Over the last few years, AV receivers have been integrating all sorts of functions necessary for a modern home theater, including video upscaling, media streaming, and video switching. It's good in some ways, but bad in others; when we reviewed Denon's AVR-3808CI, we were thrilled about how much we could do with it, but much less excited about how confusing it was to operate.
Yamaha's newly announced neoHD series of products continues to consolidate functionality in your AV receiver, but also focus on ease-of-use, including a graphical user interface with icon-based navigation and the ability to control other devices with IR blasters.
Yamaha announced three new products in the neoHD line: the YMC-500, YMC-700, and YMC-S21.
The entry-level YMC-500 includes much of the functionality found on a midrange AV receiver, plus advanced ability to control other devices and playback media off its USB port. There are three HDMI inputs, two component video inputs and a single composite video input, and the YMC-500 can upconvert those signals to its HDMI out. In fact, you have to upconvert analog signals because there are no analog video outputs. There are also two digital audio inputs, one optical and one coaxial. Speaker connections are limited to spring-clip connectors, which is disappointing, but we're assuming that was done to save space on the back panel.… Read more