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Tips for Choosing a AV Receiver

A modern AV (audio visual) receiver does a lot more than simply amplify sound. With its ever-increasing list of features, AV receivers are the hub of a good home theatre system. As the audio visual experts, Universal Home Theatre explains how an AV receiver works and what things you should consider when buying an AV system to best suit your needs.


An AV system is the core of any good home theatre system. Their primary function is to amplify audio from a number of sources including your DVD and Blu Ray, Sony Playstation and of course the TV itself. They can also route video signals from other sources directly to your TV. Sometimes devices from particular output will need sound and video signals converted and decoded for surround sound a good AV receiver can do this automatically.


Sound quality

Sound output is possibly the biggest factor that determines a good AV receiver. Measured in watts, an AV receiver should be able to deliver detailed and dynamic sound at low, medium and high volume. The higher the wattage the better sound quality, and for large rooms a AV receiver with a higher wattage is recommended. While a classic stereo receiver has two channels of amplification (two speakers) an AV receiver has at least 5 for surround sound.

When surround sound is mentioned as 5.1 audio it means you have 5 speakers ( front left, front right, centre, surround left, surround right) plus the .1 is the subwoofer. 5.1 surround sound is the most common sold and installed.

Picture Quality

Cheaper receivers may only accept analogue video signals and pass them out to your screen. More expensive ones will accept both analogue and digital (HDMI) video inputs and then send them out via HDMI. Some even have technologies that can increase the resolution of the video output from older analogue devices to provide extra detail (lines) on the screen (from 576 lines on a typical DVD to display on a HD screen with 720 or 1080 lines)

Number of Inputs and Outputs


With all the different connections and outputs, the back of an AV receiver can appear very daunting to say the least. Generally however, the more inputs/outputs the better the system (and the more you will pay.) At the very least a new AV receiver should offer digital input options including a HDMI (High Definition Multi Media Interface) connection to provide high quality audio and visual with a single HDMI cable. This is the most important single connection of your system. However you do need a HD-Television to do this since older analogue TVs don’t have this connection, but it’s worth buying a system with this now so you have the technology to support your next TV upgrade.


Another feature which may or may not be a consideration for choosing a new AV receiver is the ability to connect any iPod, iPhone or iPad to wirelessly steam through surround sound system. If most of your music is stored on these devices, this could be a feature that is definitely worth considering.

We hope this helped demystify how an AV receiver operates and answered some of the questions people have about choosing a new system. If you have any more questions about a system to work well for your needs, call the AV specialists at Universal Home Theatre today.(07) 3053 2635



Rodd Point 2046

Holgate NSW 2250

Capalaba QLD 4157

Para Hills West SA 5096
Showroom by appointment only

Frankston South VIC 3199

Queensland 4217

O’Connor WA 6163

Phone: 1800 144 199

Please note the addresses listed above are not showrooms but our offices. If you would like to make an appointment to view the showrooms please call for more details.

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