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Yamaha Packs Sonos-Style Controls Into Home Theatre

By Matthew Lentini | Tuesday | 05/07/2011

Yamaha's latest home theatre additions focus on home network integration, borrowing iDevice compatibility.

Yamaha has just added a new network receiver and Blu-ray disc player to fit into its range of home network-integrating home theatre products after a new slew of releases just last month.

Following on from the recently announced RX-V371, V471 and V571 is the new RX-V671 network receiver that features iOS control through an app for Apple devices.

The RX-V671 sits at the core of the home theatre as a network-enabled device that plays content stored on PCs, Macs or other network attached storage devices by streaming then over the home network in high quality.

The device also comes with a downloadable AV Controller app for Apple devices that allows music playback to be controlled by iPhones or iPads in a similar way to a Sonos system, for instance. It further mimics the Sonos wireless sound systems in its 'Zone 2' function of a similar name that allows two separate tracks to be playing on different speakers, simultaneously controlled by the app.

With the focus being on home networking, Yamaha has taken the confusion out of device integration with Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) that allows multiple devices connected by HDMI to be controlled by the same remote. Through this, compatible TVs (supported by most of the big brands) and Blu-ray players can be controlled by the single remote of the RX-V671.

The RX-V671 takes in six HDMI inputs while holding a single HDMI output, delivering 90 watts of power to each of the seven channels. There's also direct digital connection that is compatible with Apple devices through the front USB input.

The receiver upscales HDMI video to full HD 1080p and decodes HD audio with 3D Cinema DSP. The 3D sound features utilise the top two corner speakers of the TV to add depth and height to the field of sound, similarly to a 7.1 surround set up.

The RX-V671 comes in at $1,099 on its own or for $2,999 as the chief component in the YHT-996AU home theatre package.

Yamaha has also thrown a new Blu-ray player into the mix that connects to the home network via Ethernet cable.

The BD-SD671 sports the same app control options as the RX-V671, while featuring its own dedicated online services like accessing YouTube for video content.

It features direct bitstream and multi-channel Linear PCM output as well as 192kHz/24-bit audio converters for audio enhancing. The 3D-ready unit is also able to play DVDs at full HD.

The BD-SD671 sits at $349, available this month.

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