Your AV receiver is one of the key elements of your home theater system. You need to select your receiver carefully, taking your budget and preferences into account. Follow this easy guide to home theater receivers.

What is an AV receiver and what does it do?

The AV receiver is the hub of a home theater system. It controls the system, from input selections to audio output. It decodes audio and video signals from your input source – whether it is a Blu-Ray player or set-top box and feeds those signals to the speakers and screen. It also amplifies the sound and feeds it to your speakers. 

Do I need an AV receiver for surround sound?

All surround systems need an AV receiver. It is the receiver that decodes the audio information from the sources, splits the signals and feeds them to the relevant speakers, ensuring that each speaker, from the left front speaker to the right surround speaker, to the subwoofer, puts out the correct sounds at the correct time. You can also control the volume on the AV receiver. In short, there would be no surround sound without an AV receiver. 

What are the advantages of an AV receiver?

As mentioned above, without an AV receiver, there is no surround sound. They make home theater setups possible. They amplify and distribute sound to create that genuine home theater experience, and it coordinates and controls all the components of the system. 

How do I choose an AV receiver? 

Your AV receiver needs to cover a variety of functions, each of which will have a direct impact on your video and audio quality. Let’s look at the features and technologies you need to pay attention to as you shop for your receiver.

  • Switching capacity: Firstly, you need to make sure that your receiver can accommodate all of your source components, so check that there are sufficient HDMI inputs to switch everything you have. If you have special requirements, such as analog source components – a turntable, for example, then make sure that your receiver can accommodate these. Ensure that you have one or two spare inputs for future use.
  • Number of channels: Receivers can have anywhere between five and thirteen channels. If all you want is the basic Dolby Digital system with five speakers, you need a basic five-channel receiver. If you have something more elaborate in mind or would like to future-proof your system for any developments in home theater audio, then get a receiver that can accommodate more channels. 
  • Power ratings: Movie soundtracks are dynamic – they can shift from silence to loud explosions in a second. To deliver these, you need a receiver that can offer the appropriate output range. It is best to opt for a receiver with a large power supply. The bigger the supply, the better the receiver will be able to cope with the full range of possible audio dynamics.

For more information on home theater components and home theater design, including home theater receivers, contact On the Wall today.