Brian Kahn auditions Sony's $500 STR-DN1080 7.2-channel AV receiver, which offers a nice assortment of features and solid performance for the price. Continue Reading
Packed with features but often more affordable than the AV Preamp and Multichannel Power Amp combination, the AV receiver is the heart of many home theater systems. An AV receiver puts the AV switching and processing together in the same box as the speaker amplification (and usually adds an AM/FM tuning section to earn the name "receiver"). Today's receivers have between five and eleven channels of amplification, and most can decode the highest quality uncompressed audio soundtracks, such as DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. A growing number can also decode 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. On the video side, most receivers offer a generous number of HDMI inputs, with the ability to pass through the latest and greatest technologies like Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range. Today’s AV receivers are also loaded with coveted features like automatic setup and room correction systems, network audio streaming, hi-res audio playback, multi-room AV distribution, and smart home control. Below are some educational resources to assist in your search for an AV receiver.