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Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver with HDMI - Short Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver  - Front View w/Included Accessories

Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View w/Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver has power, up-to-date features, and an abundance of connectivity options. This receiver also offers excellent audio performance, bolstered by TrueHD and DTS-HD processing. On the video side, the RX-V863 has three HDMI inputs with 1080p pass-through and analog to HDMI video conversion and upscaling. However, the quality of the video conversion and upscaling falls a little short. On the other hand, other bonuses to consider are the inclusion of iPOD and Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio access, as well as two subwoofer outputs. For more, read the rest of my review.
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Pros

  • Sound quality excellent in both stereo and surround modes.
  • On board decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • Incorporation of both Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
  • Two Subwoofer outputs.
  • Multi-zone operation included.

Cons

  • Video upscaling quality was disappointing.
  • Only one connection provided for both iPod and Bluetooth docking stations.
  • Needs more HDMI inputs.
  • Speaker connection terminals too close together.
  • External build quality not as good as previous RX-V861 model it replaces.

Description

Guide Review - Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver with HDMI - Short Review

The RX-V863 delivers excellent audio performance and more than enough power a medium sized room. Useful features include: Built-in decoding for all major 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 Channel surround sound formats, including Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD.

Second Zone use is also available via pre-outs, which allow the user to supply either a simultaneous or second source to another room (additional amplifier required) or using only 5.1 channels in the main room, but using the 6th and 7th channel amplifiers of the 863 to power a second zone. Other audio-related features, such as XM/Sirius, iPOD, and Bluetooth connectivity, built-in HD Radio tuner, and YPAO auto-speaker setup balance out the audio flexibility of this receiver.

I found the audio quality of the RX-V863, from audio-only CDs, DVD-Audio Discs, SACDs, and Blu-ray disc soundtracks, was excellent, making it more than suitable for both extensive music listening as well as for home theater use.

I also found that the YPAO auto-speaker setup feature actually worked well, including the center channel level, which is usually the hardest to get right with DVD and Blu-ray source material.

The RX-V863 also offers consideration for both audio and video. This definitely makes the RX-V863 a flexible home theater receiver. The image quality from pass-through 1080p HD sources is very consistent. However, the video conversion and upscaling of analog video sources, was below average, as revealed by the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD. See some test result examples. This receiver needs improvement in this area.

If you are basing your purchase decision on video upscaling needs, this may not be the receiver for you. However, The RX-V863 is a very flexible receiver that really delivers the goods in terms of audio performance, features, and connectivity options. I give it 4.0 Stars out of 5.

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