Surround Sound Receiver

With more and more people choosing to opt out of the Friday night movie going tradition, a new alternative to long ticket lines, high popcorn prices, and crying babies interrupting the movie has emerged – the home theater system experience. While when many people think of home theaters, they think of big screen high definition televisions (HDTVs) with stunning picture and crystal clear clarity, they often overlook one of the most important elements in turning a home entertainment room into a true home theater system – beautiful, clear, and undistorted sound.

To recreate that perfect movie going experience with crystal clear sound, an aspiring home theater owner needs to invest in a surround sound receiver. These devices, also often referred to as audio visual receivers (or AV receivers) or home theater receivers, are integral to high sound quality with a home theater system. They are devices that provide most or all of the inputs that your home theater system needs to hook into to work properly and provide an experience that will parallel that of any moviegoer. Essentially, a surround sound receiver provides a simple and cost effective way for you to integrate your home theater system.

A surround sound receiver combines three types of functionality – a tuner, a preamp, and a built in multi channel amplifier. In many cases the tuner serves to pick up AM and FM signals, but increasingly they pick up satellite radio such as XM or Sirius, or internet radio signals. The preamp controls the audio or video source (in this case, usually a DVD player or Blu-ray player, but it can also be a CD player, iPod, etc.). It processes the incoming sound signals and distributes audio to the channels and subwoofer output. Also, the preamp serves as a sort of central processing system for audio and video but making sure that video is routed to the only place it is actually needed in a home theater system – the television. While the preamp does all that, the multi channel amplifier sends surround sound signals and power to the speakers. In effect, the surround sound receiver really does act as the heart and brain of a home theater system.

Many home theater owners, once they realize the power that sound holds over the quality of a movie watched at home, tend to want higher volume. They also tend to think that more power will give them that volume. But home theater owner should be careful. More watts does not always equal higher volume. And in fact, sometimes surround sound receivers do not handle higher watts as well as lower watts. This can lead to distortion and a distinctly less pleasant home theater experience, especially in loud moments. Who wants to be forcibly jerked out of the climax of a horror movie they are enjoying in the privacy of their own home when distortion from the speakers ruins the villains big moment?

There is one more important note when it comes to investing in volume. Humans perceive sound in decibels, and for a sound to double in volume, it has to be 10 times the volume of the previous sound. So make sure you are informed when shopping for a surround sound receiver and make sure you realize that a surround sound receiver that boats five more decibels will not make an appreciable difference in sound.

Most importantly, do your homework before purchasing a home theater system. Chances are, if you are anything like the majority of the American public, watching television and movies is one of your favorite past times and you are sure to spend a lot of time with your home theater. Do your research so that you buy yourself an enjoyable and comfortable experience.

This Surround Sound Receiver Review is Written/Updated on Sep 23rd, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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