Important Features to Look For:
The audio receiver is the core component in your Home Theater sound system and provides the selection to hear like Blue-Ray disc or TVaudio, an FM – AM radio tuner, amplifies the signal to your speakers and allows detail control of your system. Popular receivers are from Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo and Denon. Even the least expense receiver – starting under $200.00 – will have excellent frequencies response and produce 90 – 110-watts power amplification, more than enough for any home system. So what features are worth paying more?
The $200.00 receiver could sound as good as the $800.00 receiver but may not have the important features you need:
- Speaker Connections. Select a 5.1 receiver system to connect 5-speakers (most popular front center, left, right plus back left, right) or select a 7.1 receiver system to add 2-additonal side speakers, total 7. If you have a 5-speaker setup you do not want to pay for a 7-speaker setup. The “.1” refers to the optional subwoofer connection which is included on all receivers.
- HDMI Up-Conversion. Allows any component – DVD, game console, TV box — to plug in the receiver and send video to the TV over a single HDMI cable. You could have many different cables going to the TV without this feature.
- Microphone System for Acoustically Balancing Speakers. A special mic is placed in the center of your listening area and with a series of beeps and burps acoustically adjusts each speaker for perfect surround sound listening. A must have to insure correct speaker placement and future seatng changes.
- 2nd Zone Speaker Output. If you are planning on having speakers on the Patio or another room, you must have this feature. You get connections for the extra speakers plus a separate volume control. Very important when you expect to expand your system.
Your favorite receiver manufacturer is Yamaha and our most favorite receiver Model is Yamaha’s RXV673. Selling for about $499.95, this receiver has all the features discussed. Just stick to the major brands and you will be ensured excellent performance from your Home Theater system.