Yamaha has today (April 26) announced a new firmware update for its popular Aventage range of AV receivers that adds a couple of key new features to their spec sheets. One aimed at video sources, the other aimed at gamers.
On the video side of things, Yamaha firmware version 1.65, which should appear at any moment for download and USB installation on Yamaha’s website, introduces HDR10+ support to the RX-A8A, A6A and A4A Aventage models. HDR10+, if you’re not familiar with it, is an ‘active’ HDR format that adds extra scene by scene data to the video stream to help compatible displays deliver better HDR playback results.
Not all TVs support HDR10+, but many sets from Samsung, Panasonic and Philips do. And while it’s not as commonly used in the content world as its Dolby Vision rival, it is available on most of Amazon Prime Video’s home-grown HDR content, as well as a few 4K Blu-ray discs. So it’s definitely a feature an AVR should support on its HDMI loopthrough these days.
The game-related feature introduced by firmware 1.65 is 4K at 120Hz HDMI pass through. The PS5, Xbox Series X and the latest premium PC graphics cards all support games with 4K resolution graphics being output at 120Hz frame rates – and once you’ve experienced gaming with this sort of fluidity and clarity, there’s no going back.
Again, as well as one of the affected Aventage AVRs and a suitably powerful gaming device, you’ll need a display capable of handling 4K/120Hz feeds over HDMI for this new Aventage feature to be of any immediate use to you.
Good though it is to see Yamaha adding such key features to its popular AVRs post launch, there remain a number of other (mostly gaming-related) features we’re still waiting for. Quick Frame Transport (QFT), Quick Media Switching, Auto Low Latency Mode switching and, especially importantly, support for variable refresh rates continue to be unavailable.
I’ve checked in with Yamaha about this key quartet of features, however, and the brand assures me that a) they are all in the pipeline, and b) they will let me know when future updates are ready to roll out. So keep an eye on my Forbes channel for further updates, Aventage owners.
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