With two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, this slim unit is part of a new generation of HDMI-centric/PC-compatible home theater gear.
HDMI is this receiver’s default operating mode. Changing the default requires associating your preferred audio and video inputs with other outputs (e.g., component video outputs) via buttons behind a slide-down panel on the remote. That’s also where you access all deep-tweak functions— equalization, level adjustments for each channel, display dimmer, etc. There's a USB port on the back; a USB wireless transmitter supplied with the receiver enables the use of a computer as a source at some distance from the RX-D702B. The benefits of the 5.1- channel analog audio inputs may be obviated by the fact that the RX-702B converts all analog audio inputs to digital in its “hybrid feedback” digital amplifier section.
Once set up, the RX-D702B is easy to use, with all commonly accessed functions on top of the remote. In addition to USB and HDMI compatibility, other advancements make this receiver future-forward, including Faroudja DCDi video processing said to eliminate jagged edges in converting interlaced video to progressive. The RX-D702B converts analog video inputs to HDMI output, but keeps HDMI inputs in the digital domain. Composite and S-Video inputs are cross-converted to each other and to component output, a convenience not found on some much more expensive gear.
This receiver doesn’t offer video scaling. 720p HD video looped through the RX-D702B looked as good as bypassing the receiver and connecting a Comcast DVR directly to the display, as did signals from highquality DVD players. Video processing in the RX-D702B is well implemented and completely benign to the perceived image.
The RX-D702B supports all industry- standard surround sound protocols, and has a user-friendly “Smart Surround Setup” function that automatically establishes speaker distance and level settings.
Dolby-encoded DVDs sounded fine with this receiver, with ambience and spatial cues properly rendered. Dialog was crisp, background and foreground music was compelling— School of Rock was especially enjoyable— and big-amplitude sound effects disturbingly effective (28 Days Later, anyone?) thanks to the RXD702B’s enormous dynamic capacity. JVC’s digital amps pack a huge amount of current delivery into a compact, 17.2 lb. package, delivering 150Wpc at 6 ohms in all seven channels— more than adequate for most home theater systems.
For music, other technologies allow JVC to take digital amplification into the realm of high-fidelity: “K2” digital distortion reduction (long used in JVC’s audiophile-quality CD players), and a “compression comparative” converter said to eliminate jitter and ripple and to improve audio resolution by 24-bit datastream quantization and high sampling rates. Although it lacks the soul and refinement of the best hifi gear, and imposes a bit of edginess on very good recordings, the RXD702B sounds very good—especially considering its size, price, and primary purpose. Widely discounted from an $899 suggested list price, the JVC RX- 702B is a serious middleweight contender.