Yamaha YMC-500BL NeoHD Review
I think there is a time for Halloween if I could distribute the remotes all over my house, along with candy corn and gums, and satisfy the string of trick-or-treaters away my cloth. Frankly, in every room where I listen to music, watch TV or movies, I have a minimum of six remote controls. It is difficult, especially for a reviewer, as a remote control to turn an unwanted component while using another. I’m not lazy, but it is crazy to the chair off a piece of equipment that you do not want to go in the first place to leave. The universal remote is not a new idea, but most are much more complicated than the originals that they intend to replace. If I were a choice between an evening listening to music, watch a DVD or reprogramming half dozen remote controls to do either of the former, the choice is simple. Yamaha offers a few solutions for your electronic devices together under one roof corral and shed the excess baggage control.
At first glance, the YMC-500′s remote, with barely a dozen buttons and small size, seems ill-equipped to an entire A / V system to manage. But Yamaha realizes that most people just want to play or listen to their devices, and that’s what this remote works.
The YMC-500 neoHD system comes with a few 2-way acoustic suspension speakers (NS AP7900MBL) and a 50-watt powered subwoofer (YST-FSW050). The two fronts sport 2.5-inch woofers white paper, a 3/4-inch silk dome tweeter, and evaluated for 30 to 100 watts input. They can be screwed or set on stands or wall mounted using the pre-set brackets. The sub can be placed horizontally or vertically on four padded feet if space is a problem. This 2.1 “surround” system is strengthened by Yamaha’s AIR SURROUND Extreme technology, 5.1 sound from just two fronts simulates a sub. The option to add a center and surround speakers exist, and the ASE, Yamaha claims that 5.1 can be encouraged to emulate 7.1 surround.
The heart of the unit is the Media Controller YMC-500 – a 10-pound black box with a front panel volume control and a top which buttons function like the corresponding buttons on the remote. The controller has an attractive dual-slope design and sport a neoHD image on the top panel. The YMC-500 is equipped with three HDMI ins and one out, one USB port, iPod dock or Bluetooth wireless audio receiver, coaxial digital audio input, optical digital audio input, analog audio input, component video and composite inch video
I’ve always liked Yamaha’s approach to the manuals. Along with the standard 58-page manual, which the ins and outs of the neoHD, a fold-out quick start guide is included to visually oriented consumers to get up and running. System settings, for me, is rarely a pleasant process, but I really liked the connection of all documents to the YMC-500 because Yamaha has made setup akin to a child’s play of the match this with that. As I connect the front speakers – each with its own set of colored wires – to the respective terminals, I thought about my mom and how much trouble they usually just the right connections with an A / V equipment. This system would be perfect for someone challenged her to name but a TV with a DVD or Blu-ray player to do, etc. The color-coded, step-by-step intuitive setup is nearly waterproof.
After connecting a TV source player, FM antenna and speakers, the next step is applying the IR flashers to the TV remote sensors, and all components connected to the receiver. The flasher heads are covered with wax paper, until you peel a sticky layer that binds to the heads of the sensors to detect. It’s a bit like playing doctor with a heart patient. Power up the system and the connected components and follow the instructions on the TV screen calibrate the speakers, remote control devices to integrate source and setup. The YMC-500 breaks each step down to the base. If you have a DVD player in the system, you will be asked how the player will be used and then incorporated into one of the three main menus: Watch (TV / Movies), Listen (Music / Radio) or Play (Pictures / Games). It’s that simple. Of these respective menus you can watch TV, watch a movie, listen to CDs, finding an FM radio station, access to music on a USB device or play games.
For such a spartan system, YMC-500 comes surprisingly good surround sound. Thin Lizzy’s’ Are You Ready? 1981 is a great DVD of the band in performance at the Rockpalast Loreley, Germany. Phil Lynott’s voice and bass were presented with appropriate bombast and drummer Brian Downey’s kit sounded full and life.
Two-channel music played by the neoHD had a lot of detail – I could make the sound of the included front speakers described as bright and tight. The sub really helps to expand and fill the audio. With only three speakers in one arrangement, the neoHD necessarily limited to the strip of sound can produce, but like many of the better SoundBars it does a convincing job of dispersing audio to the front and sides. In a smaller environment, I believe most listeners would be satisfied with the 2.1 setup.
Conventional A / V receivers come loaded with dozens of sound-enhancing tools to make action films more exciting and two-channel sources in various forms of surround expand. The YMC-500 sports only a handful of the DSP programs – or sound fields – on the A / V experience improve, but they cover all bases including the film content, video games and a music enhancer for compressed files MP3s as encouraging.
NFL Sunday means football, so I set the receiver for entertainment and watching my Green Bay Packers crush the Dallas Cowboys. The roar of a Lambeau Field crowd is like no other, and Yamaha brought the energy and sound of a collective 50,000 + strong fan base during the most exciting moments of the game. I will not say that I could hear the faithful slurping beers and belching after too many pre-game bratwurst, but for a simple and attractive football experience of neoHD is the ticket.
Is there a better movie for home theater than with Peter Jackson’s JRR Tolkien’s The Two Towers? The incredible opening scene as he follows Gandalf battles the Balrog down through a rift that seems to go forever. A torrent of noise and ripple fire in the melee unfolds, enhanced by enchanting Howard Shore’s score. Although this film cries out for 5.1 or more, the neoHD was not slow in delivering the drama.
When I first received neoHD system of assessment, I did not know what to make of it. Was it an A / V receiver? Controller? Player? Ita s all of the above and an excellent solution for people who want to keep it simple or an A / V system into a second chamber. When I went neoHD route, I would choose the YMC-500 Wi-Fi capable sibling, the YMC-700, so I could network with music stored on my computer and access to Internet radio. Others find the full 500 of the machine. Although not perfect, the YMC-500 does much good and is probably the first curl of a larger wave of similarly designed A / V equipment to connect. I look forward to the following ideas Yamaha.
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