The home-theater-in-a-box formula--receiver plus DVD player plus speaker package--continues to evolve as every manufacturer comes up with its own distinctive version. Yamaha's $799 HTIB, the YHT-740, shows how far the breed has come. It combines a high-quality, 6.1-channel A/V receiver; a separate progressive-scan five-disc DVD changer; and a seven-piece satellite/subwoofer system. That's certainly a lot of home-theater gear at a decent price, but discriminating listeners--especially those who enjoy music as well as DVD movies--should strongly consider paying an additional $200 for the more powerful, mature sound of the step-up model, the.
The YHT-740's silver-toned A/V receiver, five-disc carousel CD/DVD changer, and 6.1-speaker ensemble comes packaged in one rather massive box. The receiver and DVD player's mellow orange display is easier on the eyes than the blue hues found on other boxes.
The receiver and the DVD changer are full-size units. Before you buy the 740, grab a tape measure, and make sure your furniture can accommodate the changer's nearly 18-inch depth. We placed the receiver on top of the changer, bringing the stacked units to 11 inches in height.
While the receiver's quick-setup regimen is fairly straightforward, we strongly recommend investigating the more advanced routines if you're interested in getting the best sound out of this system. Curiously, Yamaha's engineers opted for a Large default setting for the smallish left- and right-front speakers, but we recommend switching to Small to obtain the best sound. And since the 740 lacks onscreen menu displays, the setup routine isn't as user-friendly as it could be.
The 740 kit includes two nicely designed remotes, one for the receiver and one for the DVD changer, but we used the receiver's remote for both components. Button logistics were above par.