Feeds

Buyer's Guide: AV Receivers

Speakers' corner

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Group Test The first thing to decide is whether you want an AV receiver or if you’ll be happy with just an AV amp. Each will include a multichannel amp (5.1 minimum) and preamp for processing sound and video, but a receiver will include a radio tuner and a connection for a quality aerial. It may also, but not necessarily, include access to Internet radio. All the models included in this round-up are receivers, but don't expect to find DAB among the spec, as it's all AM/FM only.

Yamaha RX-V767

Wired for sound... and video

Any modern AV amp or receiver will, of course, include HDMI inputs and outputs but it’s worth checking what features are included, since they’re not all the same. The latest HDMI spec, formerly known as 1.4, includes ARC (audio return channel) which allows a similarly equipped TV to send audio info back into the amp and there's standby pass-through, which allows you to access your plugged-in sources without the need to fire up the amp.

One of the recent trends in home cinema is for adaptable speaker placement. Sound processing facilities such as Dolby ProLogic IIz and Audyssey DSX give you the option of replacing or augmenting your surround channels with additional ‘height’ or ‘width’ channels, with some preferring these effects to the more traditional rear speakers in a 7.1 set-up.

Most receivers these days will come with an automatic calibration system to help you with setting up the optimum sound from each of your speakers, often incorporating the dynamics of your room. Not to be confused with Audyssey DSX – the processing which offers additional height and width channels in some receivers – is Audyssey’s Dynamic EQ.

One of several calibration tools available, the Audyssey system uses a microphone plumbed into the AV receiver. The mic is then placed in your listening position(s) while the speakers throw out a series of tones. These signals, picked up by the mic, are then processed to produce the optimum sound balance. You can use these settings as a basis before your start your own selective tweaking or ignore it altogether and just do it all manually.

If you’re likely to be watching standard def DVD or TV (certainly, most of us for a few years to come), 1080p upscaling in your receiver can be well worth having. An HDMI lead from your Sky or other set top box, or direct from your TV will give you the option to upscale to the highest def your screen can handle.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: In the dock

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.