AV Receiver

Today’s computers do so much more than simple word processing and playing games. Many people today have integrated their computers into a complete home entertainment system which means they’re connected to our stereo systems as well as our high definition television for a full home theater experience. The most important component in the mix is the AV receiver. Many refer to this part as the command center of a home theater system as it controls both the sound and video.

The AV receiver combines several components housed in one case (usually a black box). At a minimum, there needs to be an AM/FM tuner, a processor and an amplifier. The best systems will have several video inputs and switching along with outputs as well as analog and digital audio capabilities. The latest technologies in AV receivers also include some form of internet capabilities through either a wireless connection or Ethernet cables.

When deciding on which AV receiver to purchase, there are several things to think about. Budget is always a concern to a certain degree but with AV receiver capabilities the adage about getting what you pay for does apply. While you may not need everything at the moment, you also have to consider the formats that new technologies are making common. For example, Blu-ray and HD DVD players utilize newer decoding codecs that not all AV receivers are able to decipher.

Another thing to consider is how much connectivity you want in your home multi-media system. The ever growing popularity of iPods makes it highly likely that either you or someone in your household has one of these devices. If you don’t now, chances are you’re already considering the purchase. It makes sense to be able to incorporate that into your entertainment set-up. Since most of the higher end players have connections for docking, it is a good idea to make sure that the AV receiver you choose will allow this. After all, that’s where you keep all your favorite music and videos, right? They sound so much better in surround sound.

One absolute necessity in your AV receiver is that it include HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) switching and the ability to process hi-resolution multi-channel PCM (pulse-code modulation) over HDMI. These processes are necessary to analog data to be converted to digital and for today’s high-definition standards in both audio and video. Even if you don’t yet own a source or display that uses HDMI, you will be the next time you purchase a new component.

Most of today’s AV receivers are coming with built-in capabilities to receive satellite radio signals. Not everyone will care about this feature but if you are into the versatility and quality of satellite radio, you will want to be sure that your receiver can get the right signals. Very few AV receivers are able to get both Sirius and XM radio and those are the top-of-the-line budget busting models. Therefore you need to decide which one you need based on what you are already subscribed to or what you plan on subscribing to.

Of course, the main quality in an AV receiver remains the sound quality. There is no point in getting all the bells and whistles just to find out the sound isn’t much better than regular speakers, is it? Do your due diligence by reading the reviews about the receivers you’re interested in and only purchase after testing the quality out. Better electronic stores will have demo systems set up for the customer to get a good idea of which one will meet their needs.

This AV Receiver Review is Written/Updated on Oct 6th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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