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  • AV receivers are the core components of a home cinema system, being responsible for not only...

    04/05/2011

AV Receivers


AV Receivers: Buying Guide

AV receivers are the core components of a home cinema system, being responsible for not only powering the speakers, but decoding the source material. Here are a few important facts that you need to keep in mind when you select your next receiver.

Features
As audio/video receivers have grown rapidly in complexity to keep abreast of ever-evolving technology, it can be confusing to keep track of the many new features that keep appearing in new receivers. Almost all AV receivers have five or more channels of amplification and Dolby or DTS decoding technology.

They also usually have tuners for FM/AM radio and may also support internet radio. Other features that may be available include DSP processing to give a ‘cinema-quality’ to the sound, PC wireless streaming technology, iPod dock and even a phono stage.

Amplification
5.1 receivers have 5 channels of amplification for the centre speaker, left and right front speakers and left and right surround speakers, along with a line level output to a powered sub woofer. More advanced 7.1 receivers have two additional channel of amplification for the extra rear speakers while
9.1 receivers add two further channels to the front. This is by no means the limit however, as top AV receivers have 11 channels for a really enveloping sound.

Decoding
One of the main functions of the AV receiver is decoding the soundtrack on DVD and Blu-ray disks. Software developed by Dolby labs is used for this purpose while DTS decodes are also used to a lesser extent.

Dolby Digital became the most popular soundtrack format with the introduction of DVD and was later developed to include a rear centre surround channel with Dolby Digital EX. DTS offers the competing DTS Surround and DTS ES technologies.

Technological evolutions
Dolby has also introduced Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, evolutions of the first surround sound decoder Dolby Pro Logic, which convert stereo sound to surround sound. The biggest change in these technologies in recent times has been the introduction of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to meet the demands of high definition sound. These codes are essential for enjoying the full quality of the soundtracks on Blu-ray discs, so keep that in mind as you compare AV receivers.

Buying a new AV receiver can be confusing, but keep these basics in mind and you are bound to find one that meets your requirements and budget.

 
Onkyo TX-NR515

Onkyo TX-NR515

Onkyo AV Receivers
7.2

Score attributed to product
1 review - 54 user opinions - 2 news - 11 videos - 15 photos
Onkyo TX-NR515 review Trusted Reviews — 08-2012

Onkyo TX-NR515 Surround Sound System review: Can Onkyo keep up its fine AV receiver track record with this feature packed 7.2-channel audio hub?

£61 to £206 Compare
 
Onkyo TX-NR3007

Onkyo TX-NR3007

Onkyo AV Receivers
9.2

Score attributed to product
1 review - 1 feedback - 7 news - 1 video - 4 photos
Onkyo TX-NR3007 Recipient Evaluation iPhone 4 Case — 22/07/2011

Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black) Once the Onkyo TX-NR3007 gets our prime powered hub of a high end home entertainment system, it makes sense probably the most up to date...

£100 Compare
 
Denon AVR-1911

Denon AVR-1911

Denon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 5 user opinions - 12 news - 4 videos - 19 photos
Denon AVR-1911 review Trusted Reviews — 09-2010

Denon AVR-1911 Surround Sound System review: Denon upholds its enviable reputation with yet another admirable AV receiver.

£47 Compare
 
Yamaha DSP-Z11

Yamaha DSP-Z11

Yamaha AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 2 news - 1 video - 3 photos
Review: Yamaha DSP-Z7 TechRadar — 22/07/2009

Yamaha's DSP-Z7 has come to be because the company's flagship DSP-Z11 is just a little too extreme for many. Extreme on the wallet, extreme on the features count, extreme in performance and extreme...

£67 to £452 Compare
 
Denon AVR-1611

Denon AVR-1611

Denon AV Receivers
5.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 5 user opinions - 8 news - 1 video - 2 photos
Review: Denon AVR-1611 TechRadar — 28/01/2011

This five-channel amp tries to bring Denon's legendary sound quality to a low price point without greatly compromising on cutting-edge features. As such, the AVR-1611 boasts 3D compatibility through...

£420 Compare
 
Denon AVR-1910

Denon AVR-1910

Denon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 5 user opinions - 15 news - 1 video - 16 photos
Samsung UN46C6500 46 1080p LED HDTV, Denon AVR-1910 7.1-Channel, & Klipsch HDT1000 HD Speaker System (Bundle) Daily Gadgets, Computer, and Electronics News — 14/04/2010

Featuring all high-end materials and striking cosmetics, the Custom Entertainment Solution setup delivers unrivaled television quality and performance for those who demand the very best. This home-ent

£27 Compare
 
Yamaha RX-V665

Yamaha RX-V665

Yamaha AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 5 user opinions - 10 news - 6 photos
Yamaha 630W 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver for $170 + free shipping Today's Review — 01/07/2010

Dell Home offers the Yamaha RX-V665 630-watt 7.2-Channel Receiver for $499.99. Add it to your cart to cut it to $169.99

£25 to £195 Compare
 
Denon AVR-3310CI

Denon AVR-3310CI

Denon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 5 user opinions - 2 news - 5 videos
£420 Compare
 
Harman/Kardon AVR 2600

Harman/Kardon AVR 2600

Harman/Kardon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 25 user opinions - 4 news - 33 photos
£330 Compare
 
Denon AVR-4310

Denon AVR-4310

Denon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 4 user opinions - 3 news - 1 photo
Denon AVR-4310 - 7.1-channel AV Receiver review Trusted Reviews — 01-2010

Denon AVR-4310 - 7.1-channel AV Receiver Surround Sound System review: The Denon AVR-4310, 7.1-channel AV Receiver offers a top-spec and Dolby Pro Logic IIz.

£420 Compare
 
Yamaha RX-V663

Yamaha RX-V663

Yamaha AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 5 user opinions - 4 news - 7 photos
No audio from HDMI output on video card M Audio Blog — 28/04/2008

robraz: I have it hooked up to my Yamaha RX-V663 receiver which can decode HDMI audio, but when it's plugged in, video is fine, but audio doesn't work at all. If I uninstall all sound drivers from...

£25 to £195 Compare
 
Onkyo TX-SR605

Onkyo TX-SR605

Onkyo AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 30 news - 2 videos - 2 photos
A decent soundcard? M Audio Blog — 07/05/2008

unknown: I was looking at Turtle Beach Riviera or a Diamond exteremsound. Im using an Onkyo Tx-SR605 so it will decode it all. I assume that a sound card set to pass through doesnt really do that...

£55 to £72 Compare
 
Denon AVR-1912

Denon AVR-1912

Denon AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 5 user opinions - 6 news - 3 videos - 16 photos
Denon AVR-1912 review Trusted Reviews — 11-2011

Denon AVR-1912 Surround Sound System review: The Denon AVR-1912 is a classy-looking 7.1-channel AV receiver with built-in AirPlay support, internet radio and easy setup, but it's trumped by more...

£420 Compare
 
Yamaha RX-V2065

Yamaha RX-V2065

Yamaha AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 3 user opinions - 2 news
Review: Yamaha RX-V2065 TechRadar — 16/02/2010

There comes a time in the development life cycle of electronic equipment where things get a bit, well, Terminator. Your electronics get ideas of their own and start ordering you about. For instance,...

£25 to £195 Compare
 
Onkyo TX-SR308

Onkyo TX-SR308

Onkyo AV Receivers
5.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 1 feedback - 17 news - 4 videos - 2 photos
AV Receiver Reviews; The Onkyo TX-SR308 Into Tech » Tips For Differential D — 27/04/2011

If you will soon be hunting for your first AV receiver, and would rather not mortgage the house until you figure out what you definitely want, the Onkyo TX-SR308 Receiver may be a good purchase for...

£100 Compare
 
Onkyo TX-SR608

Onkyo TX-SR608

Onkyo AV Receivers
7.2

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 10 user opinions - 42 news - 13 videos - 2 photos
Onkyo TX-NR3007 Recipient Evaluation iPhone 4 Case — 22/07/2011

Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black) Once the Onkyo TX-NR3007 gets our prime powered hub of a high end home entertainment system, it makes sense probably the most up to date...

£61 to £206 Compare
 
Sony STR-DH700

Sony STR-DH700

Sony AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 34 user opinions - 5 news - 1 video - 18 photos
£45 to £170 Compare
 
Pioneer VSX-1020-K

Pioneer VSX-1020-K

Pioneer AV Receivers
7.1

Score attributed to product
1 review - 5 user opinions - 51 news - 8 photos
Low Price for Pioneer VSX 1020 K mutliroom — 09/02/2011

Low Price for Pioneer VSX 1020 K Low Price for Pioneer VSX 1020 K Pioneer VSX 1020 KSave on Pioneer VSX 1020 K. Free Shipping, Order Now! You can Buy Pioneer VSX 1020 K In Stock. Pioneer VSX 1020 K...

£31 to £645 Compare
 
Yamaha RX-V367

Yamaha RX-V367

Yamaha AV Receivers
5.1

Score attributed to product
2 reviews - 6 user opinions - 17 news - 11 videos - 1 photo
Review: Yamaha RX-V367 TechRadar — 10/02/2011

With a price that dips below £200 from some online retailers, the Yamaha RX-V367 is the cheapest AVR in our roundup and solid evidence that you don't have to pay through the nose for 3D-readiness.

£138 to £684 Compare
 
Yamaha RX-V365

Yamaha RX-V365

Yamaha AV Receivers
5.1

Score attributed to product
4 user opinions - 13 news - 1 photo
Revealing Yamaha’s Home Theatre Receivers Riders Britain — 24/01/2010

Yamaha’s new 500-Watt 5.1-Channel RX-V365 is a pricey home theater receiver that furnishes many new elements to improve your entertainment experience. These consist of HDMI switching with 1080p video...

£138 to £684 Compare
 
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