2016 AV Receivers Adding HDR Friendly Features
It’s starting to become a great time to buy an A/V receiver.
The first 2016 TV displays are starting to ship to retail now and that means the latest and greatest home theater systems are right behind them. Unlike last year’s entries, most of this year’s early releases are equipped with the latest standards and inputs to support state-of-the-art home theater entertainment including 4K UHD with high dynamic range, object-based surround sound, multi-room sound and Hi-Rez Audio. And many are affordably priced.
In recent weeks companies including: Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha have started to release the first of their 2016 A/V receiver models, many of which now offer support for HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs and outputs capable of passing through the latest 4K Ultra HD video with high dynamic range (HDR), up to 60p frame rates, 4:4:4 color and other capabilities, Much of that will be emitted by new Ultra HD Blu-ray players coming to market this year and next. Many of the new AVRs also support object-based surround sound formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X either out of the box or with forthcoming firmware updates.
Read more about the recently introduced AV receivers after the jump:
Some of the first fruits of those introductions include the following AVRs:
Onkyo said three receivers in its RZ series this year will feature wireless multiroom-audio, Google Cast, and Tidal streaming.
All three support 7.2-channels and will ship in April to join the recently announced NR series line. Models include: the $799 TX-RZ610, the $1,299 TX-RZ810 (pictured at top) and $999 TX-RZ710.
The line is designed with more custom-installation features, including RS-232 and IR connectivity, 12-volt triggers, PC setup, detachable power cables, and optional rack kits.
Later this year, Onkyo said it will unveil details for its advanced 9.2 and 11.2 channel RZ series offerings, including the 9.2 channel TX-RZ1100 network receiver, the 11.2 channel TX-RZ3100 network receiver and 11.2 channel PR-RZ5100 network pre-processor.
Meanwhile the three RZ series models support Dolby Atmos surround, and are scheduled for a firmware update this summer adding DTS:X surround. All will support up to 5.1.2 speaker configurations. The update will also bring support for Google Cast, Tidal streaming, and FireConnect wireless multiroom-audio technology. All models also support Apple AirPlay, DLNA, high-resolution audio decoding, HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs and outputs, and have built-in WiFi.
Supported FireConnect technology brings wireless multiroom-audio capability including forthcoming compatible tabletop Wi-Fi speakers..
The TX-RZ610 is 7×100-watts rated at 20Hz-20kHz into 8 ohms with 0.08 percent THD. It also features 384kHz/32-bit DACs from AKM, powered and line-level zone-two output, and new AccuReflex room-calibration technologies. The AVR also features eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, the company’s web site shows.
The TX-RZ810 and TX-RZ710 each add THX Select 2 Plus certification and premium high-current amplifier circuitry with 130 watts per channel power. The AVRs also feature eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs.
The RZ710 features powered and line-level zone-two output, while the RZ810 adds zone-three powered and line-level output and 7.2-channel preouts.
Pioneer Home Entertainment unveiled two Elite-series AV receivers supporting wireless multiroom audio, Google Cast, and Tidal streaming. The receivers will support the company’s first line of wireless multiroom speakers, which are scheduled for introduction later this year.
Models include the $500-suggested-retail Elite LX101 and $700 Elite LX301. Both are 7.2-channel models supporting Dolby Atmos out of the box and can be configured for up to a 5.2.4 speaker setup.
They will receive firmware upgrades to add Google Cast, Tidal, FireConnect, wireless-multiroom audio and DTS:X object-based surround sound later in the year.
The Elite LX101 and LX301 hit stores in April and will include: built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, AirPlay, and HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs and outputs.
Both models include 32-bit DACs; support Reflex Optimizer technology to deliver Atmos height channels without installing dedicated height-channel speakers; access vTuner, Pandora and Spotify services in the U.S. Both also decode 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV, AIFF and Apple lossless Hi Rez Audio formats in addition to multichannel 2.8MHz DSD and two-channel 5.6MHz DSD.
The Elite LX101 features six rear HDMI inputs and one output, and LX301 adds higher power output, two HDMI outputs, and seven HDMI inputs.
Yamaha recently added several AVR lines and models starting with the RX-V low- to mid-priced AV receiver series that includes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound decoding.
The top three will feature: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support out of the box. All four models will output 7.2 channels, supporting up to 5.1.2 speaker configurations.
Also included are: DNLA networking, AirPlay, built-in Wi-Fi, MusicCast wireless multi-room audio, and HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2.
The four new RX-V models include high-dynamic-range-capable HDMI 2.0a inputs.
For the budget-conscious, Yamaha is also shipping its RX-V381 ($279) 5.1-channel model without networking or object-based surround decoding. The AV receiver features built-in Bluetooth for wireless music playback and full 4K Ultra HD support.
Also supported is the Yamaha exclusive YPAO automatic calibration system, which uses a microphone to analyze room sound and make the best possible adjustments; Google Cast, and Tidal streaming.
By Greg Tarr
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