11 and RX-V3800 also have network capabilities including music streaming from computers or Network Attached Storage devices, internet radio and Yamaha's MusicCAST server.

In addition the RX-Z11 is compatible with IP-based home automation, and browser control via a networked computer, plus front and rear USB ports in addition to five HDMI inputs (one on the front panel) and two inputs. The two less expensive models are four-in-one-out.

Watch this space for the ifs and whens of UK availability.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

More after the break