AV Receiver Setup

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 14, 2023  |  12 comments
There's a surprisingly wide range of preferences among audio-video fans. I'll categorize them here into two broad groups: classic 2-channel audiophiles and home theater fans. Not that these groups don't overlap. They often do. But there are listeners in each group who don't intersect with the other. For fans of 2-channel music who are open to adding surround sound as long as it doesn't hamper their enjoyment of listening to stereo recordings, there's a fairly easy way to make that happen.
Kim Wilson, Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 06, 2012  |  6 comments
So you've taken the leap and opted for separates, and now you're wondering how to set up the power amp properly with you're A/V preamp/processor. Relax, it's not difficult at all.
Steve Guttenberg  |  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  |  Jul 18, 2011  |  3 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.

Mark Fleischmann  |  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.
John Sciacca  |  Sep 16, 2010  |  0 comments

We definitely don't need to be bogged down with more rules. Practically everywhere we go, someone or something is telling us what to do or what not to do. Walk. Don't walk. This lane 15 items or less. Pants required to eat here. Enough!

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 01, 2010  |  1 comments
Optimizing your sound, one step at a time.

Getting all the pieces for that new system into your room is just the first step to home theater bliss. You’ll need to set up the A/V receiver’s inputs, position the speakers, and configure the AVR’s speaker adjustments for balanced sound before you get to movie time. I’ll frequently refer to your AVR, but the steps will be identical for a separates system with a surround processor and power amp.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 20, 2009  |  3 comments
Tips and tricks for making your system tweakin’ awesome.

Unless you have really expensive tastes, it’s easy to see how spending several thousand dollars on your home theater system can make some very noticeable improvements. That kind of cash could buy a bigger TV, a larger projection screen, a brighter projector, a beefier amp, or a stouter subwoofer. Any of these would put some extra kick in an already kick-butt system. But maybe—like me—you don’t have piles of cash sitting around begging to be stuffed into a store’s cash register. Perhaps you just bought your first HTIB, recently added to your existing system, or (again, like me) you’re simply a classic cheapskate. Whichever it is, let’s say you’ve maxed out your A/V budget for the year. Now what?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 10, 2007  |  1 comments
When you get that new speaker set you're going to need to configure and balance your system. The process described below describes AVRs, but both the features and steps you'll take are identical if you're using a "separates" system with a pre-amp/processor and power amp.
Thomas J. Norton  |  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.
Shane Buettner  |  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.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  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.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Dec 30, 2006  |  First 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.