By Todd Anderson on Apr 11, 2018 at 9:06 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    HDMI 2.1 Officially Arrives with Yamaha’s RX-V385 AV Receiver

    [​IMG]
    (Yamaha)

    (April 11, 2018) Yamaha’s new RX-V385 takes the notion of “budget” to dizzying heights, boasting a mega wallet-friendly price of $280. That alone should make it incredibly tempting for entry level buyers. But the receiver also carries some interesting technologies that sweeten the pot, including the presence of HDMI 2.1 functionality.

    At its core, the RX-V385 is billed as a 5.1-channel receiver that offers owners the ability to bi-amp a system’s front speakers for 2.1 and 3.1 configurations. Its discrete amp section is capable of delivering 70 watts per channel (2ch driven, 8 ohms), and sound output is tuned and optimized by Yamaha’s proprietary YPAO calibration suite, which utilizes an included microphone to analyze a room’s acoustics for better sonic performance. Sound quality is further catered by three Burr-Brown 384 kHz / 32-bit DACs and onboard decoding of MP3, WMA, MPEG-4 AAC, and WAV files up to 48 kHz / 16-bit.

    Movie fans will appreciate the receiver’s ability to decode both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA codecs.

    On the connectivity front, the RX-V385 offers banana connector friendly binding posts, which aren’t commonly found on entry level products. Users will also find a host of analog and digital inputs including one optical, two coaxial, and three RCA, in addition to a singular subwoofer preout. And while Wi-Fi streaming is absent, the receiver does carry Bluetooth paired with Yamaha’s Compressed Audio Enhancer (for better sound from low quality streamed music).

    What’s most shocking – and probably the most exciting part about this receiver’s launch – is the presence of four HDMI 2.1 inputs. The inclusion of this next-gen HDMI spec was notably absent from Yamaha’s product press materials, but definitively noted on the RX-V385’s public product spec page. Nevertheless, the RX-V385 is the industry’s first AVR to carry HDMI 2.1. For now, the receiver is only specified to offer video features typically found on current HDMI 2.0 products, which means compatibility with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG High Dynamic Range, HDCP 2.2, 4K/60p, BT.2020 color, and other current 4K video tech. Also, eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) will be activated via a firmware release at a later date. But, its presence marks the beginning of a new age of AV equipment and signals the beginning of (what is destined to be) a mad rush to HDMI 2.1 conversion.

    The RX-V385 is scheduled to begin shipping later this month.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Apr 11, 2018.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Thanks for the news update. Nice of them to have HDMI 2.1 inputs and four of them in fact. :)
       
    2. Todd Anderson

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      For those of you interested, I asked Yamaha to confirm the max bit rate of the HDMI ports... and they aren't willing to publicly release specs. So. Take from that what you will.
       
    3. tripplej

      tripplej AV Enthusiast

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      Thanks Todd for asking. Should be interesting to see what they say. :)
       
    4. bkeeler10

      bkeeler10 Active Member

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      This is an odd product to be the first to carry HDMI 2.1. But I guess it probably means every new Yamaha going forward will have it too. Good point about whether they will be capable of 48 Gbps throughput. Probably not I'd guess.
       
    5. Todd Anderson

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      It is a bit odd. I'm actually surprised the 2.1 chips are already on the market. I was led to believe it was going to take longer.

      I'm curious to see the marketing spin as this model year is unveiled.
       
    6. Jeff S

      Jeff S Member

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      I admit I am a little behind the times. As a reminder, what is the big change and benefit of HDMI 2.1? (Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this one).
       
    7. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      The current standard is HDMI 2.0. That standard is "specified" to deliver, among other things, 18Gbps (giga-bits per second) data transfer. Current technology is maxing out that bandwidth, so HDMI 2.1 has been crafted to meet future AV needs, including offering up 48 Gbps of data transfer.

      The upside is that HDMI 2.1 will allow for such things as 120Hz refresh rate, up to 10K resolution, dynamic HDR, and some nifty tech that plays to virtual reality.

      The downside is that new HDMI cables will be needed.

      The good news is that most of HDMI 2.1 is designed to handle is years away from launch, so HDMI 2.0 equipment should be relevant for quite some time. Also, some of the features touted by HDMI 2.1 (I believe eARC is one) could potentially be implemented on HDMI 2.0 gear with a firmware update.
       
    8. Jeff S

      Jeff S Member

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      Thanks for the info. I can see where that will be helpful in the near future.So much technology down the pipe. Just when you think things can't get any better....
      Now if the other industry can fix the HDCP errors that are plaguing my Roku Premier + I will be even happier. I realize that is a completely different issue and body governing, but frustrating just the same. New TV, new Roku, high quality HDMI cable, no dice.
       
    9. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Is all of your firmware up to date on your devices?
       
    10. Jeff S

      Jeff S Member

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      Yes. I double checked the firmware for both the TV and the Roku as well as my Pioneer receiver (even though I removed the receiver from the connection to troubleshoot). I have looked up the issue on many forums and this seems to be an issue with Apple TV as well. Just frustrating as all of my equipment is compliant. At any rate, I digress as I know that wasn't the focus of this. Thanks again for the great information.
       
    11. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Jeff, start a Roku thread and see if you can get some help!
       
    12. Jeff S

      Jeff S Member

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      Thanks Todd. I just created a thread. Maybe it can start a conversation and path to finding a real solution.
       
    13. Manni

      Manni New Member

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      Just to let you know that there is no doubt that the hardware on this model is HDMI 2.0x, with a 18gb/s bandwidth limitation. It probably has a hybrid chipset that makes it possible to support eArc, as these are already available.

      However 48Gb/s hardware for full HDMI 2.1 compliance isn't available yet. I have a flaship Denon X8500H, it has an upgrade path (HDMI board swap) to HDMI 2.1 with full 48Gb/w bandwidth and it's not expected until 2019. It does also have an eArc upgrade coming via f/w upgrade sometime this year, as the hardware is already able to support that. But it's still limited to HDMI 2.0b 18Gb/s.

      The sad thing is that in order to claim HDMI 2.1 compatibility, you only have to support ONE single HDMI 2.1 feature. As many of these are not bandwidth related, such as the eArc feature, you can claim HDMI 2.1 compliance with an old HDMI 2.0x chipset. This is what Sony had done a few years ago with their projectors, they claimed HDMI 2.0 compliance because they added a single feature (4K60p suport at 8bits 4:2:0) but they were using (until very recently) old HDMI 1.4a chipsets with a 10Gb/s bandwidth.

      So beware, unscrupulous manufacturers are quick to claim things that are only software implementation. This is definitely the case here.
       
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    14. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Hey Manni,

      You're correct. At the time of publish I had reached out to Yamaha and several days later they declined to release hardware data. As of CES, full 2.1 chipsets seemed to be 8-10 months away, and thus this claim certainly caught me off guard. That said, this is the first product of any kind that has been marketed with the 2.1 moniker attached (at least that I'm aware of...)
       
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