Yamaha Announces HDMI 2.1 Board Replacement Scheme
As with its major Denon and Marantz rivals, Yamaha found itself hit hard in the latter stages of 2020 by a glitch with the much-vaunted new HDMI 2.1 ports on its new AV receivers. This glitch made it impossible for the AVRs to pass through 4K at 120Hz correctly from Xbox Series X consoles and NVIDIA RTX30 high-end PC gaming cards.
When this issue was discovered, Yamaha promised to find a solution for any impacted gamers who bought one of the affected receivers. Now, finally, that solution has been revealed. While a few details are still to be announced, we know now that it's going to ultimately be a more elegant fix than the external HDMI converter box solution recently unveiled by Sound United for its affected Marantz and Denon AVRs.
Yamaha's approach involves offering a replacement HDMI board free of charge to owners of all affected AVRs who need it, so long as they take the offer up within 24 months from going live - which is expected to happen in late 2021.
For the record, the Yamaha models falling under the upgrade scheme remit are the RX-V4A, the RX-V6A, the RX-A2A, the TSR-400 and TSR-700. Yamaha recommends that anyone who owns one of these AV receivers should make sure they register their ownership as soon as possible if they haven't already. Registering will ensure these users will be able to receive future updates on the upgrade plan directly.
Yamaha is keen to stress in its announcement of the HDMI upgrade scheme that many owners of the affected AVRs will not actually need to go through the hassle of getting the new HDMI board fitted. This is because the original HDMI already present in the receivers can handle the vast majority of sources without issue. It really is only people looking to pass through feeds from an Xbox Series X or NVIDIA RTX30 graphics card to a TV capable of playing native 4K signals at 120Hz who will benefit from the new board. In fact, even 4K at 120Hz from the PS5 plays through the original HDMI 2.1 ports without issue.
We're assuming that HDMI board replacement is not a task that owners will perform themselves. We suspect owners will need to send their receivers to a service centre, or technicians will have to visit the homes of all the affected owners who want the upgrade. It will be interesting to see how Yamaha rolls this out.
Neither option is ideal for either consumers or Yamaha - though I guess the likely hassle involved also proves how seriously the brand is taking the issue. Also, early feedback on the Yamaha announcement, which can now be found on both Yamaha's US and UK websites, suggests that consumers generally feel more favourable towards the replacement board solution than they do Denon and Marantz's external converter solution.
Naturally, we'll bring you more details on the upgrade process whenever Yamaha has more to say.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.