AV receivers comparison

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What is an AV receiver?

The AV receiver is not the easiest device to buy and before buying, you need to compare receivers from different manufacturers. Since it controls the audio and video of your home theater system, there are many features to consider. It is one of the main elements of your installation. This device acts as a switch and a processor that processes and converts external video or audio signals

A good home theater receiver with good speakers is the best choice to recreate the atmosphere of a home theater. Moreover, the answer to the question "how to choose a receiver?" lies on the surface because there are devices for every taste and budget, and there are also excellent devices in all price categories.

How much power do you need?

AV receivers need to power many speakers. Powering all of all necessary speakers simultaneously requires a huge electrical power.

The power of a receiver is expressed in Watt and this is one of the main characteristics to compare av receivers side by side. It is generally understood for the majority of consumer models between 250 and 1200 watt. However, most receivers offer power between 5x70 and 5x110 watts, or more than 500 watts in total. The most common devices with a total power of 1000 watts.

How many channels do you need?

It is the most important element to take into account in AV receiver comparisons. Simply put, this is the number of speakers in addition to your subwoofer and your amplifier: 2, 5, 7, 9 or even 11.

  • The 2.1 system will give you better sound than TV sound alone. However, it will offer less good surround sound than 5.1.
  • The 5.1 system has become the standard today because it provides quality sound and a surround soundstage. 2 speakers at the front on the sides of the TV, 1 center speaker for the voices and 2 speakers at the back to fully immerse yourself in reproducing the acoustic effects.
  • The 7.1 system allows even greater immersion and is appreciated by cinema lovers because it provides 2 additional speakers placed on the sides of the TV.
  • The 9.2 system is a configuration allows you to control sound from all sides (using front high-frequency and surround back speakers in addition to the usual 5.1 configurations) to create a surround sound field.
  • The 11.2 system creates a seamless sound field in Dolby Atmos or DTS: X formats from various speaker sets - up to 7.2.4 channels.

What kinds of inputs and outputs do you need?

If the vast majority of video elements connect today via HDMI, there are several versions of this connection that should be mentioned in an AV receiver buying guide.

  • HDMI 1.3/1.4: This version of HDMI allows Full HD images to pass through, a 3D stream, as well as High Definition soundtracks.
  • HDMI 2.0: This is essential for transmitting images in UHD, as well as HDR images. An amplifier without HDMI 2.0 connector will be limited to Full HD and deprived of HDR.

With the development of modern computer technology, multimedia systems, and network standards, many of the receivers are equipped with USB ports, Wi-Fi adapters, and even Internet functions. Therefore, in modern models, you can find the ability to connect MP3-players, read media files via USB port, work with web radio, and also support Bluetooth-audio and wireless technology for transmitting AirPlay audio. Also in the home theater receiver buying guide pay attention to a DLNA client that can play files from resources on a local computer network.

Make sure your AV receiver is ready for your TV

To keep up with current TVs, your AV receiver needs to be capable of switching 4K signals. 4K is the current best-possible, highest resolution video format for consumer video at home which is highly detailed.

Another feature to look out for HDCP 2.2 support. HDCP 2.2 is the newest and latest copy-protection tech.

And with a 7-channel AV receiver, you can use 5 channels for surround sound and 2 channels for stereo speakers in another room.

Also with dual HDMI outputs, you can watch one video content on two different screens in the same room or in different rooms or with an independent HDMI output for the second zone, you can watch two different video sources on different TVs.

Some AV receivers can stream music to different speakers in different rooms. Most Yamaha receivers work with MusicCast. Some Denon and Marantz receivers integrate with Denon's HEOS wireless speaker line.

When should I upgrade my AV Receiver

Do not upgrade your A/V receiver simply to keep up with trends or because you need the latest network features.. In our opinion, as a rule, it is better to buy a receiver of a higher model and spend a few more dollars on it, since you are likely to get more benefit from it before updating it again. Choose the best model now so you don’t look at the new model with minor changes next year.

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