Yamaha RX-A800 7.1-Channel Audio/Video Receiver AVENTAGE SERIES

The RX-A700 7.1 Channel Aventage series receiver here(the previously reviewed model). 

The Yamaha AVENTAGE Series provides solutions for every consumer from mid-range and up. Next in line is the:

AVENTAGE SERIES Yamaha RX-A800 7.1-Channel

The RX-A800 nearly the same as the RX-A700 7.1 Channel Aventage series receiver here.
comes with 6 HDMI inputs and two HDMI out which are version 1.4a that supports the current 3D standard. All video signals are upscaled to full HD 1080p. The advanced video processing chip handles motion and edge adaptive deinterlacing, and multi-cadence (incl. 3-2 pull-down) detection.

In addition to an innovative new construction design, the RX-A1000 A/V Receiver supports 3D and Audio Return channel over 8 in/2out HDMI, new GUI with overlay on HD and 3D sources, CINEMA DSP 3D surround sound, with or without Front Presence Speakers, RS-232C interface for custom installation, HDMI for Zone B and Control4® certification.

Power?  The RX-A800 has 5W more that the RX-A700 below it in the series.  Giving it 95W per channel for each of the 7 channels.  Also, this model comes with a Zone 2 giving its user the ability to run another set of speakers in a different room or in the same room with a different source.

For surround sound processing Yamaha has its proprietary CINEMA DSP technology that they tout is more advanced than Dolby Digital and DTS. The decoding circuitry also performs Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS Digital Surround, DTS-ES (DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 and DTS-ES Discrete 6.1), DTS Neo:6 and DTS 96/24 decoding.
Tuning a multi-channel system is not an easy task. Room acoustics and speaker phasing are difficult issues to tackle. To handle this, Yamaha uses its own YPAO technology which is an automatic calibration system. With the aid of an included microphone included it automatically sets the equalization levels of all speakers by sending out calibration tones. The speakers are tuned according to their placement and room acoustics so they play back at correct levels relative to each other.

I've commented on the New Aventege GUI and it is a massive step up from previous Yamaha Graphical user Interfaces(or lack thereof).  I think in the past the quality of the sound was all that mattered(rightfully so) but to compete with all the other manufacturers these days, its got to look pretty :)

The RX-A800 features many ways to control your media. A new full-color GUI with support for album art lets you browse movies, music, and settings on your HDTV. An RS-232C port lets the RX-A800 integrate easily with any custom home theater installation. Control4® certification provides effortless entertainment, comfort, convenience and peace of mind with one of the most popular home automation platforms.

 Another addition to this model, SIRIUS Satellite Radio-ready for even more music (subscription required). Or expand further with optional accessories like the Yamaha YDS-12 Universal Dock for iPod or the Yamaha YBA-10 Bluetooth Wireless Audio Receiver (sold separately).

The improved GUI lets you control your home entertainment system and adjust settings simply. Its updated, intuitive interface features an HD overlay, so you can call the menu and it will appear unintrusively for quick commands–without interrupting or switching from whatever’s playing onscreen.

Yamaha uses Anti-Resonance Technology or A.R.T. It’s a fact that ground based and airborne vibration can damage the integrity of delicate electrical signals in the audio path. Rigidity of construction is important and Yamaha has taken the right approach by adding a fifth foot in the center of the bottom plate. It makes the chassis less susceptible to direct vibration.

Power and Processing:
  • 95 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20k Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio
  • analog-to-HDMI video upconversion (up to 1080p)
  • YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) for easy automatic speaker setup and more precise surround sound (microphone included)
  • Cinema DSP modes add richness and presence to music and movie soundtracks
  • Adaptive Dynamic Range Control keeps a lid on explosive sound effects for more discreet late-night listening
  • Silent Cinema for simulated surround sound via standard stereo headphones
  • Compressed Music Enhancer for better sounding MP3s and other digital music files
Digital Music Options:
  • iPod/iPhone integration (requires optional Yamaha control dock)
  • built-in HD Radio tuner with multi-casting reception and iTunes tagging
  • SIRIUS satellite radio capable (requires SIRIUS subscription and optional SiriusConnect home tuner kit)
  • plays music wirelessly from compatible Bluetooth® devices (requires optional YBA-10 adapter)
Multi-room Audio:
  • dual-room/dual-source output
    • powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room (using powered 2nd-room output allows 5.1 home theater in main room)
    • only analog sources can be played in the 2nd room
Audio Performance Features:
  • back surround speaker channels re-assignable for bi-amping compatible front left and right speakers
  • Pure Direct mode switches off front-panel display, tone controls, and DSP circuitry for cleaner sound with analog audio sources
  • 1080p-compatible HDMI switching: 6 in, 2 out (including 1 front-panel input)
  • HDMI version 1.4a with support for 3D video, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.v.Color, auto lip-sync, and HDMI-CEC
  • Audio Return Channel function receives digital audio signals from a compatible HDTV's tuner via HDMI
  • HDMI standby pass-through allows signals to go to your TV without turning on your the receiver
  • component video switching (2 in, 1 out)
  • digital audio inputs: 2 optical and 2 coaxial
  • 5 audio/video inputs (including 1 front-panel) with composite video
  • 2 audio-only inputs
  • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
  • 7.1-channel analog audio preamp input
  • 7.2-channel preamp output for connecting optional external amplifiers and up to 2 (mono) powered subwoofers
  • 2 pairs of main speaker outputs
So as you can see, the RX-A800 is undoubtedly a step up from the RX-A700 for those who need the extra features.  Summarized here they are:
  • 1 extra HDMI input, and one extra HDMI output, Zone 2 (which may prove very valuable if you have multiple tvs or screens and/or speaker setups.
  • 3D compatibility
  • Sirius Radio, blu-tooth integration
  • iPod/iPhone compatibility,
The included RS-232C port expands the configuration options for custom setups.

Pretty much this is self explanitory.  If you require any of these summarized features, this is it.  If you don't (and you don't anticipate ever requiring them) stick with the RX-A700.  The sound quality will be the same.

In this case, the price of the RX-A800 is around $100-$150 more that the RX-A700 so it may be worth it to just pick up the RX-A800 just for the future-proof features it possesses.  Now if you know you will never use these extra features.  save yourself the cash. Go with the RX-A700.