UPDATE: Denon and Marantz AVRs made after May 2021 are HDMI 2.1 bug-free
UPDATE 2: The Onkyo TX-NR6100, which launched later in 2021, appear to be the first receiver to launch with no HDMI bugs. While I can't personally guarantee this, there are numerous reports online confirming it works with the PS5, PC and Xbox Series X with 4k 120hz HDR.
With the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X console, gamers can now enjoy games at up to 4K resolution with a 120Hz frame rate.
This coincided with the launch of many TVs and AV receivers that supported HDMI 2.1, which is needed to be able to handle the high bandwidth requirements of 4K high refresh rate gaming.
Not many TVs launched with 120Hz support and HDMI 2.1 in the 2021 product line-up but LG, Samsung and Sony all have 2021 models out, and 55-inch options start from around £1200.
Things are a little trickier if you want to integrate your console with a home theatre system using an AV receiver.
Yamaha, Denon and Marantz have launched receivers that have HDMI 2.1, which should offer 4k/120hz HDR and 8k/60 HDR. However, the HDMI version 2.1 chipsets, made by Nuvoto, that all the manufacturers use for this has a bug that prevents passing through uncompressed 4K/120. The big, reportedly, doesn’t affect the PS5.
The solution has been to connect your console to the TV and use the eARC equipped HDMI port to pass back the audio to your receiver. For people without eARC, there is the SHARC eARC Audio Converter.
[Update] From May onward, any receiver made by Denon and Marantz have had the fix integrated into the receiver.
Previously, Sound United, who own both Denon and Marantz, have developed an SPK618 HDMI adaptor that takes an HDMI input signal from the gaming source and delivers the corrected HDMI data to the AVR, thus remedying the error and allowing a 4K/120Hz or 8K/60Hz signal to pass.
AV Receivers Affected by the HDMI 2.1 bug
Anyone that bought a receiver that has an issue with the HDMI but can apply for a free adaptor, and they should be shipping now.
The affected receivers include:
Denon AV Receivers
- Denon AVR-A110
- Denon AVR-X6700H
- Denon AVR-X4700H
- Denon AVR-X3700H
- Denon AVR-X2700H
- Denon AVR-S960H
Marantz AV Receivers
- Marantz AV7706
- Marantz SR8015
- Marantz SR7015
- Marantz SR6015
- Marantz SR5015
- Marantz NR1711
How to check if your Denon and Marantz AV receiver has the HDMI 2.1 bug
Any receiver made after May 2021 should be problem-free, but of course, you won't know if a seller is selling a newer or older version. You can check using the serial number.
Sound United has confirmed that models with the serial number *******70001 onwards are from the latest production runs (i.e. May 2021 onwards) and will therefore already be HDMI 2.1 bug-free.
Yamaha 2020 AV Receivers to get a hardware update sometime later this year
Yamaha has also announced that the RX-V4A, RX-V6A, RX-A2A, TSR-400 and TSR-700 receivers all have an issue with pass-through of 4K/120Hz and that a future hardware update is required.
This HDMI board update is complimentary to customers for 24 months after the program starts. You will need to register to find out the next steps, but the updates should be available late summer.
Yamaha 2021 Receivers – will support 4K/120Hz & 8K/60Hz but not at launch
It seems that the HDMI 2.1 saga continues into 2021 AVR launches. Yamaha has just announced the RX-A8A, RX-A6A and RX-A4A. While these receivers have HDMI 2.1 and support all the advanced features it offers, many of them will not be enabled at launch.
4K/120Hz, 8K/60Hz, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Quick Media Switching (QMS) will not be present at the launch.
Similarly, the new advanced Aura 3D audio format will also not be present at launch.
Considering how long it has taken Denon and Marantz to fix their AVRs, it is a little hard to recommend any of these new Yamahas until all the features are fully enabled.
AV Receivers that support 4k/120hz HDR and 8k/60Hz HDR in 2021
So, what are your best options for a receiver that supports 4k/120hz HDR and 8k/60 HDR?
Assuming you buy one of the newer Denon or Marantz receivers, these should all work with 4k/120hz HDR.
Which receiver is best, depends on your needs. I will assume most people reading my site are looking for something a touch more affordable.
The Denon AVR-X2700H is the most affordable at around £679 from Richer Sounds. It is well received, including a glowing 5-star review from What Hi-Fi (but they make no mention of the HDMI issue it has).
However, many people suggest the Denon AVC-X3700H is worth the extra money (£1149 from Richer Sounds) due to its far superior calibration using the top tier version of Audyssey (MultiEQ XT32). It is a big jump in price, so not sure if it is something I could justify for myself.
The Onkyo TX-NR6100 is also now confirmed to work with 4k/120hz HDR. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be UK availability, but it is available in the US for $799.
[Originally posted on 24 May 2021] Updated with relevant information concerning the fixed HDMI issue on Denon and Marantz AV receivers