August 13, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
Yamaha has spent the year cranking out one-box solutions. The sixth (!) and latest in the company’s 2012 lineup is the YHT-697BL.
What makes this newly announced home theater in a box (HTiB) a stand out is that it comes packing many of the home theater features that you’d typically have to mix and match equipment to get.
Out of the box, the YHT-697BL has a receiver and a full 5.1 speaker package. The latter includes a pair of front tower speakers and compact models for the surrounds and the center channel. Rounding out the package is a 6.5-inch, 100-watt subwoofer, which packs in Yamaha’s own Advanced YSTII technology.
The receiver is where things get really interesting, because it has Apple AirPlay, a front-panel USB port, and support for HDMI 4K and 3D video pass-through with Audio Return Channel. That AirPlay feature means you can stream content from any networked Mac, PC or iOS device right to the receiver.
The compact system also has plenty of other goodies, including CINEMA DSP 3D with 17 DSP programs, 192/24 Burr Brown DACs, and Yamaha’s YPAO system calibration. Other features include web radio, DLNA support and decoding for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. It also works with the Yamaha AV Controller App, which is available for free for the iPad, iPhone, Android devices and the Kindle Fire.
“The ubiquity of portable devices, like music players, smart phones and tablets, makes it essential that Yamaha HTiB systems deliver a higher level of performance and flexibility than consumers expect in this category,” said Tom Sumner, senior VP for Yamaha Corporation of America. “Our YHT-697 is the sophisticated entertainment hub that marries exceptional audio and video quality with seamless connectivity and control features.”
Yamaha’s YHT-697 is available now, as is the rest of Yamaha’s 2012 lineup of HTiB solutions. The MSRP on the YHT-697 is $749.95.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.