Official Yamaha RX-V81 Owners Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 210 Old 09-20-2016, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Official Yamaha RX-V81 Owners Thread

Hello everyone, I figured I would start this thread on the V81 series. I'm very green with receivers, so look forward to learning from everyone. I recently exchanged an onkyo 353 for the v481, and very pleased with my decision.

Impressions so far, the clarity in dialogue is pretty darn good as well as the surround and bass...my budget polk speakers sound quite well. The ypao set up was easy...although I'm not sure if the speaker distances are correct. The only minor gripes I have would have to be the learning curve associated with set up. Connecting to WiFi was a little bit of a pain, but ok. Again this is an owners thread, and look forward to getting the most out of it!

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post #2 of 210 Old 09-24-2016, 09:47 AM
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I bought the V481 in July and hate it. It's all mid-range and flat. Wonder if the A series is any better.... Or maybe Denon, Marantz. I use mine mostly for music.
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post #3 of 210 Old 09-24-2016, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fu-cat View Post
I bought the V481 in July and hate it. It's all mid-range and flat. Wonder if the A series is any better.... Or maybe Denon, Marantz. I use mine mostly for music.
Oh wow, I don't really notice it being flat as I have it in a small room...I use it mostly for movies and I think it does its job. You weren't able to return it?
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post #4 of 210 Old 09-24-2016, 01:19 PM
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No, I waited too long. I'm bummed.
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post #5 of 210 Old 09-25-2016, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fu-cat View Post
I bought the V481 in July and hate it. It's all mid-range and flat. Wonder if the A series is any better.... Or maybe Denon, Marantz. I use mine mostly for music.
Have you attempted fine tuning of the receiver's sound parameters? There are quite a few EQ settings you can mess with. One thing I like about the new receivers is you can create different sound settings for each input; for instance, I like somewhat more bass and highs when I listen to music, but completely different (flatter EQ curve) when watching movies or tv. I noticed that the v481 even keeps different settings for different types of sound depending on what I'm listening through the Roku box; when watching a movie or tv episode it mostly uses the flatter surround settings I've come up with, but music through the Roku uses the PLII music parameters I've set up (highs and bass turned up). Maybe it keys on incoming surround vs. stereo audio. Also, I can set up a completely different EQ curve when listening to music via the receiver's Pandora client vs. its DLNA client input, because my music files seem to sound a lot different from what comes in on Pandora.

I tried to place my front speakers as close to ear height as possible, with the surrounds a bit higher. That seemed to help quite a bit. Also turned up the gain on the sub a little after running ypao, because bass. Tuning sub level in receiver settings didn't seem to make much difference with my speaker setup.

Of course, I'm still playing around with the sound field, and that might take a while. I remember a long time ago I upgraded something and it seemed like it took forever to get things just right, at least to my ears. Drives the wife crazy.

I recently read this somewhere, maybe this forum:

Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics.
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post #6 of 210 Old 09-25-2016, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fu-cat View Post
I bought the V481 in July and hate it. It's all mid-range and flat. Wonder if the A series is any better.... Or maybe Denon, Marantz. I use mine mostly for music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintE View Post

Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics.

This.

What speakers do you have? How many? What size room?
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post #7 of 210 Old 09-25-2016, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ClintE View Post
Have you attempted fine tuning of the receiver's sound parameters? There are quite a few EQ settings you can mess with. One thing I like about the new receivers is you can create different sound settings for each input; for instance, I like somewhat more bass and highs when I listen to music, but completely different (flatter EQ curve) when watching movies or tv. I noticed that the v481 even keeps different settings for different types of sound depending on what I'm listening through the Roku box; when watching a movie or tv episode it mostly uses the flatter surround settings I've come up with, but music through the Roku uses the PLII music parameters I've set up (highs and bass turned up). Maybe it keys on incoming surround vs. stereo audio. Also, I can set up a completely different EQ curve when listening to music via the receiver's Pandora client vs. its DLNA client input, because my music files seem to sound a lot different from what comes in on Pandora.

I tried to place my front speakers as close to ear height as possible, with the surrounds a bit higher. That seemed to help quite a bit. Also turned up the gain on the sub a little after running ypao, because bass. Tuning sub level in receiver settings didn't seem to make much difference with my speaker setup.

Of course, I'm still playing around with the sound field, and that might take a while. I remember a long time ago I upgraded something and it seemed like it took forever to get things just right, at least to my ears. Drives the wife crazy.

I recently read this somewhere, maybe this forum:

Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics.
"Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics."

Well, the only thing that has changed is the receiver. The speakers and room's influence are exactly the same.

I should mention that I am using this in a two channel configuration. I had an Onkyo TX-8511 paired with PSB IMAGE 2B's. The sound was MUCH better. This just sounds muddy and flat. Sorry.

As far as the EQ, I tried to play around with it but it didn't sound that much different. I went to: SETUP>SPEAKER>EQ SELECT. Is that what y'all are talking about? If not PLEASE direct me to the right place. I want this to work but as it is there's no way. It is an assault on the ears.

Thanks for the replies. It is much appreciated!
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post #8 of 210 Old 09-25-2016, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClintE View Post
Have you attempted fine tuning of the receiver's sound parameters? There are quite a few EQ settings you can mess with. One thing I like about the new receivers is you can create different sound settings for each input; for instance, I like somewhat more bass and highs when I listen to music, but completely different (flatter EQ curve) when watching movies or tv. I noticed that the v481 even keeps different settings for different types of sound depending on what I'm listening through the Roku box; when watching a movie or tv episode it mostly uses the flatter surround settings I've come up with, but music through the Roku uses the PLII music parameters I've set up (highs and bass turned up). Maybe it keys on incoming surround vs. stereo audio. Also, I can set up a completely different EQ curve when listening to music via the receiver's Pandora client vs. its DLNA client input, because my music files seem to sound a lot different from what comes in on Pandora.

I tried to place my front speakers as close to ear height as possible, with the surrounds a bit higher. That seemed to help quite a bit. Also turned up the gain on the sub a little after running ypao, because bass. Tuning sub level in receiver settings didn't seem to make much difference with my speaker setup.

Of course, I'm still playing around with the sound field, and that might take a while. I remember a long time ago I upgraded something and it seemed like it took forever to get things just right, at least to my ears. Drives the wife crazy.

I recently read this somewhere, maybe this forum:

Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics.

I pretty much have polk budget speakers....that's all the wifey would allow...but my cave is small, so I'm OK with it. As far as different settings for different inputs, does that include stereo as well? And how were you able to apply those settings? Thanks!

Last edited by Cam1977; 09-25-2016 at 09:00 PM.
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post #9 of 210 Old 09-25-2016, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fu-cat View Post
"Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics."

Well, the only thing that has changed is the receiver. The speakers and room's influence are exactly the same.

I should mention that I am using this in a two channel configuration. I had an Onkyo TX-8511 paired with PSB IMAGE 2B's. The sound was MUCH better. This just sounds muddy and flat. Sorry.

As far as the EQ, I tried to play around with it but it didn't sound that much different. I went to: SETUP>SPEAKER>EQ SELECT. Is that what y'all are talking about? If not PLEASE direct me to the right place. I want this to work but as it is there's no way. It is an assault on the ears.

Thanks for the replies. It is much appreciated!

I hope your able to find a solution...kinda sucks being disappointed with what you pay for...Im very green with audio...and not bashing my previous bose...but this was a world of a difference for me...just got a lot of learning up to do!
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post #10 of 210 Old 09-26-2016, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fu-cat View Post
"Sound quality is mostly in your speakers and your room's influence, not the electronics."

Well, the only thing that has changed is the receiver. The speakers and room's influence are exactly the same.

I should mention that I am using this in a two channel configuration. I had an Onkyo TX-8511 paired with PSB IMAGE 2B's. The sound was MUCH better. This just sounds muddy and flat. Sorry.

As far as the EQ, I tried to play around with it but it didn't sound that much different. I went to: SETUP>SPEAKER>EQ SELECT. Is that what y'all are talking about? If not PLEASE direct me to the right place. I want this to work but as it is there's no way. It is an assault on the ears.

Thanks for the replies. It is much appreciated!
Perhaps I'm missing something, but normally you'd set the AV receiver up for the room by running the YPAO program with the supplied mic. If you haven't done it then try it - the object of it is to correct the response for the characteristics of the room.
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post #11 of 210 Old 09-26-2016, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Question fellas, after running ypao again, it set my center channel and front speakers to large...I switched all of the to small, and set my crossover to 90...does this about right. I have the Polk budget T series for my 5.1.

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post #12 of 210 Old 09-26-2016, 11:04 PM
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Question fellas, after running ypao, it set my center channel and front speakers to large...I switched all of the to small, and set my crossover to 90...does this about right. I have the Polk budget T series for my 5.1.
Yes, changing to 'small' is often better, since it moves more load to the sub. That's assuming that the sub is in a reasonable position, and that's a subject in itself.
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post #13 of 210 Old 09-26-2016, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, changing to 'small' is often better, since it moves more load to the sub. That's assuming that the sub is in a reasonable position, and that's a subject in itself.
Awesome, my cave is kinda small so my sub placement was kinda limited.
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post #14 of 210 Old 09-29-2016, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Question guys, my front, center speakers are 6ohm, while my surround are 8ohm...should I set my receiver to 6ohm or 8?

OK I did some research and go figure no consensus...so I'll just leave the receiver at 8ohm!

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post #15 of 210 Old 09-30-2016, 01:48 AM
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I pretty much have polk budget speakers....that's all the wifey would allow...but my cave is small, so I'm OK with it. As far as different settings for different inputs, does that include stereo as well? And how were you able to apply those settings? Thanks!
Different surround mode program settings stick when switching between different audio, even when staying within same input. I thought maybe the receiver keyed on whatever input it was set to, but it's more like it differentiates between different audio modes, even using the same input. I verified this by putting the receiver's surround program settings screen up while using roku plex app to listen to music vs. watching movie with surround audio in the same roku plex app. I set the receiver to output dolby plii surround when listening to the music, then when I play the movie, it switches to straight setting on dsp/surround program option. Go back to music within the Plex app, and it goes back to dolby plii dsp/surround mode. However, adaptive drc and compressed music enhancer settings on same screen do not change with different audio modes.

The compressed music enhancer doesn't function when there is high definition audio or signal over 48khz coming in, so it doesn't matter if that turns on or off automatically. I think the adaptive drc setting should stick with different incoming audio, though. Maybe a question for yamaha support.
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post #16 of 210 Old 10-15-2016, 03:31 PM
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Can we get the title of the thread changed so it has full name of the AVRs? Took me a little searching to find this.

Prior amps were HK635 - either didn't sound great or not enough juice to drive my speakers, no HDMI, and weird input issues. It lives on as my massive overkill amp for my PC. Convinced my wife that we NEEDED an AVR with HDMI - just tell her how many wires you get rid of! Then got, for me, a crazy expensive Onkyo NR818 which sounded awesome until the crap wiring at my old rental killed it. Finally decided to a buy a new amp and spend max $500 preferably $400 so I won't be as crushed if it dies. My goal was good sound and as reliable as I could get.

I was planning on the 481 since I have a 5.1 setup, while bi-amping my fronts is a plus but not something that would get me to spend $100 more for the 581. Both concerned me with rated wattage to drive my speakers (yes I know it's mostly BS), I told this to the agent and he offered me a 681 for less than the 581 - that was a no brainer! Should be here next week and I will update with setup ease, impressions, etc.

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post #17 of 210 Old 10-15-2016, 04:42 PM
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Just upgraded my RX-V677 to a RX-V681. I like the on board blue tooth and upscale to 4k, and they added a phono input which was lacking on my previous 2 receivers. The only thing I wish as included like my RX-V677 has is an RCA output. I still use a HIFI VCR to record music and since this new unit is lacking that, I will keep my RX-V677 to record audio still. Can't justify the extra $$ for the RX-V781 for the output jacks.
Anyone upgraded the software yet to version: 1.11?
I'll connect it tomorrow and put it though it's paces.

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post #18 of 210 Old 10-19-2016, 07:36 PM
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My 681 just showed up yesterday, wow compared to my Onkyo NR818... Of course the 818's MSRP was double the 681s so I'm not expecting as much but the thing that struck me is that it has an attached power cable - my last two amps both used IEC plugs. A plus is it weighs exactly half as much as the Onkyo so at least it is easier to pick up

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post #19 of 210 Old 10-22-2016, 02:25 PM
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Hooked it up this week... sounds decent and it does have enough power to drive my gear which makes me happy. The sound signature seems REALLY weird to me listening to music, if I turn off all processing it is way more bass heavy, almost muddy, vs playback on other devices. As soon as I switch on any processing mode it sounds correct (or at least correct for that mode). :/ No idea what this is about. It does sound nice otherwise.

I am a little pissed that the remote is not universal. For a $600 MSRP AVR that is inexcusable IMO. Yay, now I have 4 remotes again instead of 1.

The AVR is VERY, VERY slow to switch inputs - so slow that it took me about 5 minutes to realize they were working as I flipped between them (I would wait a beat or two, get nothing, move on, rinse & repeat). Not really a major issue but something that is helpful to know, someone using it for the first time may think something is wrong when the input doesn't "turn on".

Don't get me wrong I think this is a decent amp but considering it is one from the top of their "consumer" line I do expect more. If I paid full price I would be disappointed, considering the discount I received I am satisified overall. It does what I need it to do.

Running it as 3.1 bi-amp setup right now, I have two surrounds I will eventually deploy if I can figure out a halfway decent spot. YPAO seems very accurate with measurements btw.

In case anyone is curious my speakers are Wharfedale EVO 30s (F), EVO2 (C), EVO (Surrounds), and a Martin Logan sub. I can definitely make my neighbors cry

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post #20 of 210 Old 10-22-2016, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by icehawk_OS View Post
Hooked it up this week... sounds decent and it does have enough power to drive my gear which makes me happy. The sound signature seems REALLY weird to me listening to music, if I turn off all processing it is way more bass heavy, almost muddy, vs playback on other devices. As soon as I switch on any processing mode it sounds correct (or at least correct for that mode). :/ No idea what this is about. It does sound nice otherwise.

I am a little pissed that the remote is not universal. For a $600 MSRP AVR that is inexcusable IMO. Yay, now I have 4 remotes again instead of 1.

The AVR is VERY, VERY slow to switch inputs - so slow that it took me about 5 minutes to realize they were working as I flipped between them (I would wait a beat or two, get nothing, move on, rinse & repeat). Not really a major issue but something that is helpful to know, someone using it for the first time may think something is wrong when the input doesn't "turn on".

Don't get me wrong I think this is a decent amp but considering it is one from the top of their "consumer" line I do expect more. If I paid full price I would be disappointed, considering the discount I received I am satisified overall. It does what I need it to do.

Running it as 3.1 bi-amp setup right now, I have two surrounds I will eventually deploy if I can figure out a halfway decent spot. YPAO seems very accurate with measurements btw.

In case anyone is curious my speakers are Wharfedale EVO 30s (F), EVO2 (C), EVO (Surrounds), and a Martin Logan sub. I can definitely make my neighbors cry
I ended up switching to the 581, got a good deal for it...still within my budget. Switching inputs on mine is a breeze, have you run an update on yours by any chance?
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post #21 of 210 Old 10-23-2016, 12:50 PM
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Yes, when I first hooked it up it ran a firmware update. Your input switches quickly? Mine has to be about 2x longer than I would expect, as long as that isn't a sign of a future issue it isn't too much of a problem as long as users are aware.

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post #22 of 210 Old 10-25-2016, 10:33 AM
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Hi everybody,

I am slowly deducting my wishes, needs and budget towards this receiver.
I would like to use its ATMOS feature, since i am in a position to wire my small living room for it now while also wiring the room next to it for stereo as Zone 2

As i understand this can be done, since the receiver can disengage the back speakers on demand while in 7.2 mode to power the zone 2 while main zone then becomes 5.2


My question is simple, does this also work in Atmos setup? Will it disengage my ceiling speakers and power the Zone 2 stereo if someone turns playback there?

Initial goal was just 5.1, but as time passes and i am doing the whole thing DIY, my goal now is 5.2.2 + Zone 2 setup.
More than this and things get prohibitively expensive for me.
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post #23 of 210 Old 10-26-2016, 10:54 AM
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Hooked everything up and setup the speakers. 9.2 surround now kicks some butt. I haven't done any updates to the firmware yet. I had some issues with my rx-v671 way back with networking. Sirius/XM works fine on the US version of the amp. No Sirius/XM connection for the Canadian version. Don't know why. Units are the same except for the software as far as I can tell. This is why I purchased my amp from the US. Any Canadians out there who have this unit? Any of the ones I've seen here do not have access to Sirius/XM.
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post #24 of 210 Old 10-26-2016, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, when I first hooked it up it ran a firmware update. Your input switches quickly? Mine has to be about 2x longer than I would expect, as long as that isn't a sign of a future issue it isn't too much of a problem as long as users are aware.
Yeah I see no issues switching inputs on mine, however it's no faster or slower than switching inputs on my tv, so maybe I'm not a good judge on what fast...should have said that on my previous post.
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post #25 of 210 Old 10-26-2016, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow could not be happier with this 581, and my budget speakers...just watched Terminator Genysis, and wow...not that it got too loud but the sound field was incredible...like I was in the middle of the action...love it. Yes I'm a noob when it comes to audio!!!
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post #26 of 210 Old 10-30-2016, 03:23 PM
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Man I hate to be Debbie Downer but I figure I should be honest in reporting my latest problem...

My wife messaged me the other night saying after she paused the Tivo and came back there was no audio. We ran through basic troubleshooting - can you get sound from the TV directly, what about the Apple TV, restarted? As best as I can tell somehow the audio out for HDMI inputs failed - the amp no longer showed my connected speakers when using an HDMI source. I could flip to BT and it played fine, I could do test tones and it was fine... I could not figure this out and resorted to a factory reset which did correct the issue. I hope this is an isolated incident, I went with a Yamaha due to their reputation for reliability.

If it sounded crappy I would return it but for the price the features and sound are great... just these few issues popping up for me.

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post #27 of 210 Old 10-30-2016, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Man I hate to be Debbie Downer but I figure I should be honest in reporting my latest problem...

My wife messaged me the other night saying after she paused the Tivo and came back there was no audio. We ran through basic troubleshooting - can you get sound from the TV directly, what about the Apple TV, restarted? As best as I can tell somehow the audio out for HDMI inputs failed - the amp no longer showed my connected speakers when using an HDMI source. I could flip to BT and it played fine, I could do test tones and it was fine... I could not figure this out and resorted to a factory reset which did correct the issue. I hope this is an isolated incident, I went with a Yamaha due to their reputation for reliability.

If it sounded crappy I would return it but for the price the features and sound are great... just these few issues popping up for me.
You could also exchange...give ya a warm and fuzzy!
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post #28 of 210 Old 10-31-2016, 03:37 PM
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I may call my vendor and see what they have to say, it may have been too long/due to unforeseen circumstances I don't have much free time to deal with this - I haven't been home in a week

I have sound equipment.
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post #29 of 210 Old 10-31-2016, 07:05 PM
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Update 1.15 for the v581 is available. I was on 1.08 and installation took about 10 minutes. I haven't noticed any issues over the past couple of days. According to an email I received from Yamaha a lot of it is to support new and improved MusicCast features. Probably fixes some bugs as well.

SetUp > Network > Network Update

TV: Samsung UN50JU7100 (2015) w/ IA02 panel, sw version 1469
AVR: Yamaha RX-V581, sw v.1.15
Speakers 5.1.2: Polk Audio RM6750 (surround) + Pioneer SP-T22A-LR Dolby Atmos (height)
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post #30 of 210 Old 10-31-2016, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icehawk_OS View Post
I may call my vendor and see what they have to say, it may have been too long/due to unforeseen circumstances I don't have much free time to deal with this - I haven't been home in a week
Hopefully the reset solves the problem...could have been a one time deal!
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