Yamaha today announced two new A/V receivers that offer a panoply of cutting-edge features. The RX-V1700 ($1,300, 130 watts per channel) and the RX-V2700 ($1,700, 140 watts) are both 7.1-channel receivers that share a wide variety of advanced features including HDMI switching and analog video conversion, XM HD compatibility, and multi-zone operation. The receivers update last year's RX-V1600 and models, respectively. Yamaha's press release seems to directly address some of the shortfalls we found when reviewing the V2600, stressing that both new models will deliver 1080p passthrough via HDMI, as well as the ability to convert any analog video source (composite, S-video, or component) to 480p, 720p, or 1080i. Both receivers are also compatible with the Yamaha YDS-10 iPod dock, are equipped with auto-setup options (which utilize the included microphone, shown to the left of each receiver), and offer a "music expander" mode that's said to bolster the sound quality of low-fi digital audio sources.
Both receivers will be entering a market that's increasingly crowded with HDMI-capable receivers from the likes of Denon, Pioneer, JVC, and Onkyo. But the RX-V2700 trumps most of the competition in at least one respect: it can stream MP3 audio from networked PCs or the Internet (or Yamaha's own MusicCast MCX-2000 audio server) via its built-in Ethernet jack.
The RX-V1700 and RX-V2700 will be available in September; we hope to have a hands-on review of at least one of the models at that time. In the meantime, CNET is due to receive a review sample of the already available(around $600), which offers similar network streaming functionality to the V2700, within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for a full review.