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Yamaha’s new 4K-friendly AV receiver lets you keep the surround speakers in the front of the room

It’s frustrating when you get home with a backseat piled full of home theater gear, carefully drag everything inside and begin giddily assembling your soon-to-be personal entertainment zone, only to find that you can’t set up your new beloved 5.1 surround system in a practical or effective way. But because you’re stubbornly determined, you’ve got duct tape and cables dangling between chairs and tables like tripwires waiting to snag your dog’s paws and bring the whole tenuously strung-together patchwork arrangement down.

Yamaha’s got a better idea. Its freshly announced RX-V377 A/V receiver is feature-rich and utilizes a discrete amp configuration that includes a new proprietary technology dubbed “Cinema Front.” Cinema Front is designed so that users can position all five speakers and a subwoofer at the front of the listening area without sacrificing the benefits of surround sound. It works by creating two “virtual speakers” in the rear of the room, emulating a 5.1 system in a manner that’s a sort of hybrid between active soundbars and the average 5.1 setup.

Along with Cinema Front come your usual roster of today’s A/V receiver features, including four HDMI inputs and one output with 4K Ultra HD pass-through, a full complement of HD Audio format decoding (including Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio), some Yamaha-exclusive surround processing, and the YPAO automatic system calibration, which is meant to balance and time speaker output for a seamless surround sound experience. 

Lastly, Yamaha has included a front panel USB input for easy playback and connectivity to music on iPhones, iPods and USB flash drives. You can read more about the RX-V377’s specs and features here.

The new receiver is available  directly from Yamaha for $300, a surprisingly competitive price for so many handy features.