Home theater systems can be very expensive to set up especially if you prioritize the wrong components. For instance, if you have an inexpensive 7.2-channel speaker system, investing more than $1,000 on a home theater system may not be the wisest move. But before you consider purchasing the cheapest AV receiver, you should consider the number of home theater components you wish to connect. Many of Yamaha’s home theater systems can accommodate up to 6 HDMI components which is actually adequate for most configurations. But if you think you need 8 HDMI inputs, the Yamaha RX-V871 can provide you with those connections without breaking the bank.
Although the RX-V871 is most advanced model of the RX-V series, it has a similar aluminum front panel design to any of Yamaha’s premium AVENTAGE AV receivers so the quality is still there in terms of looks. The internal components are not as reinforced as the AVENTAGE models but the RX-V871 doesn’t really need that extra protection since the rated output power is lower per channel. Not all homeowners will blast their speakers or need studio-like audio quality. The weight of the RX-V871 is also lighter as a result.
The Yamaha RX-V871 is a lot like the previous model which it intends to replace which is the Yamaha RX-V867. But one of the biggest refinements is the graphical user interface. This new advanced on-screen GUI makes good use of high definition displays by showing off a detailed menu layout. It should be much easier for newer users to understand which is important for performing vital setup procedures like the sound optimization and calibration. It is also easier to check the audio format, DSP mode, input source, and volume level just by looking at the status bar.
The RX-V871 actually has a special technology associated with the calibration process known as the YPAO Sound Optimization with Multi-Point Measurement. All you need to do is finalize the arrangement of your speakers and follow the instructions so the system can analyze the room acoustics and make all of the necessary audio parameter adjustments so a proper listening environment is created. One of the unique features of this is the ability to specify up to eight listening positions which is nice if a group of people need to enjoy a movie with the best possible audio experience for everyone.
Amplifier flexibility is one of the main features of the Yamaha RX-V871 which is beneficial if you have a 7.1-channel home theater setup. The RX-V871 can assign amplifier channels to each of the speakers automatically. If the 7.1-channel setup is contained in a room, all speakers can be recognized that way as long as the Zone 2 setting is switched off. Turning Zone 2 on is useful if you want to move 2 channels to another room while the main room has a 5.1-channel setup. The best thing about Yamaha’s intelligent amp design is the fact that you do not have to make any readjustments to the speaker cables.
This flexibility is great because there are 8 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs to work with and that spells so many possibilities when it comes to plugging in media players, gaming consoles, and even an HDTV and home theater projector all at once. Even 3D-enabled devices can be plugged in since these HDMI ports can all receive 3D signal data. When playing back MP3 files, the sound quality is noticeably better thanks to the Compressed Music Enhancer technology which attempts to restore some of the lost audio details due to compression.
The remote control is pretty standard for a home theater receiver but the Yamaha AV Controller application makes interacting with the Yamaha RX-V871 a bit more interesting if you have an iOS or Android device. This application can turn your touchscreen device into an interactive remote control so you can do basic things like play music or select input modes. You can also use the USB connection so you can directly play music tracks from an iPod or iPhone.
Networking capabilities are also rich in the RX-V871. It is more focused on the audio end with support for SiriusXM Internet radio as well as popular streaming services like vTuner, Pandora, Rhapsody, and Napster. With Windows 7 and DLNA 1.5 certification, the RX-V871 can serve as a nice part of the network for streaming local content.
Action-packed movies are great for seeing just how well the Yamaha RX-V871 performs so Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was chosen. Thanks to the Blu-ray format, colors looked great and really highlighted the bleakness of the film by showing deep blacks and proper shadowing. Even the minor skin details had the proper coloring and texturing which is important if you have a large HDTV. The RX-V871 makes use of a high quality video processor that is capable of edge adaptive deinterlacing in order to minimize jaggies.
Like many other Blu-ray titles, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows relies on the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 for the decoder. Combined with the RX-V871 audio enhancements, the audio performance ended up sounding really good. Enabling CINEMA DSP 3D is a good idea for movies like this because it virtually adds presence speakers to produce 3D sound for a fuller sound field.
One of the best advantages of having the Yamaha RX-V871 instead of the higher-end models is the power consumption as it has a rated output power of 110W. Like the other Yamaha AV receivers, the RX-V871 features an HDMI Standby Through mode so the receiver only consumes 2W while still allowing the input source to be changed. If this isn’t needed, a full standby mode is available so it can consume just 0.3W
The RX-V871 has a reasonable $900 price tag making it the only Yamaha AV receiver of the RX-V series to be a bit pricier than some of the entry-level AVENTAGE models. Yamaha AVENTAGE models are more durable and stable but the RX-V871 has more inputs and outputs to accommodate larger home theater systems.
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