Finding an affordable home theater receiver that actually performs well is quite difficult since these budget receivers lack the technologies that really push the connected components forward. However, the budget home receiver market remains competitive and Yamaha is one of the active pioneers that continue to innovate each year. The Yamaha HTR series continue to grow in number offering attractive budget devices like the new HTR-4063 which is priced in the middle so it is sure to yield some balancing features.
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The Yamaha HTR-4063 looks pretty much like the other HTR models where the top half of the receiver is minimal since the display panel is located there. The power button is on the upper left while the other usual controls are found below the display.
The four largest buttons on the receiver are the “SCENE” buttons which serve as presets for different audio sources. These four buttons are likely to be used often as they make usage so much easier since the receiver does all of the internal processing once a button is pressed. Below these “SCENE” buttons are some other functions like the input and program selectors along with the lone phones jack on the lower left and large volume knob on the lower right. The video aux panel is found on the lower right too where the pushing the panel shows the other ports.
The Yamaha HTR-4063 is intended for standard home theater systems equipped with surround sound systems with 5 speakers. There are four HDMI ports to work with so Blu-ray players and a fair share of other media players and portable devices can connect to the receiver simultaneously. This may sound generic, but the HDMI ports are up to date because they are 3D ready. With several new Blu-ray players out that support 3D features, they can finally be connected to a home receiver to take full advantage of the functions. In addition to the 3D, the HDMI 1.4 specification also supports Audio Return Channel where it carries the function of the S/PDIF audio connection. Now only a single HDMI cable is necessary for upstreaming audio data.
The HTR-4063 channels its audio quality through a processing system known as CINEMA DSP. Its advanced DTS and Dolby Digital decoding techniques and matrix technologies to form realistic surround sound effects. The ideal effect is produced by first separating the dialogue, effects, and music into distinct sound fields that operate independently. This creates very rich and clear sounds as long as the HTR-4063 properly configured which also happens to be easy.
It is easy to configure the system because the YPAO Sound Optimization works better than previous Yamaha models. The small microphone that the package comes with gauges the distance between the speakers as well as the size. It also checks the sound pressure level before it modifies any of the equalization settings. After just three minutes, all speakers should be configured for their best sound outputs based on the speaker setup.
Connecting portable devices like iPods and iPhones are also welcome if the YDS-12 Universal Dock is purchased. Playing back any MP3 files stored in the device sounds better thanks to the Compressed Music Enhancer where the highs and lows are richer even when playing back tracks with high compression levels. This technology works for WMA files as well.
Other neat features that the HTR-4063 features are derived from the CINEMA DSP technology. The Virtual CINEMA DSP benefits those that have basic speaker configurations set up. The optimizations result to surround sound quality coming out of these basic systems hence the term virtual. SILENT CINEMA delivers the same experience to a pair of ordinary headphones. The effect is best experienced when playing games or watching movies.
The HTR-4063 is only a step behind the other home receivers that provide some enhancements to the video making the HTR-4063 intended for home theater systems that need a better sound experience. Priced at around $380, the Yamaha HTR-4063 ranks up pretty well with the rest of the competing home theater receivers. But the simple interface on the panel and “SCENE” buttons make the device easy to use. It also supports 3D too so upgrading old TVs to the newer 3D models do not require the home theater receiver to be replaced if the HTR-4063 is purchased in advance.
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