Yamaha RX-V381 and HDMI-CEC

Last year I bought a Yamaha RX-V381 AV receiver to replace my ancient Pioneer one. I’m no big home theatre enthusiast – I just wanted a simple but solid surround receiver with some HDMI inputs so I could simplify the home setup. I’d previously had a set-top box, Kodi player (Raspberry Pi 2) and Chromecast all connected to the (getting oldish now) Samsung TV, and having to separately switch the video and audio signals was getting tedious.

For the price this amp simply rocks. Ample power, clean sound (discrete amp too), 5.1 speaker support, 4x HDMI inputs and the usual analogue ones plus it’s 4k compatible to boot.

The remote and UI is simple and uncluttered. Basically everything I wanted and nothing I didn’t

The best part is that HDMI CEC worked out of the box. It’s off by default but can be easily turned on in the amp’s HDMI settings menu.

The amp remote (and the TV one too – we can simply use the nearest one lying about) completely controls the Pi with Kodi, the STB and Chromecast without any fiddling. It’s very handy to say the least. The only drawback is the standby sync is a little odd, but this seems to be a common issue with CEC. There is some scope for tweaking it in the settings on each device though.

All was well for six months or so… until today. The CEC stopped working and no amount of power cycling or fiddling was going to get it back. Interestingly enough everything was powered on and had already been working – we simply left it for half an hour or so and came back to with no ability to remove control devices except from their respective original remotes.

Ultimately the WAF took a dive, prompting a pretty immediate fix!

In the end the amp was to blame and required a factory reset. To do this:

  • Power it off.
  • Hold down Straight while powering it back on until ADVANCED SETUP appears on the display.
  • Use the Program Selector buttons to navigate to INIT- CANCEL.
  • Press Straight to set it to INIT- ALL.
  • Press the power button again to reset the amp.

Unfortunately this meant re configuring all amp with all of my previous settings. If it happens again then a warranty claim is probably in order. A pity, as it’s otherwise such a great value little unit.

So anyway there’s a tip for anyone else who encounters this problem.

I should really post more often too…

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