Image: Denon

Sound United, the parent company of Denon and Marantz, has announced that owners of the flagship Denon AVR-X8500H and Marantz AV8805 receivers from 2018 can now opt for an HDMI 2.1 upgrade that enhances these models with exciting new features that include 8K/60 Hz upscaling and pass-through, 4K/120 Hz pass-through, HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, and HDCP 2.3. The factory upgrade, which costs US $599 or CA $749, fulfills Sound United’s promise of keeping its flagship receivers close to the cutting edge amid new developments in the HDMI 2.1 space. Denon and Marantz are also releasing “A” versions of these receivers (i.e., the $4,299 Denon AVR-X8500H”A” and $4,799 Marantz AV8805″A”) that already include the updates.

FeaturesDenon AVR-X8500H”A” Marnantz AV8805”A” (A Version Factory and Field Upgrade)Denon AVR-X8500H Marantz AV8805
8K60Hz and 4K120Hz Pass-throughYes (A dedicated “8K” input and “Main”, ”Sub” outputs support up to FRL 40Gbps)No (4K60Hz, up to TMDS 18Gbps)
HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFTYes (all Inputs)ALLM only
UpscalingUp to 8K (all inputs)Up to 4K (all inputs)
Copy Protection StandardHDCP 2.3HDCP 2.2

This is not related to the recent HDMI 2.1 bug fix that Sound United previously announced it was addressing. Rather, this is a part of a traditional customer support service Denon and Marantz have provided to keep certain flagship components up to date with the latest technologies.

Sources: Sound United, Engadget, HD Guru

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7 Comments

  1. Interesting.

    I have a mid level previous gen Denon receiver (AVR-x3300w) but I have often thought ab out getting a Marantz model without built in amplifiers, since I use external amplification anyway, and would love to have balanced outputs so I don’t have to worry as much about cable location and noise.

    It’s nice to know that they take keeping their high end customers happy seriously, even thought 8k is pretty much useless.

  2. Unless there is a huge jump in audio quality there is no point changing my receiver.
    They either dont improve year on year or only a little, its not worth paying for.
    I own the Denon X4400H (3 years old) and the latest high end Denons still use exactly the same DAC chips!
    Its bad enough the high end versions of the same year dont have improved S/N+D performance (its actually marginally worse!) but even years later there is nothing better for us.
    Give us Oppo 205 quality or better otherwise no sale.

    By the time I need HDMI 2.1, the next TV I have will support eARC so I wont need to connect the source direct to the receiver.
    So guys, buck your ideas up and make something worth upgrading to.

  3. When I first read this, I thought it was a paid fix for the “broken” 2020 models that couldn’t conform to the full HDMI 2.1 standard. But it’s not – it’s for bringing even older Flagship models (2018-2019) up to HDMI 2.1.

    Which is… actually pretty nice. The audio on receivers has been pretty good for several years. Aside from codex changes (Atmos, etc) – not much moves very quickly on that front.

    If you dropped $4000+ on a top end receiver (which is about what these Flagship boxes cost), this gets it right back up to top end again. The price is a bit steep just to handle HDMI 2.1, but it’s a lot less than dropping another $4000 on another top end box.

  4. My reciever cost $250 and I’ve been using it since 2005 and couldn’t be happier with it. The video functionality in a reciever is quite a pointless feature to begin with especilly since it gets outdated so quickly. There are enough inputs on every TV to not need video source switching and passthrough on the reciever. So HDMI goes into TV, optical goes from the TV to the reciever, the end.

  5. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 35176, member: 1298″]
    My reciever cost $250 and I’ve been using it since 2005 and couldn’t be happier with it. The video functionality in a reciever is quite a pointless feature to begin with especilly since it gets outdated so quickly. There are enough inputs on every TV to not need video source switching and passthrough on the reciever. So HDMI goes into TV, optical goes from the TV to the reciever, the end.
    [/QUOTE]

    Optical doesn’t have enough bandwidth for uncompressed multi-cgannel audio.

    eArc can solve this the modern way though, using HDMI to return audio to the receiver.

  6. [QUOTE=”MadMummy76, post: 35176, member: 1298″]
    My reciever cost $250 and I’ve been using it since 2005 and couldn’t be happier with it. The video functionality in a reciever is quite a pointless feature to begin with especilly since it gets outdated so quickly. There are enough inputs on every TV to not need video source switching and passthrough on the reciever. So HDMI goes into TV, optical goes from the TV to the reciever, the end.
    [/QUOTE]

    This would be similar to buying a nV Titan, and three years later nV telling you for $300 (scaled for relative cost) they will upgrade it to current Gen for you.

    Not everyone needs, or even wants, flagship models. But this is a nice gesture for those that bought them. I’m sure it doesn’t cost $600 to upgrade the video chip, but it’s a lot less than a new flagship if you happened to buy just before the HDMI standard came out.

  7. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 35183, member: 96″]
    This would be similar to buying a nV Titan, and three years later nV telling you for $300 (scaled for relative cost) they will upgrade it to current Gen for you.

    Not everyone needs, or even wants, flagship models. But this is a nice gesture for those that bought them. I’m sure it doesn’t cost $600 to upgrade the video chip, but it’s a lot less than a new flagship if you happened to buy just before the HDMI standard came out.
    [/QUOTE]
    What I’m saying is that I never even contemplated upgrading my receiver since I bought it. That would not change if it was a top end model.
    I don’t think the nvidia analogy is a close fit, this is akin to them offering to add ray tracing to your pascal titan, but without the performance uplift.

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