Yamaha has launched two new home cinema amplifiers with a twist – they're pitched at gamers as much as they are movie buffs. And with two next-gen consoles due to launch before Christmas, they've timed their arrival to perfection.
The rather handsome, "redesigned" RX-V line-up consists of the 5.1-channel RX-V4A and the 7.2-channel RX-V6A. Both support 8K and HDR10+, as well as VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), which should deliver smoother console gameplay.
In fact, the future-proof boxes sport full HDMI 2.1 sockets, which means features such as eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), 4K@120Hz and QFT (Quick Frame Transport) are also supported.
Before you get too excited, though, Yamaha has confirmed that none of these features, even the 8K support, will be included at launch. Instead, they'll be coming via a firmware update that's "tentatively" scheduled for December.
In the meantime, you will at least be able to enjoy an apparently substantially upgraded audio performance, particularly if you opt for the 100W RX-V6A, which has High Slew Rate Amplifiers that should result in greater dynamic responsiveness. The RX-V6A will also get Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization (which aims to recreate the Atmos height effect without the need for ceiling-mounted or upward-firing speakers) via another firmware update that's currently scheduled for "Q1 2021".
Either AV receiver should integrate into your home (and home network) without too much fuss. Both have YPAO Multi-Point automatic room calibration, support for wireless rear speakers, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and multi-room audio and voice control courtesy of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri-enabled devices.
Already in possession of some Yamaha MusicCast kit? Both are MusicCast-enabled, so they should slot right into your existing set-up.
Perhaps best of all, Yamaha is being decidedly aggressive on price: the 100W-per-channel Yamaha RX-V6A costs £649 (AU$1299), while the 80W RX-V4A comes in at just £449 (about AU$899). Both are due to hit shelves in October, just in time for the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
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Broadcasters in North America don't utilize 4k much.
Misc: AV box makers that include a "future proofing" type feature don't have a good track record of making good on those promises of compatibility or updating it VIA software if such an option exists to support new stuff. It is far more profitable to just sell a new box then support the units already sold.