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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
Verified Purchase
I searched the Internet thoroughly before buying my first receiver in about a decade. I have been an audiophile since the 70's and used to use tube electronics and other exotica, but I was out of date regarding practical family-friendly AV receivers. I was put-off by the emphasis that some manufacturer's place in iPod/iPhone compatibility -- that feature is a nice-to-have in my book but it doesn't address the core requirements of a good home theater system. In the end, I selected Yamaha due to consistently good reviews for performance, reliability, and customer service; good reviews for sound quality in the British press; Internet software upgrade capability; CinemaDSP and similar features; and positive previous experience with the brand (although with musical instruments rather than electronic equipment).

I hope that my review will touch on topics of interest that are not well-covered in Internet reviews such as late-night listening, two-speaker systems, and the operation of CinemaDSP and other DSP functions.

So far I am very satisfied with the product. I hooked it up and got it going without consulting the Easy Start guide or the owners' manual (provided on a CD). The menus are intuitive for nearly anyone who has worked with other AV equipment in recent years, and it has defaults set for parameters that one either doesn't understand or doesn't care about. In fact, I only needed to consult the owner's manual for two issues: Updating the firmware (which worked flawlessly) and operating the network features.

Unlike most users (apparently), my living room isn't well-suited for surround sound. So, I run my system with two high-end speakers and a subwoofer. Therefore, I was very interested in what CinemaDSP could do to make the two-speaker system into a credible home theater system. To my surprise and delight, it actually works very well: Dialog is well-centered and the background effects seem widely spread beyond the edges of the speakers. Although it isn't a substitute for real surround, it is much better than my previous receiver which created a traditional 2-channel stereo sound field. The CinemaDSP effect is somewhat retained off-axis as well, so it isn't necessary to sit precisely in the center "sweet spot."

I have the two speakers wired up in the receiver's bi-amp mode. (Note that this isn't a true bi-amp mode; it only works with loudspeakers that have a built-in crossover designed to function in this manner.) The music reproduction is vastly improved compared to my previous Pioneer receiver and is somewhat "high-end" in character with outstanding clarity and a treble that is very clean rather than harsh. Since this model has pre-out jacks, one could use a true external audiophile-quality power amplifier for the main speakers (and any other channel) if desired.

The YPAO automatic calibration system couldn't be easier to use. I mounted the supplied microphone to a camera tripod, plugged the cable into the receiver, turned it on, and the receiver knew what I wanted to do and guided me step-by-step through the process. I had it do measurements at three different listening positions and setup the calibration automatically; the whole process took 20 minutes (including the time it took to find the tripod in the basement). Although the receiver provides the option for manually tweaking the equalization, it claimed to have achieved a flat frequency response so I see no reason to change it. The sound quality was significantly better, with improved midrange clarity and smoother bass performance. Maybe the Audyssey system of other receiver brands is more sophisticated, but the YPAO seemed to do the trick of taming the resonances of my highly reflective listening room.

The networking functionality was very easy to get up and running. Configuring it for my household LAN was performed fully automatically. By setting Windows Media Player to "streaming" capability on my Windows 7 machine, I was able to access my complete music collection using the receiver. The user interface is easy to understand, and it displays cover art on the TV screen as well as correctly displaying English and foreign alphabets. It seems to be able to play the variety of file formats that my collection is in (AAC, MP3, WMP). The Internet Radio feature allows users to search the world for radio stations and easily play them; the sound "Enhancer" significantly upgrades the sound quality from these sources.

My lifestyle usually dictates that TV-watching or what-have-you begins rarely earlier than 9pm on most evenings. And that means that sleeping children and neighbors are not far away. So my primary concern is with high quality sound at low-to-moderate levels rather than the full-impact of THX reference-level theater sound, which I can only rarely use. Practically, I was looking for dynamic range compression that enables the dialog to be heard reliably, without constantly changing the volume levels using the remote throughout the show. The Yamaha has two methods of controlling dynamic range, and I have been using both. They seem to do a good job of keeping dialog audible at lower listening levels and preventing the commercial "blast away" problem, but without adding audible side-effects. I don't know how it compares to Audyssey's Dynamic Volume, but it does work and is very easy to adjust as desired. Also, it reduces the quantity of low bass when listening at low levels (kind of the opposite effect of a "loudness" button), which reduces annoyance to others trying to sleep.
The application of CinemaDSP to headphones is fascinating - it changes the character of the sound from being "inside your head" to a more natural sound field. It doesn't give you true surround sound when wearing headphones of course, but it does give you a more convincing experience than regular 2-channel audio. I like it a lot - it really improves the headphone listening experience. Note that when you plug headphones into the receiver, it automatically configures CinemaDSP for headphone use.

Other random thoughts: The thin remote is elegant and easy enough to use (although it doesn't fully replace the functionality of my other remotes, which is par for the course); the HDMI and video digital conversion features are working without a hitch; and the receiver runs cool when running at normal volume levels, although it is installed in a cabinet. Overall, this receiver is a very well-integrated design that is sophisticated underneath but easy to approach for users. If you just want to do basic functions, then they are easy to do. If you want to geek-out with tweaking, you can do that as well.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2011
I purchased the RX-V867 in the hopes of using its additional HDMI output to drive a second TV in our kitchen. Unfortunately, my kitchen TV was not fully HDMI compliant and the V867 displayed an error message and prevented the main TV from showing video properly. In the end, I resolved this problem by using an inexpensive HDMI splitter; I probably would have been just fine purchasing a V667.

However, I really came to appreciate the 1080P upscaling for all HDMI sources and the networking features. The unit immediately recognized the Windows 7 machines on my network and was I able to access my MP3 collection. I have also been exploring the internet radio feature which is pretty cool, though slightly cumbersome given the sheer number of stations. I have my unit connected to a Polk SurroundBar 50 and some Sony bookshelf speakers in my kitchen as a second zone. The receiver sounds great and I really like the Yamaha on-screen menus. My only wish is that the Harmony remote people would have programmed more buttons to control Zone 2 and to tune the internet radio. I also would like to have seen compatibility with the Yamaha AV iPhone app.

Update: the new Yamaha AV controller app can control this unit via WiFi (if the RX-V867 is connected to your wireless home network). It is super-sweet, even more powerful than the supplied remote. I love being able to browse my MP3s in any room, particularly in my second zone in the kitchen.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
Verified Purchase
I upgraded to the Yamaha RX-V867 primarily to get internet radio. I enjoy listening to high quality classical music and the internet has an abundance of stations available. An unexpected benefit - the sound quality is noticeably better than the replaced 4 year old receiver (not Yamaha) with a similar price point.

Basic setup was straight forward with no problems. The internet connection and access to music files on my PC did not require any special setup and functioned without problem. The only condition for the PC access is that the Windows Media Player be set to allow sharing - I believe mine was by default.

On the negative side, I add to many other complaints relative to Yamaha receivers about the lack of a printed manual for products in this price range. I printed a copy of the manual from the CD for convenient access.

The abundance of features and setting options has a down side. For a technical person like myself, it took a lot of study to understand all the settings and features available. I suspect that a non-technical person might find it difficult to get beyond the basic setup and use all the available features. However, Yamaha did an excellent job wth the GUI, making it easy to navigate the settings once the user becomes familiar with the structure. Personally, I want the many features, and the learning curve is the necessary price to pay.

I did a test of the presence speaker feature using a temporary setup with some good bookshelf speakers propped into position (step ladder etc). My test was on music using a high quality CD for the source. The presence speakers did provide a noticeable improvement in the sound experience (compared to my 5.1 setup), but not a "wow" improvement. This setup is in a small room (converted bedroom). I am undecided about adding permanent presence speakers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2011
The receiver sounds much more realistic than my Onkyo SR-705 model that I replaced. The automatic speaker setup could not have been easier and no adjustment was needed. Firmware needed to be updated out of the box, but it was relatively easy.

I have every (Moxi, Blu-Ray, PS3) device going into this receiver and the output going into the TV. The picture quality and sound is incredible.

One feature that I wish was included was the ability to listen to another source while watching TV. This feature was available in Yamaha's previous models. There is a work around. I connected the DVR via HMDI to the receiver and then connected the DVR to the Receiver via Component Video. I then assigned the CD Scene audio to be the Audio 1 input. Now if I want to watch TV I use the TV Scene. If I want to watch the TV while listening to my satellite, I use the CD Scene button. It was an extra cable, but I don't always like to listen to the tv audio during sporting events. If this feature was included this would definitely be 5 stars.

One feature that I just learned about that I really like is that you can right click on a song or group of songs from your computer and select "Play To" > "RX-V867" and the songs are streamed to the receiver.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2013
I bought a yamaha RX-v867 receiver a couple of years ago and within a year the receiver started dropping HDMI signals from my Tivo and bluray player. After a couple of hours of watching any of these two sources the screen suddenly goes blank and I loose all audio and video. Sometimes unplugging the receiver and plugging it back in fixes the problem. However, this solution is not foolproof. I also tried all the other potential solutions such as changing all the HDMI cables etc but the problem persisted. I decided to replace the V867 with a yamaha V773 receiver and lo and behold after a couple of months the same problems of HDMI drops started with the new receiver. I thought I was unusually unlucky with yamaha receivers but a google search reveals a frequent problem with the HDMI board on the yamaha receivers. There is no known solution to this problem from Yamaha. Finally I switched to Denon AVR-E400 receiver and everything works perfectly fine. This proves to me that the HDMI problem was endemic to the yamaha receivers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
I have now owned this receiver for 6 months and I absolutely love it.

Pros:
- Great Sound, signal processing and many DSP programs
- Many Inputs and many outputs (I only use HDMI and love the fact that this has 2 HDMI outs)
- YPAO works great and really helped me in setting up the system
- Internet Radio works awesome (plenty of channels and easy to navigate UI)
- Love the UI, everything is easy to get to (can be improved thou with more help/details options)
- Pre-amp out, I am not using it but good great to know that i can hoop up external amp for driving high end speakers (will do it in future)
- Iphone & Android apps (both from Yamaha & External developers)
- Secondary zone support which control speakers in another room (can control [even switch on] from iPhone/Android tab's)
- HDMI 'IN' on front (handy for connecting camcorders/tablets etc)
- Runs really cool (no heat issues)
- Network connectivity (DLNA support - works with Tversity)
- Passive Pass-through (My Tivo and PS3 are connected to this receiver and the receiver is then connected to TV but due to 'Passive Pass-through' feature the receiver does not need to be switched on, it will pass the signal even if the receiver is off)
- Price (got a great deal on newe**.***)

Cons:
- Little buttons on remote
- Had to manually configure IP for network connectivity (not a huge issue but some people may feel this intimidating)
- Little issues with Tivo Premiere (Everytime I switch between HD & Non HD channels or use TV guide, TV screen flickers and takes a while to respond (may be 2 seconds) - this could also be a TV issues (4 yr old Panasonic Plasma). This is little annoying sometimes but not a deal breaker and this could also be due to my aging TV.

Set up: Panasonic Plasma, Tivo, PS3, Polk Monitor 60, Polk CS2, Polk RM8 surround, Bic F12 Subwoofer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
Verified Purchase
I have had the RX-V867 in use for almost two years. I originally used it for my 5.1 surround sound/TV setup. It sounded great with a pair of little DefTech ProMonitor 800s as Fronts, and JBL wall/ceiling speakers. Hooked it up to my home LAN (wired) and it plays Pandora/Vtuner radio just fine. Note that Pandora only streams at 128Kbps to receivers even if you are a Pandora 1 member. Finds my Windows 7 DLNA PC and plays play lists, albums, etc. in all their 192Kbps glory as ripped. Got the (free) Yamaha AV Controller app for my Android tab, and I can also stream directly from tunes stored on it.
My old Yammy RX-V2065 hiccuped so I moved the 867 to the LR (music only) which also drives Zone 2 on the patio. It's now driving my old JBL LX-44s with a Polk Audio PSW-505 sub inside (Zone 1) and a pair of Klipsch CA 525s outside (Zone 2). I was a bit worried I might miss some of the sound quality when playing CD music from a Marantz CD5004 (great player BTW), but the 867 sounds nice and clean no matter what I throw at it. BTW, I've tried other newer speakers, but nothing sings like the old JBL pure titanium tweeters. And the 867 can make them sing clear and loud!
Only time the amp got very warm was when I was running both Zone 1 and 2 for a whole day.

Suggestions:
-- Keep your firmware updated (along with updating the AV Controller app). I once upgraded the AV app, and it didn't play nice with the 867. Yamaha continues to update firmware for the 867 (latest 4/2013), which is a good thing
-- Don't tell your friends that visit that the AV controller app is free. My son visited, downloaded it for his iPhone, and hijacked my tunes during a party!
-- I'm thinking of running a power amp for more outdoor speakers (no I don't have any close neighbors), and the Trigger out feature should be able to turn on the power amp when I turn on Zone 2 on the Yamaha. The 867 provides line level outputs for Zone 2 LR.
-- Unfortunately the Zone 2 doesn't have a subwoofer out, so you can't run a powered subwoofer that way on Zone 2.
-- If you are going to stream music, spend the time and money to use wired 100Mbps Ethernet to the amp. No dropouts when your wireless channel gets busy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2013
I bought this after heavy research 2.5 yrs ago. First of all, the sound quality is absolutely amazing. With my speakers I can get the best quality at whisper quiet or eardrum shattering loud. Movies in surround sound=amazing. Lots of extras, including ability to control with your smart phone, provided they are both on the same wifi network. I agree that the sleek design and no printed user manual make me feel like there are tons of features that I have not even utilized. I actually came on here today to try to figure out if it is airplay enabled and realized I never gave it its due props with a review on amazon. But I have had it for 2.5 years and it is still kicking butt. Basically I have my whole AV system running through it, Cable, TV, iPod, XBox, CD, tape, Apple TV, Wii, and I run it and everything else off of an IR remote, because I have it and all my components in a coat closet in another room. There are tons of connections in the back, including several HDMI ports. I also have 2 zones setup/for play inside and out. Very handy for parties, BBQs and just rocking on the porch. Would definitely recommend this receiver. Now if you will excuse me, I will continue trying to find if it supports airplay. Update--once the receiver is hooked up to your network (ethernet), you can use your phone app to basically have an airplay feature. There is an owners forum you can find online and here is a page with some pdf manuals [...]
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2011
Verified Purchase
My Onkyo receiver was plagued with problems on the HDMI board, forcing me to turn the unit off and on several times, switch device inputs, and scream loudly at it before it would detect and process the input. I wanted a network connected receiver, that did everything my Onkyo did when it worked. The Yamaha RX-V867 does everything I wanted, plus more.

I also purchased the bluetooth docking device to work with my laptops and android devices, and I'm very pleased I did so. Setting up and operating the device is a breeze, and the abundance of HDMI and other inputs promises to keep me happy for many years to come. The second zone is wonderful for controlling my outdoor speakers on our patio, and I love the fact that I can control the volume on that channel independently from that of the indside speakers. It supports 7.2 outputs in various configurations, and the preset surround templates are actually useful and pleasing to the ear.

The sound quality is excellent, and would do speakers far better than mine justice. I do plan on upgrading to Polk or Klipsch as soon as I find the extra fun money.

I have nothing but good things to say about this device, and I'm so happy that I made the decision to purchase this make and model. There were two things I was looking for in a new A/V receiver: excellent video and sound quality, and easy versatility. The Yamaha RX-V867 nailed both, and it has hardly had a resting moment since I set it up.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
This is replacing an almost 10 year old Sony 5.1 receiver. I was using optical and was tired of having so many cables. I wasn't in to the 7.1, but figured I might as well step up to it. This receiver is working great. I have 3 HDMI devices plugged into it, XBOX360, PS3, and a HD receiver from Charter. Then the HDMI outputs to my tv. For speakers I am using some old "THX Certified" Klipsch satellite speakers from a pc system I had, then the fronts I have two KLH bookshelf and a KLH center. The sound clarity is amazing. The HDMI connectivity is great, no issues at all. I thought the 7.1 would be unnecessary, but wow. Some of the games I have played that support 7.1 sound amazing, the extra two speakers add a lot more than I thought they would.

Controlling and setup of the receiver is super easy. Set up your speakers, hook up the Mic, and fire up the on-screen setup guide. It tests the speakers and adjusts the levels for each speaker.

I would highly recommend this product, I have no gripes about it other than it showed me I need to buy new speakers!
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