7 Things to Consider When Buying a Home Theater Receiver
Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment and Setup for Your System
While it may not be the flashiest item, your AV receiver will be the center of your home theater setup. Many AV enthusiasts even consider the speakers, projector, and screen to simply be vessels for the signal sent out by the receiver. For this reason, there needs to be a serious consideration when choosing one for your Edina, MN theater. To save you the trouble of having to decipher spec sheets, we’ve highlighted some of the most important things you need to consider below:
What is the role of your AV receiver?
The receiver is your home theater’s processing center. It takes the signal from your source—could be a Blu-ray player, cable box, or media server—and processes and amplifies the audio and video for your speakers, TV or projector.
How Powerful Does Your Receiver Have to Be?
The greater the power, the louder your speakers can go without distortion (though this will depend on the speakers as well). If you're working with a sound-controlled room, then usually, 100-120 watts per channel will work for most home theater designs.
This will also depend on your speaker impendance (the amount of resistance it will give your amplifier) and power. Make sure your speaker and amplifier match up, so you don't end up damaging your speakers by going with an amp that is too powerful.
How Many Channels Do You Need?
Know the speaker layout you want to use before choosing an AV receiver for your home theater setup. You’re going to need a receiver that allows for the number of speakers you’ll have in your system. We recommend going with receivers that have 9.2 channel configurations and Dolby Atmos capabilities to process audio for overhead speakers. Upmixers will also let you enhance the sound of older content even if it isn't mixed with Dolby Atmos.
How Many Inputs Do You Need?
Your receiver will connect all your sources (Blu-ray, cable, media server, etc.) to your theater. This is another reason that you need to conceptualize your theater before buying your equipment. Decide on the sources you want and find a receiver that has enough inputs to fit them all.
Do You Have a Way to Access Streaming Services?
Unless you plan on using a smart TV or wireless media server, you should look for AV receivers that have Wi-Fi capabilities to integrate streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video. Receivers like the Marantz SR6012 also link up directly to your wireless stereo system to get access to Spotify, Pandora, and more so you can listen to your favorite music.
What Video Resolution Should You Use?
As more content becomes available through cable, streaming, and Blu-ray, look for AV receivers that are compatible with 4K Ultra HD and HDR. They need to include HDCP 2.2 compatibility to watch any Ultra HD copyright-protected content.
Does your Home Theater Have Multiple Screens?
Some AV receivers include multiple HDMI outputs so you can send video signals to more than one TV or projector. These are usually divided into zones which correspond to different areas or rooms. For example, if you have one theater with multiple screens you'd need more than one HDMI output but not different zones. If you want to use the same AV receiver for your theater and media room, then you'll need multiple HDMI inputs and at least two zones.
The experts at Lelch AV can help you find the perfect home theater setup for your space and the ideal receiver to go with it. To get started, just call us at (612) 353-5087 or fill out our online contact form.