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Don’t want to spend too much on a receiver for your new 4K TV? Meet the Yamaha RX-V381

Yamaha RX-V381
Image used with permission by copyright holder
With 4K Blu-Ray discs and players finally hitting the market, this is undoubtedly going to be the year that a lot of people buy their first 4K TVs. Many companies are hoping that one upgrade will lead to another, and that includes Yamaha, which just announced a super-affordable 4K-ready receiver.

Yesterday, the company unveiled its latest receiver, the RX-V381 ($300). This entry-level model is the first in the company’s RX-V 81 Series of receivers and is 5.1-channel, so you’re not going to see Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, but it’s much more affordable than the latest and greatest feature-packed receivers out there from Yamaha and others. Both 4K and HDR are supported, so it seems like the company is aiming for those who might have just picked up a new TV and don’t want to spend much extra on an A/V hub.

“Sound editors and soundtrack composers each play huge roles in today’s feature films, and the RX-V381 allows our customers to enjoy these titles as they would in the movie theater, in all their cinematic glory,” Bob Goedken, general manager of Yamaha Corporation of America’s A/V division said. “Yamaha has packed a lot of advanced technology into a very affordable, solidly-built A/V receiver, with an unparalleled level of reliability that assures our customers that they will enjoy this model far into the future.”

The RX-V381 supports both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, covering the bases for HD audio, and it matches this when it comes to video as well. All four HDMI inputs support HDMI at 4K/60p and HDCP 2.2. The receiver is also Rec. 2020 compliant and supports 4:4:4 color, which allow it to provide the highest color gamut possible for a new 4K TV.

Of course, plenty of people are going to use their receiver for music in addition to their home theater needs, and Yamaha hasn’t forgotten that. The RX-V381 features Bluetooth and a feature Yamaha calls Compressed Music Enhancer, meant to improve wireless sound quality from streaming services and MP3s. The unit should be easy to set up as well, since it features Yamaha’s YPAO automatic calibration — just plug in the included mic, and the system tunes itself to best fit the room.

Yamaha hasn’t specified an exact release date so far, but says the RX-V381 is set to go on sale this month, and will retail for a relatively modest MSRP of $300. For more information on the new receiver, see the Yamaha website.

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Kris Wouk
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Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
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