AV RECEIVER TECH

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Kim Wilson Posted: Sep 10, 2007 Published: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments
The next big thing?

In the last few years, video has been grabbing most of the headlines. Maybe you're not familiar with Audyssey, but this breakthrough acoustical-correction technology is showing up in the latest-generation A/V receivers to infuse new life into home theaters everywhere.

A. Grimani Posted: Aug 21, 2005 2 comments
Bass is like salt. Really, it is. Salt is a seasoning, a treat that we add to good food to make it taste even better. Bass is the same way. A sound system without it lacks the last little element that transforms an ordinary activity like listening to music or watching a movie into an extraordinary, emotionally charged experience.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 29, 2007 0 comments
To someone new to the whole home theater game, setting up an AV receiver might be intimidating. It's the most complex piece of equipment in the whole system, and the one that you'll interface with the most.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 25, 2007 0 comments
It's not that your AVR doesn't love you. It's just misunderstood.

So you just bought your first AV receiver (AVR), and now you're staring in fright at the back panel and what looks to be several thousand connectors jammed together tighter than the squares on a New York Times sukodu puzzle – and just about as incomprehensible. Don't feel bad. Rocket scientists have been known to suffer heart palpitations in the same situation.

Various Posted: May 21, 2007 Published: Apr 21, 2007 0 comments
It's the Sound!
Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 27, 2014 Published: Jun 28, 2014 12 comments
The Dolby Atmos surround-sound format for home theaters made its debut this week with product announcements from several manufacturers and live demos in New York City at the Consumer Electronics Association's CE Week trade show. The technology that Dolby first introduced to theaters in 2012 offers the potential for a far more immersive audio experience than the traditional 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems that are still mostly employed today, and having experienced Atmos in the cinema, I admit I was pretty pumped heading into the demos.

And I wasn't let down. Atmos in the home environment seems to work—surprisingly well, in fact. Caveats? Yeah, there are a few worth watching out for that I'll get to later. But overall, I'll go on record that this is probably the most discernable advance in home theater sound since the introduction of lossless digital audio in the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats on Blu-ray. And it's one that leaves all the pre-existing height- and width-channel surround formats— including Dolby Pro Logic IIz and DTS Neo:X—in the dust. Finally, this may be one that will truly make it worth the trouble of adding those extra speakers. Maybe...

Chris Lewis Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
The basics of bass management.

Bass: It is undoubtedly the most misunderstood aspect of a home theater system's performance and, in some ways, the least appreciated—especially among the higher-end ranks. Bass' bad rap (no pun intended) derives from a number of sources, but its fundamental undoing is its poor implementation in the vast majority of audio systems—from the genius who cruises around with 10 $50 monotone subwoofers in the trunk of his car to the home theater owner who hasn't put forth the considerable time and effort it takes to properly calibrate low-frequency output. Poor-quality subs, of which there is no shortage, are as much to blame in this situation as user error. The bottom line is that quality bass performance is critical to any audio, music, or home theater system, and its journey begins long before the signals ever reach our speakers.

Rob Sabin Posted: Jul 10, 2012 7 comments
Of all the components in your home theater system, none gets more playtime than your audio/video receiver. But buying an AVR can be daunting for home theater newbies or even seasoned enthusiasts diving back into the upgrade pool. AVR technology and features have been constantly moving targets these last few years. Here are some basics to help you make your selection, circa 2012.

A/V What?
An A/V receiver combines three audio components in one box. Primarily, it performs the traditional roles of a preamplifier and power amplifier. The sound for any home theater begins as a relatively low-level audio signal coming off a source component such as a cable box or disc player. These days, it’s more likely to be a digital audio signal than an analog signal. That signal gets converted between digital and analog as needed, manipulated to affect your volume adjustment, and might perhaps have some bass and treble contouring (or more sophisticated equalization) applied before it’s sent to the power amplifier, whose only job is to pump it up to the power level necessary to drive your speakers to sufficient volume.

Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 05, 2013 1 comments
If there’s been any real change in the home theater audio landscape recently, it’s been the emergence of the anti-AVR. From soundbars to powered tabletop systems to wireless streaming speakers that can double as your TV’s audio system, the trend is toward all-in-one solutions that are simple to shop for, easy to install, and a cinch to operate. Granted, even the most basic receiver is none of those things. But the Swiss Army knife of the A/V world still remains the best value in the land, packing more power, features, flexibility, and (when mated with good speakers) performance than any integrated approach.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Aug 25, 2011 8 comments
Selecting audio components is one of the more daunting tasks that any serious home theater enthusiast faces. On the surface, it seems evident that if you just go out and buy the best components you can afford, they’ll sound great with both movies and music. And that’s generally true: A better system will more accurately reproduce the waveforms you feed it, irrespective of whether they come from a movie or music. But it’s often not that simple. While assembling a home theater system that’s equally spectacular with movies and music may be a laudable goal, unless you have unlimited funds, you’ll probably have compromises to make. At that point, you might want to steer the system’s performance strengths one way or the other with the right mix of speakers and electronics. But how do you go about matching these up?
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 17, 2011 0 comments
The A/V receiver is your home theater’s central nervous system. All cables and connections to and from your other components are likely to run through your AVR. It will manage and switch the A/V signals from all of your sources, and it will power at least five of your loudspeakers. Making the right choice in an AVR can feel like a science exam, but once you make the perfect match, the rewards are huge. The right AVR will be a pleasure to use and will make your speakers and other components perform their best. Helping you make the best choice is where Home Theater’s AVR Buyer’s Guide comes in.
Shane Buettner Posted: May 29, 2007 0 comments
Essential Audio Features
Basic Surround Decoding
Today's AVRs feature a ton of surround decoding features from Dolby and DTS, from basic 5.1-channel surround decoding to several ways of decoding stereo into 5.1-channel surround, or beyond.
Rob Sabin Posted: Nov 13, 2012 0 comments
Looking for that perfect receiver? Before you hit the stores, here’s everything you need to know in a quick-read format. See our Top Receiver Picks.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 18, 2011 2 comments
Are You Ready for the Heavy Artillery?

A friend who went to college in the late 1960s told me that everyone in his dorm fell into one of two absolutely opposing groups: those who blasted the Who’s Tommy and those who were mesmerized by the Beatles’ White Album. Or for the sticklers among you, the album nicknamed the White Album but officially known as The Beatles. I could entertain you with a few more sentences’ worth of metaphor, but you get the idea. You say tomato, I say tomahto.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 30, 2006 Published: Dec 03, 2006 0 comments
Gear is hot. Hot is bad.

As I'm sure you've noticed by now, nearly every piece of electronic equipment you own creates heat. Some, like projectors, create a lot. Others, like DVD players, don't create very much at all. Depending on how you have your gear set up, though, any heat can create a problem. What's worse, you may not even know there's a problem until it's too late. There are solutions, though, and they vary depending on how you store your gear.

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