The best value home theater receivers are in the midrange category. They offer superior sound over underpowered entry-level models, include the most important features available on the high-end models, and they still manage to cost between $400 and $600. I recommend this for your home cinema project.
The Yamaha RX-V663 falls right into the midrange class, and if your main concern is sound quality, it’s one of the better AV receivers we’ve heard, outperforming the Sony STR-DG920 in our head-to-head match up..
The shape of the RX-V663 is nothing much to look at, just your standard run of the mill AV receiver shape. On the top half, there’s a centered orange LCD display, which we found easily readable from about 8 feet back. The large volume knob on the right hand side is above the front panel inputs
The RX-V663 has a really nice remote well laid out and a nice feel from the keys, I don’t use it much as I have switched to the harmony remote.
The back panel layout is a bit annoying the design is not as you would expect. For some reason, the audio and video inputs for each device are separate, so, for example, you’d run the yellow composite video cable from your Nintendo Wii to the far right-hand side, while the red and white analog audio cables would go on the far left. It’s likely to cause a rat’s nest of tangled wires on many home theater systems, as well as forcing you to separate many cables that bundle video and audio connections together. You might want to consider going for a wireless home theater system if you want to avoid the cable spaghetti
Yamaha’s Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) automatic speaker calibration system determines speaker sizes and volume levels, measures the distances from the speakers to the listener, confirms that all of the speaker cables are correctly hooked up, and uses equalization to balance the frequency response of all the speakers. This process work very well when I ran it connected to my Accusound Speaker, I only need to run it once and the sound was really balanced, when I mount the rear speaker onto wall brackets.
Starting the auto setup program is as easy as plugging in the included mic, but note that we got an inaccurate error warning during out tests.
Some nice features that I liked, these don’t always get a mention. One is that the RX-V663 includes two switched AC outlets, for powering other components. The next is the special ipod docking port that lets you connect a ipod dock or the bluetooth adapter, I use the ipod dock works well. The on screen display from the ipod dock is still a bit old fashioned but it work ok for selection music from your ipod.