AV Receivers offer immersive, theater-like surround sound. They serve as the central hub of a home theater system and bring movies to life using video processing & surround sound decoding.
It receives audio and video signals from connected sources & routes them to the correct outputs. The visual signals are routed to the attached display (TV or Projector) and audio signals are transmitted to the speaker system.
It is important to know the components you want to connect in your home theater setup. Additional inputs can also be considered for future proofing.
The number of channels on an AV receiver indicates the number of speakers it can power. Ex. 5.1 & 7.1 surround sound.
3. Resolution & HDR:
If you own a high-resolution television, you need a high-resolution video AV receiver. So, if you own a 4k TV it’s important to own a receiver that supports 4k.
Many modern televisions now offer color accuracy thanks to HDR. There are three kinds of HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. Newer AV Receivers support all 3.
When determining how much power you need, keep your speakers and the room in mind. The wattage per channel should be equal to or more than the wattage per speaker. Most home theater systems require 100 watts per channel.
5. Sound Codecs:
Surround Sound is produced with codecs like Dolby Atmos & DTS:X. DTS:X does not need height speakers, whereas Dolby Atmos does.
Unless you want to use the receiver in a very big room, you should go with DTS:X, which offers similar audio using fewer speakers.
6. Room Equalization:
Room Equalisation analyzes the shape and size of a room and produces audio waves to match.
Multi-room allows you to divide an audio signal and stream media to different rooms, such as a living room and bedroom. This is achieved by using one of the surround channels.
Understanding Audio & Video Formats:
High-definition video and audio technology advancements have brought the cinema theater experience into our homes.
An important factor to consider is whether your hardware supports appropriate video formats. Today, many HD video formats are available.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, creates realistic images by adjusting the contrast between light and dark elements. This results in richer, vibrant colors and better depth in your image quality. HDR10 is the most widely utilized HDR format today.
Dolby Vision is constantly
refining video display. It makes changes from
scene to scene or even frame to frame. Before
making any more purchases, make sure to check
which formats are supported with your current
Hybrid Log Gamma:
HLG fills a performance
shortfall left by HDR10 and Dolby Vision:
broadcast TV. Both formats struggle to broadcast with the same clarity as streaming services. But there isn't a lot of HLG-compatible media available yet.
In order to future proof your home theater setup, make sure the receiver supports HDR10, DV, and HLG formats.
One of the most used surround-sound formats for 5.1 and 7.1 channel speakers. It is also known as AC-3. It uses lossy compression, which reduces some of the original sound quality. Dolby Digital can be transmitted via HDMI or coaxial cable.
Dolby Digital Plus:
It accommodates up to 15 channels and is commonly used with 6.1 or 7.1 sound systems. It is also known as Enhanced AC-3. Dolby Digital Plus is a common audio codec in OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney.
Dolby Atmos directs sound to a specific location in 3D space using high-frequency speakers. These speakers are mounted to the ceiling or in the front or surround speakers. The sounds from these ceiling speakers reach the listener as though they were coming from above.
It delivers a good, compressed sound format while maintaining the original sound quality. This is because of the eight discrete channels of lossless audio codec.
DTS X adds overhead sound effects to improve sound quality, like Dolby Atmos. In contrast with Dolby Atmos, it does not require additional height speakers or a specific number of speakers.
To transmit 3D surround sound to the output speakers, DTS uses auto-calibration and object-based processors. It allows users to manually control the audio and experience it from all angles with greater realism.
Most modern AV Receivers support Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
AV Receiver Placement:
You can place your receiver in a cabinet or stand since they generate a lot of heat. AV receivers need a
lot of room, which is why they have a vented top panel.
Avoid cramming your receiver into a restricted shelf space with nowhere for heat to go.
If you let too much heat build up, your receiver can shut down. You should allow at least three inches of room above the top of your receiver.
The optimum operating temperature for an AV receiver is 29.4°C. Small temperature changes beyond this harms the receiver. Every 5.6°C increase reduces a receiver's lifespan by 40%.
You'll need to leave some extra space at the back to
accommodate connections. You can add an inch or two
When troubleshooting an issue or changing a
component, keeping cables clean makes it easy to find
which cable goes where.
Understanding the Audio & Video Connections:
Setting up a home theater system can be difficult due to the amount of ports, toggles, and switches in the back. We'll guide you through the back of the AV Receiver here.
Speaker Connectors: This is where you connect your speakers.
The particular types and number of speaker connections may differ depending on the AV receiver's model and brand.
Digital Audio In: Allows digital audio signals from external devices to be transmitted to the AV receiver for decoding and amplification.
AM/FM Antenna: Receives AM and FM radio signals. AV Receivers use this to decode radio broadcasts
Audio In: Receives audio signals from external devices such as DVD/Blu-ray players, game consoles, media players, etc
Ch In: Accepts audio signals from external sources or devices. It is used for special purposes such as multi-room audio systems, audio distribution systems, or integrating external audio processors or preamplifiers.
Pre Out: Sends external amplifiers or audio equipment audio signals.
HDMI In: Allows the AV Receiver to receive HDMI Inputs from external devices, like blu-ray players, media streamers, satellite boxes and game consoles etc.
HDMI Out: Carries both audio and video signals simultaneously. You can connect your AV Receiver to your TV or other display.
Video In: Receives analog video signals from external devices. You can connect game consoles, Old VCRs, DVD Players, Camcorders etc.
Video Out: Allows you to send analog or digital video signals to your TV or display device. It ensures proper playback
Component Video In: Receives analog component video signals from external devices. Component Video has higher video quality in comparison with composite video.
Component Video Out: Allows you to connect your AV Receiver to your Display using component video cables.
Audio & Video Settings:
A listening mode is a function that instructs your AV
receiver on how to play the audio on a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
It can instruct the receiver to play the audio exactly as it was recorded on the disc.
It can create the illusion that you are in a large theater space.
By enabling these listening modes, you can choose how you wish to hear the audio in your room.
Although all AV Receivers offer presets, Different Brands use Different terms for this setting. Here’s a list:
The greatest AV Receiver is the one that best meets your entertainment requirements. Choose one that has enough channels, the required wattage, and the ability to fit in your entertainment space.
Reputed brands include Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha. Choose brands with a history in the business and high customer ratings.
Room size, furnishings, and listening position will all influence which sound system is best for you. A 5.1 sound system may not be enough for larger rooms. If you have a lot of space behind your listening location, the surround sound may not feel as encompassing as it does in smaller rooms. A 7.1 system is ideal for larger rooms where sound could get lost in the environment. It offers a more immersive surround sound listening experience.
Stereo requires two full-frequency band speakers, whereas home theatre requires at least five speakers and a subwoofer.
Stereo as a format requires more fidelity from the speakers because the listener is likely to have a higher reference for music and hence clear standards for judging performance.
Home theatre involves a lot of noise (bomb explosions, gunfire, action sequences, etc.) with multiple references and hence unclear standards for judgement. As a result, the home theatre format is less demanding on the fidelity of speakers than the stereo format.
Room dimensions, proportions, acoustic surfaces (absorption and reflection), speaker locations, distances from walls, sitting positions, screen size, and viewing angles are all important considerations.