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Sound United Announces HDMI 2.1 8K Upgrades and AVR-X8500H"A" and Marantz AV8805"A" AV Receivers

Denon/Marantz HDMI 2.1 Upgrade

Denon/Marantz HDMI 2.1 Upgrade


  • Product Name: AVR-X8500H"A", AV8805"A"
  • Manufacturer: Denon, Marantz
  • Review Date: May 27, 2021 09:30
  • MSRP: $4,500 - AVR-X8500H"A", $5,000 - AV8805"A"
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Features Denon AVR-X8500H"A"
Marnantz AV8805”A”
(A Version Factory and Field Upgrade)
Denon AVR-X8500H
Marantz AV8805
8K60Hz and
4K120Hz Pass-through
(A dedicated “8K” input and “Main”,
”Sub” outputs support up to FRL 40Gbps)   
(4K60Hz, up to TMDS 18Gbps)
HDR10+, Dynamic
Yes (all Inputs) ALLM only
Upscaling Up to 8K (all inputs) Up to 4K (all inputs)
Copy Protection Standard HDCP 2.3 HDCP 2.2

Executive Overview

15 years ago I thought video technology was moving faster than consumer purchasing when we progressed from 720p to 1080i to 1080p and eventually 4K. Now that we are looking at receivers allowing 8K upscaling, consumers have to carefully decide the right time to buy, or their receiver may be obsolete as soon as they hook it up.

Sound United announced that they will be selling a new pair of upgraded "A" receivers. The two new units, dubbed the Denon AVR-X8500HA and Marantz AV8805A boast many exciting updates. 8K/60Hz upscaling and passthrough and 4K/120Hz pass-through are included on one of the inputs labeled 8K. The receiver also includes  HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, HDCP 2.3, as well as other HDMI 2.1 technologies for ALL inputs. The factory upgraded Denon and Marantz units will gradually replace all existing Denon AVR-X8500H and Marantz AV8805 units. The Denon AVR-X8500HA will retail for US $4,499, and the Marantz AV8805A at $4,999.

If you're feeling left out because you already purchased a Denon AVR-X8500H or Marantz AV8805, GOOD NEWS- Denon and Marantz’s has your back.  Current owners of the Denon AVR-X8500H and Marantz AV8805 will have the opportunity to upgrade the HDMI/Digital board within their units to obtain the same features as the “A” components. The upgrade requires a hardware modification at a Denon and Marantz certified Service Center. Beginning June 15, 2021, this will be arranged on request by contacting Denon or Marantz directly via the Denon  or Marantz website. The upgrade is not free however and will cost $599.

What is the upgrade to your unit or the "A" models?

The improved components will boast the latest HDMI technologies like a dedicated “8K” HDMI input enabling 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, new HDR format support including HDR10+ and Dynamic HDR, and a new HDMI feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS), which allows a source to instantly switch frame rate to eliminate screen blackout. For exceptional color, clarity and contrast the latest models still support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.  

Denon 8500A Marantz 8805

Several new features give gamers an edge, including razor sharp motion clarity with 4K/120Hz pass through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Get a jump on the competition with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce lag and improve stats.

Denon 8500A rear

The improved products can also upscale existing HD and 4K content to 8K. They also continue to support eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which allows lossless and object-based audio transmission like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos from TV apps or connected devices using a single HDMI cable.

Availability and Upgradability

For owners of either the Denon AVR-X8500H or Marantz AV8805 who wish to perform the HDMI 2.1 upgrade, please visit the Denon Site or Marantz Site for details. The latest factory upgraded models are now available at your local Denon or Marantz retailer, or at www.denon.com and www.marantz.com.

Denon 8500A circuit

The process to upgrade the Denon AVR-X8500H or Marantz AV8805 follows:

  • Customer visits Denon Site or Marantz Site. Follows instructions, and checks out.
  • United Radio, official repair partner of Denon and Marantz, will ship a box to the customer.
  • A confirmation will be sent to the customer via email with instructions on what to do with the shipping carton. This will include details on how to affix an upgrade kit label to the box, and a prepaid shipping label.
  • Customer ships carton to United Radio.
  • United Radio receives product and performs upgrade within 48 hours.
  • Return shipment sent out, customer receives shipping notification from United Radio with tracking.

What we Think...

We see a lot of chatter online of consumers giving Denon/Marantz a hard time for shipping product that don't fully support HDMI 2.1 resolutions. Most folks may not realize that many of these products were engineered before there was HDMI 2.1 hardware that supports the higher resolutions (ie. 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz).  Embracing the cutting edge of technology often runs capability risks for early adopters. Their support for problems like the HDMI 2.1 bug and their  FREE HDMI 8K adapter kits shows their willingness to adapt and resolve customer issues by listening to consumers. If you're looking for a new AV receiver or Pre/Pro that comes with the most up to date technology it would be hard to beat either one of the new "A" version Denon and Marantz products.

About the author:
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Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Epsonfan posts on July 17, 2021 12:31
I see
AVR Enthu posts on July 17, 2021 12:27
Epsonfan, post: 1494646, member: 89748
I going to use the adapter NOT for game console but with eARC in order to overcome the lack of VRR with my Sony A80J 77 inch and have access to 4k at 120 hrtz .
You are going to do what? VRR has nothing to do with 4K120Hz. eARC has nothing to do with either VRR or 4K120Hz. Those are all separate features.
Epsonfan posts on July 17, 2021 11:12
I move on from LG OLED to Sony OLED boy what a difference .Great job SONY
jliedeka posts on July 17, 2021 11:05
I recently upgraded my TV and I just plugged the series X into the TV and everything else goes through the Denon. It's a bit of a pain to switch between gaming and everything else due to LG's horrible remote. Still, I prefer that to adding an extra box.
Teetertotter? posts on July 17, 2021 08:35
@Epsonfan , It took 7 days from the day I ordered, to receive mine and made in Vietnam, as where the AVR was made too. I ordered out of spite and have no use for it. I do no gaming and can't afford a new 2.1 HDMI gaming TV, at least from TLC, which they only make one, and is in the two-three 3K $$ range. That is per TCL factory rep, 3 weeks ago. Gaming TV's are pretty expensive these days, if interested. IMO of course.
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