Yamaha’s HDMI 2.1 Solution Ignores 8K/60 Option

by Chris Chinnock

As has been widely reported. AV Receivers from Denon, Marantz and Yamaha have an HMI 2.1 chip set issue which can prevent pass through of 4K/120 and 8K/60 signals.  Denon and Marantz recently announced their fix and Yamaha has now announced theirs.  The concern is that there is no mention of a fix for 8K/60 pass through. Messages to the company to clarify support went unanswered, so we remain unclear if there is support or not.

Our sources suggest that 8K/60 and 4K/120 would be resolved together because the issue came from PHY layer, not a video format layer.  However, Yamaha’s lack of transparency on this issue is not good PR.

Yamaha’s solution is to replace the HDMI board in affected devices whereas the Marantz/Denon solution is an external box. Affected Yamaha AVRs include the RX-V4A, RX-V6A, RX-A2A, TSR-400 and TSR-700 models.

Yamaha says the upgrade is only needed “for customers who plan to connect Xbox Series X or NVIDIA RTX30 at 4K/120Hz to these select AV receivers.” That’s interesting as we knew about the X Box connectivity “corner case” issue but pass through concerns with RTX30 series cards is new to us.

The Yamaha press release stated, “A free update program will be available starting in fall 2021 to update the HDMI board on these AV receivers to allow for the 4K/120Hz signal transmission with these source devices. This HDMI board update is complimentary to customers for 24 months after the program starts.”  More information will be available this summer.

Yamaha also clarified that the affected AVRs currently support HDMI pass-through of 4K/60Hz signals with HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) and may be used with the latest gaming devices. They also support HDMI eARC, which allows 4K/120Hz sources to be connected directly to a compatible TV, with the audio fed to the AVR via eARC.

Yamaha has also released “A” versions of the RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A that they claim are “unaffected by the pass-through issue, requiring only a future firmware update to enable certain HDMI 2.1 capabilities.