The HTR-6250BL is a step down from the traditional midrange receiver price level, but it maintains most of the same key features as the step-up HTR-6260BL. There's onboard decoding for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, so you'll be able to connect an older Blu-ray player and still decode high-resolution audio soundtracks. It can also upconvert your analog signals all the way up to 1080p, but don't put too much stock in that spec, as we weren't thrilled about the receiver's actual performance (more on that in the performance section). One surprise is that the HTR-6250BL lacks any built-in support for satellite radio, so you'll need a separate outboard tuner if you are a subscriber.
|HDMI inputs||4||Optical audio inputs||2|
|Component video inputs||2||Coaxial audio inputs||2|
|Max connected HD devices||6||Stereo analog audio inputs||2|
|Composite AV inputs||5||Analog multichannel inputs||None|
|Max connected video devices||8||Phono input||No|
The strongest part of the HTR-6250BL's connectivity is its four HDMI inputs, which should be enough for most home theaters. Aside from HDMI, the HTR-6250BL starts to feel a little skimpy. There's no analog multichannel input, so anyone with some legacy gear may be out of luck; it's worth pointing out that the similarly priced Pioneer VSX-919AH-K has a 5.1 analog input.
The HTR-6250BL also lacks the capability to assign audio inputs to any video input you'd like. So, while there are two component video inputs and two optical digital audio inputs, it's not possible to use two component video sources accompanied with both optical digital audio inputs, because one of the component video inputs is permanently assigned to a coaxial-digital-audio input. In the real world, this will probably be an issue only if you have many analog video sources, but it's an annoying drawback that isn't present on other receivers in this price range.
|Line level 2nd zone outputs||No||Line level 3rd zone outputs||No|
|Speaker-level 2nd zone outputs||No||Speaker-level 3rd zone outputs||No|
|2nd zone video output||No||2nd zone remote||No|
We were surprised to find that the HTR-6250BL lacks multizone capabilities, as competitors, such as the Pioneer VSX-919AH-K and Onkyo TX-SR507, both offer at least basic Zone 2 functionality. Of course, if you only plan to use the HTR-6250BL in a single room, this doesn't matter, but other manufacturers don't charge extra for this functionality.
We used our reference Aperion Intimus 4T Hybrid SD speaker/subwoofer system for all of our HTR-6250 listening tests.
The "Journey to the Center of the Earth" Blu-ray pushed the HTR-6250BL to the limit. The subterranean travels of a geologist (Brendan Fraser) and his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) were sometimes accompanied by low, feel-it-in-your-guts earth tremors. We especially liked the scenes in underground caves where there were water-dripping sounds coming from every direction. The actors' voices echoing in the caves had a nice sense of depth.
Bassist Marcus Miller, keyboard wiz George Duke, and guitarist Lee Ritenour shined on the "Legends of Jazz" Blu-ray. When Miller pops his bass strings, we felt it, and the bass was precise, clear, and clean. But when we compared the HTR-6250BL with our Denon AVR-3808CI receiver, the clarity and soundstage dimensionality jumped up a few notches. The Denon was more relaxed, and there was even greater detail and treble sparkle. Miller's bass was fleshed out, and it seemed more dynamic. But the AVR-3808CI is nearly three times as expensive as the HTR-6250BL, so sure, it was no surprise it sounded better. We also had Pioneer's VSX-1019AH-K on hand, which only costs a bit more than the HTR-6250BL, and it edged out the Yamaha in terms of transparency and overall oomph.
In our tests, the Yamaha HTR-6250BL offered identical video performance to the step-up HTR-6260BL; therefore, this section of the review is nearly the same.
The HTR-6250BL is capable of upconverting analog signals to its HDMI output, so we put it through our video-testing suite. We connected the
Our video testing started with Silicon Optix's HQV test suite, and the HTR-6250BL did not pass the first resolution test. Areas where we should have seen detail were instead just a solid color, and we could see image instability and strobelike effects elsewhere on the image. Next up were a couple of jaggies test patterns, and again the HTR-6250BL came up short, showing as many jaggies as some of the worst Blu-ray and DVD players to which we've administered this test. The HTR-6250BL didn't pull through on the 2:3 pull-down processing test either, as there was plenty of moire in the grandstands of a clip with a race car. From test patterns, the HTR-6250BL's performance was not promising.
We put the test patterns away and switched to actual program material, but the HTR-6250BL's performance didn't improve. The introduction to "Seabiscuit" is a torture test for video processors, and the HTR-6250BL's processor was sufficiently pained, as the image was obviously soft and, at times, jaggies marred nearly the entire screen. The opening sequence of "Star Trek: Insurrection" wasn't any better, with jaggies all over curved lines like the boat hulls and roofs of the huts. Even those not particularly sensitive to image quality will most likely notice these quality issues.
To be clear, the problems we saw were only on 480i analog signals upconverted to 1080p over the HDMI output. If you're only planning on using the HTR-6250BL for HDMI sources, you won't run into these issues at all. It's also worth pointing out that the HTR-6250BL can pass through analog signals to the HDMI output at their original resolution, leaving your HDTV to do the converting. In our experience, this produced a better image on the Samsung LN52B750, and we imagine it would on almost all HDTVs. The bottom line is: don't expect the HTR-6250 to offer pristine quality on upconverted analog signals.