Customer Review

71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price, but falls a touch short, December 2, 2012
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This review is from: Yamaha YHT-397 5.1-Channel Home Theater System (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
You really can't beat this unit for the price. It came as advertised and only took a couple hours to set up. The instruction manual was lacking, but the disc that accompanied it is very thorough. I am pretty savvy with home theater equipment and this unit seemed too good to be true. Well, it is and it's not.........

It was easy to put together and does the job as advertised. The sound is really good for a unit of this price. Yamaha has always had a good name and hasn't let it go with this unit. The surround sound "auto" set up is very easy and works really well. It's easy to tweak the settings if need be as well. There are a lot of inputs for various devices. Although, the inputs area is exactly where I have an issue and I'll address that below.....The unit is very easy to navigate through the menu and adjust things and customize things for you. The USB input on the front of the unit is great for your ipod/iphone. Don't knock the sound or the speakers until you have set it up completely and have customized everything. Once it's set up, the entire package sounds pretty good.

The idea of a home theater system, to me, is to have ALL the devices going to the unit and then ONE cable (HDMI) going to the TV. This is NOT that unit. The only things that travels through the HDMI output cable are the HDMI inputs, as well as sound from the other inputs. Video from the AV or Component inputs does NOT get transferred through the HDMI output to the TV. On this unit they require a separate cable going from the AV output or Component output to another input on the TV, which to me defeats some of the purpose of having a "system". Now, if your TV is on a stand sitting right above the tuner then not as big of a deal, although you will still have to change the input on the TV if you want to play your playstation or whatever is not running through the HDMI cable.....a pain, but possible. BUT, if your TV is mounted on the wall and your cables are running through the wall then that significantly complicates the installation since you will then have to run more cables through the wall to all the different inputs on the TV. And again, kind of a pain to have to change the input on the TV depending on what device you're using. This is my only con regarding this unit, albeit a very big one IMO. Luckily they make a Wii to HDMI converter and I'm putting my PS2 in the other room for my son. So for now, the 4 HDMI inputs are going to be enough. But if you have more devices than 4 then you will have the issue that I mention above.

Right now I couldn't afford the actual system that I really wanted. I bought this as a temporary filler for a little while and it is definitely going to do the job and do it well! I should have only given this 3 stars because of the issue I mentioned above, although, for the price and what you get, this is worth a 4 star rating.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 12, 2012 6:43:03 PM PST
DW says:
What you described if I understand it correctly is not a con with the system but rather the fact that component video is analog while HDMI is digital, so basically two different circuits that do not talk to each other. You could look into a component to HDMI decoder, but I'm not sure those always give the best results.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 7:39:30 AM PST
4kids4us says:
Hi, arainman,

Couldn't you run the video directly to your tv, then use "HDMI with 3D and Audio Return Channel" to send sound to the receiver? It means you have two remotes - your tv to choose the other video source which is component, and your Yamaha remote to choose between all other video sources, but it eliminates the extra wire that seems to frustrate you. As DW mentions, I don't see how any stereo could solve that problem.


Posted on Jan 20, 2013 1:32:07 PM PST
While I can understand your desire for simplicity, this system was created in the vein of more expensive sound systems. Most audio aficionados want multiple options for their setups. Having one multi hdmi cable while convenient limits your options, some of which includes listening to two sources at once. Also it plays a factor if you record while monitoring your sources such as a dvd recorder, recording from video game systems and DVRs. Also because hdmi is a combined video/audio input most new televisions don't allow you to watch one source and listen to (play audio) from a different source. This can also be a big plus if you have PIP (picture in picture) and want to hear sound from both sources. Yamaha has been a industry leader at multiple price points in the audio world for a quite a while. (For the record I am a longtime Yamaha owner but also have and had multiple sound systems inc. Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, Harmon Kardon and Sony.)

Posted on Jan 25, 2013 2:42:12 PM PST
Sean Li says:
this unit does not come with video up conversion.

that just sums up your entire 3rd paragraph.

Posted on Jan 26, 2013 11:21:18 PM PST
Camp H says:
With respect sir, you should view ht as all devices including the TV, connected to this Yamaha. The notion that one would need to aggregate devices only to bring the audio back to the TV defeats the purpose of ht as TV speakers definitely have inferior sound to ht speakers.

Posted on Mar 27, 2013 8:22:07 AM PDT
mayamaven says:
Just out of curiosity, what is the system you really wanted? Thanks!
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