Denon AVR-S510BT

Denon introduced this week its 2015 S-series entry AV receiver model AVR-S510BT, bringing compatibility with HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0, with the ability to upgrade to HDMI 2.0a (supporting high dynamic range video).

Denon said the AVR-S510, which goes on sale in June at a $279 suggested retail, will ship with HDMI 2.0 ports that will be updatable to HDMI 2.0a. It is also Denon’s first AVR to offer Bluetooth control via an iOS or Android phone running a Denon app.

More on the Denon AVR-S510BT after the jump:

The entry AVR is the next offering from Denon’s S series that first launched last year. Two step-up models are planned for later announcements.

The new AVR-S510BT features 5.2-channel surround sound, Bluetooth and support for the latest 4K Ultra HD standards. However, the company said that due to the 5-channel limitation the receiver will not support new immersive audio formats, like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

In addition to controlling the receiver from handheld devices, the Bluetooth wireless connectivity enables audio streaming with devices equipped with the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP). Also included is a front-panel USB port to play stored music tracks, including MP3, WMA, FLAC and MPEG-4/AAC files, and charge portable devices.

Denon, this year, has started delivering AV receivers equipped with HDCP 2.2 content protection to support 4K Ultra HD video programming from new and emerging Ultra HD source devices and media players. Past products have included HDMI 2.0 ports but lacked HDCP 2.2 out of concern that early implementations of the spec. could compromise bandwidth and color capabilities.

HDCP 2.2 is needed to pass-through copy protected 4K Ultra HD content to a connected 4K UHD TV set. Without it, users will see only a black screen.

Meanwhile, Denon was among the first manufacturers to confirm plans to offer the HDMI 2.0a updatability in AVRs when it started offering free (plus shipping and handling) hardware updates supporting HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 for its flagship AV receiver model AVR-X7200W ($2,999) and A/V preamplifier AV8802 ($3,999).

Board replacements will bring HDMI 2.0a (with 4K Ultra HD high dynamic range support) and HDCP 2.2 to Denon-equipped 4K Ultra HD home theater systems featuring one of a handful of the latest HDR-ready TV sets. At the same time the update will bring support for the new DTS:X immersive surround sound to the flagship products. As stated, DTS:X will not be possible in the AVR-S510BT.

With the update, Denon joins Onkyo as the first AVR manufacturers to announce product support for the HDMI 2.0a spec.

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Paul Belanger, D+M product manager, told HD Guru that the HDMI 2.0a portion of the update providing support for HDR as specified in the HDMI 2.0a spec. involves “a very small EVID communication change.”

“We have confirmed via test equipment that the updated HDMI will accept the HDR feed but we have not been able to confirm if it will do it with a consumer-available HDR feed or television set because they do not exist yet,” Belanger said. “So there might be some firmware fixing that needs to happen once we get a viable consumer product that we can use to actually run through the thing.”

In the AVR-510, three of five HDMI inputs will offer HDCP 2.2 support for pass-through of up to 4K/60p content with up to 4:4:4 chroma sub-sampling and 18Mbps bandwidth.

Other features include auto setup with room EQ, 5×75 watts into 8 ohms power output and support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master surround decoding.

In a related announcement, Denon introduced its HEOS Drive network multi-room amplifier, for HEOS multi-room sound systems.  Designed at the request of custom installers, the four-zone, eight-channel multi-room amplifier covers all HEOS zones with a single 2U tall, rack mountable chassis. It will ship in July at a $2,499 suggested retail.

By Greg Tarr

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