Yamaha Upscales with RX-V861 AV Receiver

Yamaha has officially taken the wraps off its RX-V861 AV receiver, a new system designed to serve as the hum of a home entertainment or theater setup and appeal to folks who have multiple current and legacy video sources, like high-def players, DVD, set-top boxes, legacy game consoles, or even (gasp!) VHS.

The RX-V861 supports 7.1 surround sound audio (at 105 watts per channel) and offers HDMI output with high definition upscaling: that means you can take most 480i or 480p content from component or S-Video sources, scale it up to 720p or 1080i, and pump it to your television via HDMI—and the RX-V861 can handle 1080i/1080p video sources without adulteration. The system offers 2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output, three component inputs, 5 S-Video inputs, and audio fiends ight appreciate the Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs and the ability to assign amplifiers for bi-amp connections—although true techheads will note the RX-V861 uses HDMI 1.2a, rather than the newer HDMI 1.3. The unit is also ready for XM Satellite Radio, and an optional dock lets users connect up their iPods.

The RX-V861 is scheduled to be available in May for $999.95; Yamaha says colors will vary by area, but product photos show black, silver, and gold editions.

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