3D compatibility is clearly the headline feature, but the rest is fairly modest. As mentioned, it can decode Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD bitstreams via HDMI and there are no less than 17 digital signal processing (DSP) modes that adapt the sound to suit different types of material.
They’re helpfully split into movie and music (with separate buttons on the remote) and come with names like ‘Spectacle’, ‘Sci-Fi’ and even ‘Role-playing Game’. On the music side they get even more weird and wonderful, with names like ‘The Bottom Line’, ‘The Roxy Theater’ and ‘Hall In Munich’. We’re not entirely sure if they accurately replicate their intended venues, but the DSP technology behind them is certainly effective. You can alter the parameters for each one using the setup menu.
Power output is quoted as 5 x 120W, with Burr Brown 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analogue converters for all channels. The Direct Mode switches off any unnecessary circuitry and processing for the cleanest sound quality, while the ability to switch between HDMI inputs while in standby will come in handy.
(centre)Yamaha RX-V467 with set-up mic and remote(/centre)
Another key feature is the aforementioned YPAO automatic sound optimisation mode, which makes audio setup an absolute breeze. Simply connect the supplied microphone, hit enter and the receiver runs through a sequence of test tones, which are picked up by the mic and measured to calculate the optimum sound settings for the room. Users with a bit of sonic savvy who don’t trust the results can tweak the levels manually, but beginners will appreciate having this tricky task taken out of their hands.
In fact, first-timers won’t have much trouble using the RX-V467, although its user-friendliness would have been boosted considerably by the inclusion of an on-screen user interface – as it stands, you have to set everything up using the front panel display. Thankfully, the large illuminated lettering and sensible sequencing allows you to find the relevant options without a great deal of confusion.
It’s a bit of a shame, then, that the remote is so fiddly to use. Most of the buttons are microscopic in size, and anyone with a thumb wider than a pencil might start mashing up the keys like Bernard Manning on a mobile phone.
Still, at least the layout’s fairly good, with conveniently placed menu navigation controls, large volume keys and clear labelling for all buttons, despite their size. Each input has its own button at the top and four dedicated Scene buttons (labelled BD, TV, CD and Radio) provide instant access to those macro-style functions. The zapper can also be used to change channels and volume on your TV.
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