Choosing the right receiver (also sometimes called a home cinema amplifier) is crucial for creating your audio system, whether youre on the market for a home theater / surround sound receiver or stereo receiver. The following are some factors you want to consider when shopping for your home theater receiver.
Receiver: With its power and sophistication, the receiver is a kind of brain and brawn behind your entire sound system. First, you should decide how you plan to use your receiver; will you only use it to listen to music, or do you want it to work with your entire home entertainment system? Are you only interested in creating a single listening zone for your living room, or are you planning to create a more elaborate multi-zone system for your entire home?
Even if you do not plan to create the multi-zone system now, you know that you plan to keep in the future from replacing or purchasing an additional receiver later. And fortunately, many home theater or surround sound recipients also work well to listen to music so you do not lose anything by going surround sound receiver if youre a big music fan.
Effect: There are at least three different considerations in relation to power that you will want to consider when deciding which recipient is right for you. First watt: The amount of watt you need in the receiver depends on how much your listener is, how many speakers you have (most surround sound systems consist of between five and nine speakers plus a dedicated subwoofer) and how sensitive your speakers are. In general, the less sensitive Your speakers are, and the bigger your room, the more power you need from your receiver.
Second, how clean is the power that the recipient gives? Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is a way to measure how exactly the receiver amplifies the sound of music and movies. To keep it simple, keep in mind that the lower the THD value is better, and most recipients will have a rating less than 1%. So you want to look for a recipient with a THD rating as low as possible.
Third, if you experience the full dynamic range of live music performances and movie soundtracks is important to you, you want a surround sound receiver that offers high power. This feature is best for delivering the movie-specific effects that make you feel like youre in the theater, and do it without emptying your receivers power plant.
Inputs / Outputs: Input and Output Connections allow your receiver to function as a command center for your audio / video system. Preferably, you want a recipient who can handle your current needs, but it also allows room for expansion later. If you plan to use any type of recording device with your system, you want to make sure that your receiver has a digital output (most have only one digital input). And if you have a turntable or think you may want someone at any time, you also want your receiver to have a built-in phono input.
You are likely to want to drive all of your video components through your receiver to optimize performance and make switching between components (such as a DVD player and game console) as easy as possible. If you have an HDTV, or are planning to get one, or if you are interested in a 3-D TV, make sure there is an HDMI connection. There are also 3-D receivers available.
Another option is to buy a home theater receiver that offers video conversion. A video conversion receiver can make it easier to switch between components, resulting in a system that is user friendly for everyone in your household.
Video conversion simply means that the receiver is equipped to convert all of your different video sources to a signal that your TV can receive while maintaining the highest possible quality of each signal. Some recipients also have the ability to improve the appearance of your non-HD video sources (such as older DVDs) using a method called upconversion or scaling, so it may be something to look for if you have a comprehensive DVD collection and do not want to replace them with HD versions.
More options: Some receivers are equipped with satellite radio, and most are MP3 players friendly. Many also have Ethernet ports, making it easy to use your computer as a source of music or movies.
Choosing the right recipient can make the whole difference in the life and performance of your system. Home theater amplifiers may seem quite complicated at a glance, but if you know what you want to do now and in the future, youll get the right one for the first time to be no problem. And you can always ask an A / V professional for help.