Owners of Yamaha AVRs including the RX-V83 family, plus RX-V681, RX-A860, RX-A1060, RX-A2060, RX-A3060 and CX-A5100 models are getting a firmware update that adds exciting new capabilities. These include compatibility with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and Dolby Vision flavors of HDR, as well as the addition of two music streaming services: Tidal and Deezer.
Support for Dolby vision is useful because the format is already available to stream through Vudu, Amazon, and Netflix. Additionally, Ultra HD Blu-ray titles mastered in Dolby vision will soon start to become available, beginning with a re-release of Despicable Me that arrives June 6, 2017.
HLG is an emerging, royalty-free HDR format that comes from the BBC and NHK. One of the key selling points of HLG is it does not require an HDR display to view, it is compatible with SDR TVs (which simply ignore the HDR info).
Support for HLG is beginning to appear on TVs from Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Philips, and Sony. Furthermore, JVC says it is adding HLG support to its 2017 projectors.
As for the streaming news, it’s simple. Before this update, you couldn’t stream Tidal or Deezer using MusicCast on these AVRs. Now, you can. Tidal is of particluar interest to fastidious music lovers as it offers uncompressed CD-quality streaming of millions of tracks with its HiFi subscription tier ($20/month). Additionally, Tidal offers hi-res audio in MQA format with its Tidal Masters offering. Both Tidal and Deezer offer $10/month plans for unlimited streaming of compressed music.
The firmware updates are rolling out to the listed Yamaha AVRs now, so if you own one of the models mentioned in this article, keep an eye out for it. I know that support for Dolby Vision in particular has been eagerly anticipated, it’s nice to see Yamaha address some existing models with this update.