(May 27, 2020) Denon’s potent AVR-X8500 and Marantz’s vaunted AV8805 are being re-released with upgraded HDMI 2.1 capabilities. The new units, designated as AVR-X8500A and AV8805A, will gradually replace all existing AVR-X8500H and AV8805 units, shipping for $4,499 and $4,999, respectively.
The receivers’ new HDMI 2.1 capabilities are confirmed to pass 4K/120Hz signals from all of the latest gaming consoles, while upscaling HD and 4K content to 8K. Additionally, a dedicated 8K HDMI input enables 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, HDR format support for HDR10+ and Dynamic HDR, and a new HDMI feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS), which allows a source to instantly switch frame rate to eliminate screen blackout.
Of course, both receivers will support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.
On the console front, gamers will enjoy 4K/120Hz pass-through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce lag, are also supported features.
Sound United says that current owners of AVR-X8500H and AV8805 receivers can upgrade the HDMI/Digital board in their units to enjoy the same HDMI 2.1 features found on the refreshed versions. This upgrade will require a hardware modification performed at a certified service center. Customers in the United States and Canada Owners can visit the following links for Denon and Marantz to initiate the process; availability begins on June 15, 2021, and costs $599 ($749 CA).
The process to upgrade is as follows:
- Customer visits associated brand link provided above and follows instructions.
- United Radio, the official repair partner of Denon and Marantz, will ship a box to the customer.
- A confirmation will be sent to the customer via email with instructions on what to do with the shipping carton. This will include details on how to affix an upgrade kit label to the box, and a prepaid shipping label.
- Customer ships carton to United Radio.
- United Radio receives product and performs upgrade within 48 hours.
- Return shipment sent out, customer receives shipping notification from United Radio with tracking.
Lastly, Denon and Marantz have announced a fix for 2020 receivers with HDMI 2.1 cards exhibiting compatibility issues with other hardware (primarily the XBOX Series X gaming console). Owners can request a free adapter box (HDMI Adapter SPK618) that corrects errors causing a black screen and no audio when attempting to pass 4K/120Hz or 8K signals to the 8K input of the receiver. This solution is available now and can be ordered by visiting Denon or Marantz.
SPK618 HDMI Adapter Kit
Marantz AV8805A AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X8500A AV Receiver