Putting the “V” in Your AVR Yamaha RX-Z11
It is unclear what solution Yamaha is using for video processing in the RX-Z11, but it seems to cater to standard-definition signals more than HD. The RX-Z11 does not deinterlace 1080i to 1080p properly but does a good job with film-based SD sources. It is the only AVR in the Yamaha line to offer full video processing and scaling of digital input signals. The scaling of SD to HD on the digital side was excellent, with no noise or artifacts. Like the RX-V3800, the HDMI transmitter is clipping the video signal and below-black and above-white information. This creates issues even for passthrough video, as it affects all sources regardless of resolution. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same HDMI transmitter chip was used in both models.
The analog inputs didn’t perform nearly as well as the digital inputs, leading me to believe that the analog- to-digital converters (ADCs) may be the limiting factor. Since the same video processing is used, I can’t see anything other than the ADCs affecting the video this much.
Luma and chroma resolution was good in the vertical domain but rolled off in the upper end with horizontal resolution. This impacts fine object detail slightly and can affect the overall sharpness of the image. When we scaled an analog SD source to 1080p for transmission over HDMI, almost all fine detail was lost, and ringing was quite apparent in the middle of the frequency range. This is not the performance I would expect from a flagship design or a product at this price point. Hopefully, this is something that Yamaha will address in future designs, especially in terms of HD video support.