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Yamaha offers free hardware fix for HDMI 2.1 AV receiver problem

Yamaha offers free hardware fix for HDMI 2.1 AV receiver problem
(Image credit: Yamaha Music Australia)

It's a good day for 2020 Yamaha AV receiver owners who will be waking up to the news that Yamaha is offering a fix for their HDMI 2.1 troubles.

In a statement on the official Yamaha US website, the company has announced that it is starting a hardware upgrade programme, beginning Autumn 2021, to update the HDMI board on select 2020 AV receivers to allow 4K/120Hz signal transmission for Xbox Series X and NVIDIA RTX30 GPU-based devices.

Details have not been shared on exactly how the update process will take place but Yamaha has stressed that owners of the RX-V4A, RX-V6A, RX-A2A, TSR-400 and TSR-700 AV receivers should register their devices with Yamaha to ensure that they receive direct communications on the programme later in the summer. There will then follow a 24-month complimentary upgrade offer.

The HDMI 2.1 bug is not a problem unique to Yamaha and has meant that affected AVRs from a number of manufacturers have not been able to pass-through 4K/120Hz content from the Xbox and RTX30 GPU devices to supporting TVs. Denon and Marantz have recently got round the problem by creating an external box for users to plug into their AVRs, but this solution from Yamaha seems a lot more user-friendly, even if it poses something of a logistical headache for the company.

As such, Yamaha is keen to request that the update is only requested by people who are actually intending on using these high frame rate streams for gaming through the Xbox and Nvidia card. In their current form, the Yamaha AVRs listed above can still pass-through 4K/60Hz signals with compatible HDR formats such as HDR10 and Dolby Vision. They also support eARC and other HDMI 2.1 standards for all other AV needs.

What's more, Yamaha's recently announced 2021 flagship AVRs (RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A) are unaffected by the HDMI 2.1 glitch and will only require firmware updates in the future to enable further HDMI 2.1 features.

Good news, then, for Yamaha AVR-owning gamers and those intrigued by the launch of Yamaha's new 8K AV receivers. We hope this is a sign of good things to come from Yamaha in the home cinema space.

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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.