Yamaha RX-V863 AV Receiver 
Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers
Written by Julianne Stilson   
Monday, 29 September 2008

The Basics

The Yamaha RX-V863 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver is a surprise buy at an affordable $999.95. It is a surprise since it doesn’t hold back on features despite being priced significantly lower than comparably loaded models.

First, you can play all the latest audio formats since the RX-V863 supports native decoding using 3 in/1 out HDMI 1.3 ports. In addition, this model also fully supports up to 36 bit Deep Color, 120Hz refresh rates, and 108024Hz transmission. As a result, you have access to many great sources. 192 kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown DACs and ADCs add a confidence that encoded and decoded audio is optimized for final presentation.

Second, the RX-V863 also has 2 (out of 7) 105 watt amplifiers that can be assigned for bi-amp or Zone 2 configurations. Furthermore, it is very generous with connections to accommodate almost all of your AV components. This includes 3 in/1 out component video.

The RX-V863 seamlessly upscales analogue video of 480i or 480p to an amazing 1080p. The 7.1 channel analogue inputs also make future expansion very much possible. The 7.1 analogue preamp outputs are also available for external amp integration. Finally, the Yamaha RX-V683 has more bells and whistles even the most demanding home theater enthusiast will get excited about like 17 DSP surround modes, iPod and Bluetooth compatibility (with optional peripherals), XM/Sirius Satellite-ready option, and an HD radio tuner.

The Upside

The Yamaha RX-V863 delivers something extra to any listening or viewing experience. This model’s various DSPs sound excels for a receiver with a mid-range $999.95 price tag. In fact, it sounds even better than more expensive receivers. This system especially excels as a multi-channel listening component for both movies and music. Moreover, it is fully-loaded with features and options that exceed its mid-range classification and price.

The Downside

The Yamaha RX-V863 isn’t the best designed receiver with both its chassis and remote control somewhat lacking in ergonomics and intuitiveness. In fact, the remote control buttons can be downright frustrating to use especially during set-up. This does not help the already clumsy setup menus you’ll have to weed through to access most of its praiseworthy functions. Moreover, you might be getting your money’s worth in bells and whistles with the V836, but the receiver’s body feels a bit on the cheap side.

In addition, while the V836 provides enough power for most speakers, home theater systems using less efficient speakers might find it inadequate at loud volumes. While you can use an outboard multi-channel amp for future upgrades, it will come at an extra cost.


At $999.95 MSRP, the Yamaha V836 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver is modest in looks but attractive in features and performance in comparison to other models in its range. Moreover, some receivers twice its price might be caught lacking side-by-side with the V863. For value and features, the Yamaha 836 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver is a solid home theater purchase.

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