3D video and Apple’s ubiquitous handheld devices are currently the hottest technology trends. Manufacturers have no choice but to embrace them and include support for these devices in their product offerings. Even Yamaha’s latest entry level receivers now come with support for 3D video playback and seamless integration with your iPods, iPhones and iPads.
The Yamaha RX-V471 one of the new “71″ series receivers that also includes the RX-V371, RX-V571 and RX-V671. For less than $400 the RX-V471 packs in 105 watts of output for 5 channels and top end features like 3D compatibility, HDMI pass-through, HD Audio with CINEMA DSP compatibility, YPAO sound optimization, Compressed Music Enhancer and SCENE functions.
Design & Connectivity
The Yamaha RX-V471 retains much of the simple layout of the RX-V series. It sports a black brush metal finish. The power button is now in a more convenient position at the top left corner while the large volume control knob sits on the opposite end. The subtle fluorescent display occupies the center portion and the rest of the controls and presets are laid out intuitively. The four pre-set SCENE buttons (BD/DVD, TV, CD and Radio) enable you to conveniently turn on the correct components and activating the proper inputs, and surround mode combination with one touch. There is also a USB port for you to connect your iPod/iPhone/iPad or other MP3 devices on the front panel.
Connectivity options are basic. There are 4 HDMI inputs, 2 sets of component video and 5 composite video inputs, a USB port in front, port for optional Yamaha docking stations and 5 pairs of speaker terminals. There are no line-outs for external amplification so you basically need to use the amplifiers in the receiver.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
Here’s a short overview of the interesting features of the RX-V471:
Summary of key features:
- HDMI 1.4a Support for 3-D Video and Audio Return Channel
- Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP audio processing adds additional sound enhancements to accompany the new 3D video technology for a more involving experience
- The new Simplified GUI is easy and intuitive to use. Graphics can be overlaid on HD and 3D video signals so you can access menu icons and have control over sources selections as well as iPhone/iPod/iPad devices that are connected to the receiver.
- Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) analyzes room acoustics for optimum sound quality.
- Compressed Music Enhancer restores dynamics to compressed music files ripped from CDs or downloaded from the Internet
- Hi-resolution audio decoders for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
- Low standby power consumption of only 0.1W plus an Auto Power Down feature for power savings.
- Front-panel USB input for direct connection of your iPod/iPhone/iPad or other MP3 players. Audio signal is taken directly from digital path of the Apple devices so you will get the purest audio signal without degradation.
- HDMI pass-through allows watching of non performance critical content like news without turning on the receiver.
For an entry level receiver, does the performance of the Yamaha RX-V471 necessarily be a mediocre? The answer was a resounding no.
On The Blind Side blu-ray release, video performance on the RX-V471 was commendable, with special praise going out to the color details. The colors were rich and vivid, such as the striking hues on Michael’s rugby shirts, to the leafy green that adorned his football helmet and uniform. Blacks were inky and rich, with a great level of depth. Details of images were excellent as well, such as the reflections off the car window and the coarseness of the school’s brick walls. The clarity of the surroundings was constant throughout the film, be it the rundown neighborhood or the football field.
While there were not many action packed scenes for the RX-V471 to boast its audio quality, its decoding of the DTS-HD MA 5.1 was fairly good. Crucially for the film, the dialog was warm and clear, with the initial shyness that defined Michael’s mumbling. Players barging into each other were vividly captured and felt as if Michael was actually ramming into your speakers. The atmospherics were fantastic, such as the cheering after a successful play by the raucous crowd.
To put through the RX-V471 through a more rigorous audio test, we used the recent re-release on SACD of Elton John’s vintage Tumbleweed Connection. The brilliance of his raw vocals was brought to life with the impressive decoding of the 5.1 SACD. Each instrument, of which there were many, gave a resounding surround sound effect, and Elton’s distinct voice punched through the speaker as though he was singing to the microphone. The dynamism and superior sound quality of the album gave a refreshing spin on 1970 classic, making it sound much more current.
With all these audio-boosting features and 3D content becoming more prevalent, the Yamaha RX-V471BL comes at a worthy price of $379.95.