Yamaha's RX-V500D home-theatre receiver is unique, which is something that can rarely be said of such products. What makes it unique is the inclusion of a DAB+ radio tuner. It still has FM, but no longer has AM, so it is not suited to most Australians in country and regional areas from which the federal government is still withholding digital radio.
Aside from that, there are plenty of modern networking features packed into a unit that offers solid, if basic, home-theatre functionality.
By basic, I mean that it has five amplifier channels rather than seven, which is no great loss for the majority of users who never wire up the extra pair. Each is rated somewhat unusually: 80 watts into 6 ohms. Eight ohms is the normal rated load, and the higher the impedance, the lower the power. A naive conversion would put this receiver at 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms (which further translates to reduction in output of 1.2 decibels compared to an 80-watt unit, so there's not much in it).
There is no support for other zones, and only one HDMI output. But there are five HDMI inputs, one of which supports MHL (mobile high-definition link for video and sound from supporting mobile devices). Both 3D and 4K signals are supported by the HDMI pathway.
There's a USB socket on the front panel and Ethernet on the rear. A useful extra on the front is a 3.5mm input so you can plug any portable audio player in quite conveniently. Also on the back is what looks like a USB socket, but is actually just a 5-volt power supply. This is primarily to power Yamaha's optional Wi-Fi adapter — the YWA-10, $149.
As is the norm for home-theatre receivers, it comes with a microphone and an auto-calibration routine. Aside from setting speaker sizes, distances and levels, it includes an equalisation function that can reduce tonal imbalances produced by some loudspeakers.
You can set the FM and DAB+ stations in your area to presets. The one internet-based facility is vTuner-based internet radio. This also works best with a bit of setting up. You can use a computer to log on and set up favourite radio stations and podcasts for easy access by this receiver within excess of 30,000 of these available through the vTuner service.
Sound and video
This was a sweet-sounding receiver. It would not be suitable for exotic, low-impedance, low-sensitivity loudspeakers, but most speakers of commensurate value — say, in the range of AU$1000 to AU$3000 for a 5.1-channel system — ought to work nicely. I used it with some well-behaved floor-standing speakers and two different subwoofer/satellite systems, and all worked well, producing high levels of unstressed sound. All the decoding worked as it should.