Denon, Marantz and Yamaha have already introduced their HDMI 2.1 AV receivers and have even launched them into the market. However, as Heise.de found out, these receivers most likely have a faulty HDMI 2.1 chip – and a software update cannot cure this malfunction.
The release of the new receivers is mainly timed to coincide with the release of the next generation game consoles: Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X. Thanks to HDMI 2.1, the consoles can display images in 4K and 120 frames or in 8K and 60 frames. However, as Heise.de found out, when trying to display images in such formats, the receivers show a black screen. They checked not only with the pre-sale version of the Xbox Series X (with absolutely the same hardware as the release version), but also with a PC based on the Nvidia RTX-3080 video card.
All receivers that claim HDMI 2.1 support have chips from Panasonic Solutions (now owned by Nuvoton Technology). According to information obtained from Heise.de, receivers that have not yet hit the market have the same problem, such as Yamaha’s Avantage range. Pioneer, Onkyo and Sony are also aware of the purchase of these chips, although they have not yet announced HDMI 2.1 receivers.
Representatives of the Sound United holding, which includes Denon and Marantz, responded to the problem and promised to provide a solution later. Yamaha also said it was sorted out.
The reason the issue only affects devices using HDMI 2.1 and not HDMI 2.0 is because the new interface is based on the FRL (Fixed Rate Link) signaling system, which provides higher bandwidth.
At the moment, the solution for future owners of new generation consoles is simple: connect the consoles directly to a TV (which supports 4K120 or 8K60), and then output the audio signal from the TV to the receiver via eARC. You can also choose to connect in 4K and 60 frames – then you can send the signal through the receiver.
So far, there have been confirmed issues with AVR-X2700H, AVC-X3700H, AVC-X4700H, AVC-X6700H from Denon, SR5015, SR6015, SR7015 and SR8015 from Marantz, RX-V4A and RX-V6A from Yamaha.