Video Conversion and Multi-Zone Features
The S-Video/composite video conversion was also very good, with little signal loss when compared to a direct composite or S-video feed from the Laserdisc and DVD players to the video projector used.
In addition, I found that the 1500 easily passed both interlaced and progressive scan video signals through its component video connections.
Another useful feature I was glad to see on the RX-V1500 (which is becoming common on AV receivers) is the way it can execute the second zone option. This allows setup of a 5.1. main system as well as a 2-channel second zone, using the RX-V1500 to send power to the second zone by forgoing the use of its 7.1 channel capability. You also have the option of retaining 7.1 channel main zone capability if you choose to have a separate amplifier to power the second zone (or a third zone). The source can be the same or different from what is playing on the main system, however, only analog sources can be passed to the second and third zones.
YPAO and You
The last feature I wanted to touch on is the RX-V1500's automatic room setup system, referred to as YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer). Basically, by way of a microphone that is supplied with unit and a built-in test tone generator, the 1500 is able to automatically calculate the size of your loudspeakers, their distance from your listening position, and other parameters that will enable your system operate in your listening environment. Although the system isn't perfect, It did do fairly well. The YPAO did calculate my speaker distances accurately, and even adjusted the audio levels to compensate, however, it mislabled my left main speaker (a Klipsch B-3 Bookshelf Speaker) as a large speaker, instead of a small speaker. Basically, for the home theater novice that doesn't have the time to manually set everything up, the YPAO is a good way to get going, but for someone that likes to "fiddle around" with different speaker setups and rooms using a sound level meter, thank goodness the 1500 also has an extensive manual loudspeaker setup option.
With its medium price point, and loads of features, the RX-V1500 represents an excellent value in an AV receiver. With power to spare, the 1500, delivers exceptional sound with its high-current design and low distortion. Three useful features are: Video Conversion, which enables mixing of S-video and composite video inputs and outputting them in component form; YPAO automatic room setup option, which aids in setting up your speakers within your room environment, and THX Cinema Processing, which adds subtle enhancements in equalization and spatial cues to both the Dolby Digital and DTS surround environments. Overall, the only "negatives" of 1500 I found were: Lack of HDMI or DVI connectivity, Cramped speaker connection terminals made bare-wire connections difficult, and the remote control was not always intuitive to operate.
If you are considering either an upgrade from an old AV receiver or starting a system from scratch, consider the Yamaha RX-V1500 7.1 Channel AV receiver as an option. One last tip, however; with the extensive options available on the RX-V1500, it is best to read the owner's manual and take a good look at the rear panel before you get started.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy