Yamaha just introduced the YHT-S400 two-piece home theater audio package. The system, which consists of an ultra-slim "sound bar" front speaker and a first-of-its-kind subwoofer-integrated receiver, provides HD Audio compatibility, three 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs (and one output), the company's exclusive AIR SURROUND XTREME, UniVolume and Extended Stereo technologies for immersive audio for movies, sports and music experiences.
The YHT-S400's sound bar stands at 2-inches high and fits in front of most 32 to 50-inch TVs without blocking the screen. In addition, the feet of the sound bar can be adjusted horizontally or vertically, or taken off entirely, for additional installation flexibility. By integrating the system's subwoofer into the receiver, Yamaha is able to offer users an easy connection to a full-featured receiver without adding a separate component and the ability to place the unit in a rack or on the floor in tight spaces.
For optimal sound quality, the YHT-S400 accepts HD Audio signals (linear PCM transmission) from Blu-ray disc players.
Three 1080--compatible HDMI inputs enable three different HDMI sources to be connected to the receiver.
Yamaha's UniVolume feature maintains a consistent volume level between different channel, programs, commercials and input sources. For instance, when watching TV, the volume of commercials will not be louder than the program being viewed. The same is true when switching sources to watch a DVD or Blu-ray movie or to listen to music on CD. This is particularly helpful for late night watching and listening when spikes in volume can disturb others in the house or apartment building.
Yamaha's proprietary AIR SURROUND XTREME technology better delivers sound around the listener than other "virtual surround" systems. Dialogue is clearly heard from the center while ambient audio from on-screen action is clearly heard from the right, left and behind the viewer with smooth sound movement from position to position.
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AIR SURROUND XTREME can also deliver surround sound from 7-channel sources. Yamaha's exclusive Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) maintains the dynamic virtual surround sound regardless of the viewers' positioning or direction they are facing. Yamaha's proprietary Extended Stereo technology moves the stereo image further to the sides. With it, audio from the 31 3/4-inch sound bar sounds as if it is emanating from speakers that are five feet or more apart, resulting in a wider optimum sound field. The YHT-S400 also has HDMI CEC functionality that allows the unit to automatically power on with CEC-compatible TVs. In this scenario, the TV remote can also control the YHT-S400's volume. CEC-compatibility also provides advanced functions with other components. The YHT-S400 also supports Yamaha's YDS-11 universal iPod dock and YBA-10 Bluetooth wireless audio receiver to stream A2DP audio from Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, PCs and Macs. The YHT-S400 is currently available for MSRP $599.95.