With so many of today’s A/V products tapping into the web, it would make sense that you’d want the brains behind your system to play nice, and be able to connect as well. Yamaha is making the web a major focus of one of its new receivers, the RX-V671. With a price of $599.95, the newly announced 7.1 channel Yamaha RX-V671 includes DLNA 1.5 plus Windows 7 certification, and improved Apple product integration with enhanced network content streaming.
Design & Connectivity
The Yamaha RX-671 has similar design as all the other newly released products. One difference would be a HDMI input at the front-panel. An HDMI terminal on the front panel makes it easy to connect a camcorder or digital camera. All of the HDMI terminals are compatible with 3D and CEC, making them convenient for connecting set-top boxes and Blu-ray disc players. Furthermore, its attractive screen with is advanced GUI (Graphic User Interface) makes it even more appealing than other products.
The Yamaha RX-V671 has six-in/one-out HDMI (3D and ARC compatibility), 1080p up-scaling, and has assignable amplifiers for bi-amp and Zone 2 capabilities. Bluetooth compatible (A2DP), this model can be used with the optional Yamaha Bluetooth wireless audio receiver YBA-10, enabling users to listen to their favorite music on just about any Bluetooth-enabled device. On the enhanced network content streaming front, the RX-V671 includes both DLNA 1.5 and Windows 7 certification which gives owners access to Internet radio, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Pandora, Napster as well as content located on DNLA support networked computers and storage devices. Yamaha also has a dedicated free remote app that can be used to control basic functionality as well as internal sources, network content navigation and zone controls.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
- HDMI 1.4a Support for 3-D Video and Audio Return Channel – HDMI has fast become the cable of choice for connecting today’s A/V components. The six HDMI 1.4a inputs on the RX-V671 let you simultaneously connect high-definition sources such as a Blu-ray player, a gaming console, and a cable/satellite tuner. As the latest standard, HDMI 1.4 adds 3D support and an Audio Return Channel. Audio content received directly by your HDTV’s tuner can be sent “upstream” to your A/V receiver, without the need for a separate S/PDIF audio cable.
- 7-channel powerful surround sound (105W per channel)
- Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP audio processing complements the new 3D TV technology and provides extra sonic dimension and presence to match the more involving 3D playback.
- Simplified GUI – A new high-resolution Graphic User Interface (GUI), makes navigation of all menus easy and intuitive. Eye-catching graphics can be overlaid on HD and 3D video signals, providing access to navigational icons and setup items, control over internal sources, as well as connected iPhone/iPod devices.
- Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) simplifies the setup process by automatically analyzing room acoustics and setting parameters for optimum sound quality at the touch of a button.
- Compressed Music Enhancer restores dynamics to music files ripped from CDs or downloaded from the Internet.
- Surround sound audio decoders for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio.
- Silent Cinema technology makes it possible to hear large-scale surround sound through standard headphones–ideal for late-night home theater listening when the rest of the family is asleep.
- Low standby power consumption of 0.1W (2.0W in HDMI Standby Through mode) and an Auto Power Down feature (selectable to 4, 8 or 12 hours) which help make this an environmentally friendly receiver.
- Front-panel USB input for direct connection – If you have an iPod or other MP3 player, you can connect it to the RX-671’s front panel for quick and convenient audio playback. Because the digital signal from the iPod/iPhone is transmitted directly to the AV Receiver, noise interference is minimized and sound quality is much better.
- Four SCENE buttons make operating the receiver easier than ever. They are initially set to default settings for BD/DVD Viewing, CD Disc Listening, TV Viewing and Radio Listening. Pressing a SCENE button will automatically launch a number of operations that initiate play of the source controlled by that button. Other SCENE settings are also available, such as iPod Listening, SiriusXM Listening [model dependent], TV Sports Viewing and Action Game Playing. Browsing and selecting the settings is quickly accomplished by changing Input via the front panel and watching the on-screen display. The settings can be selected for one-time use, or they can replace the original default settings. The SCENE names can be changed also.
- Analog and HDMI Video Upscaling to Full HD 1080p – This model is capable of outstanding upscaling and i/p conversion quality, This AV Receiver will upscale video signals up to 1080p. This means a much better picture with HDTVs capable of 720p, 1080i or 1080p resolution. This model also features extremely precise motion adaptive and edge adaptive deinterlacing and multi-cadence detection (including 3-2 pull-down).
- Network capability – This model offers networking capabilities and can serve as the hub of a home entertainment network that’s connected to the Internet. Its powerful networking capabilities provide enjoyment of thousands of free Internet radio stations worldwide and full access to free and paid music streaming services such as Pandora, vTuner, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio and Napster. It is also Windows 7 and DLNA 1.5 certified which allows access to music files on any computer or local NAS drive content available on the home network.
- iPhone AV Controller App – This AV Receiver can be the control center of a home entertainment network connected to the internet. You can use the AV Controller app for control from an iPhone, etc., and enjoy music streaming from Pandora, Napster, Rhapsody and Sirius Internet Radio.
Using The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on blu-ray, we evaluated the performance of the Yamaha RX-V671.
Image quality was top notch material right from the beginning. The sheer clarity of the images came to life in the Chinatown scene where Dave and Bathlazar fought against an evil sorcerer. Electric energy bolts pierced the eerie darkness with dynamism, while fireballs lit up the screen. However, the main attraction here was the confetti descending from the skies. Every single small piece of confetti could be distinguished individually by a myriad of different colors and unique shapes. Even after they had fallen onto the ground, the stunning clarity of each confetti piece did not wane. Detailing was immaculate as well; in particular, the vivid texture of Horvath’s fur coat. Colors were vibrant and rich and brought life to the special effects of plasma bolts and fireballs. Blacks were deep and inky, while skin tones were accurately captured.
Audio performance was correspondingly superb with the decoding of the DTS HD-MA 5.1. The highlight was the sound effects of the channeling of plasma bolts, fire balls from one end of the soundstage across to the other, giving us a well rounded and immersive experience. The LFE outputs were strong, potent and handled efficiently the various magical spells in the film. Dialog was well prioritized, intelligible and did not get lost amidst the engaging sound effects. Background effects were also excellent such as the incessant shouting and screaming of the people in Chinatown.
To further test the audio system, we used the SACD Singles 1969-1981 by the Carpenters. Audio quality was brilliant, and one of the best aspects of this album was the well balanced surround sound, which came off as crystal clear and crisp. On this SACD, Karen Carpenter’s pitch perfect vocals were incredibly clear, while background noises such as her subtle breathing were highly audible. Instrumental backup was lucidly clear, yet distinct, and was a welcome complement to Carpenter’s vocals. Tracks such as “Only Yesterday” stood out for its magnificent surround mix.
The Yamaha RX-V671 is priced affordable for the features you are getting. It comes with a full networking features including improved integration with Apple devices. The 90W per channel amplifier output is more than adequate medium sized speakers to room filling levels. It also has the ability to power a second zone with the surround back amps. Whether watching 3D movies or listening to your favorite music, the Yamaha RX-V671 delivers on all counts.