Drug testing

Buying a Home Theater Receiver

Buying a receiver is one of the most important decisions you're going to have to make when building your home theater. The receiver has a number of functions including; connecting and switching audio sources; connecting and switching video sources; decoding surround sound formats; amplifying an audio signal and sending it to your speakers; tuning in to radio stations; and acting as the interface between you and your home theater.

The first thing to think about is whether you want a receiver at all or would you be better off buying a separate decoder, amplifier, and tuner?

Despite being a more expensive route - not to mention the extra space needed - separates do have some advantages. You can pick and choose your own combination of components, can upgrade each component individually and won't lose all the functions if one piece develops a fault. On top of that, having each electronic component in a separate box does improve sound quality when compared with having them all on one circuit board.

However, the separates route is more expensive, more complicated and needs more space than buying a receiver. And for most people its uneccessary. Today's receivers do a very good job in all of their functions.

So what should should you look out for when buying a receiver? The first thing is to make sure that it has ll the inputs you need for the equipment you need to connect to it. Sounds obvious, but its very easy to overlook. As a mimimum it should have digital audio inputs (optical and co-axial) for Dolby Digital and/or DTS. It should also have analogue audio inputs for CD player, set-top box and possibly DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD player (the last two currently don't have digital outputs in order to make it less easy to pirate CDs).

You should also consider whether you want to route all your video sources such as TV, DVD player, and games console through your receiver. Doing so means you can switch between sources from one controller, very easily. But if you want to do this you'll need to make sure the receiver you're interested in has enough video inputs. These could be S-Video or component inputs are best, or if you're in Europe, Scart. You should also make sure the video output from the receiver is of high quality, so again, it should be S-Video, component or Scart.

If you can test a receiver before you buy, its worth comparing the quality of a video signal from a DVD player when its connected directly to a display and comparing it with when its connected via the receiver. There shouldn't be any noticeable difference in quality.

The power rating of the amplifier is also important. The bigger the room you have for your home theater, the more power you'll need. And makes sure that the power rating is quoted in Watts per channel - the last thing you want is to get home with your 100Watt receiver and discover that its power is split between eight speakers in you 7.1 set-up. It's impossible to specify how powerful your amplifier should be, but if your home theater is in a reasonable-sized room, as opposed to an aircraft hanger, 100Watts per channel should be fine.

Finally, don't forget the remote control. It's the key interface between you and the reciever and you'll spend a lot of time using it. So make sure it's comfortable and straightforward to use. The last thing you want is to have to spend ages wading through on-screen menus to get what you want.

Kenny Hemphill is the editor and publisher of The HDTV Tuner, a site which aims to cut through the confusion surrounding HDTV and provide surfers with up to date, accurate and easy to read information on HDTV.

In The News:

A tiny, pointy-headed skeleton that fits in the palm of a hand isn't an alien, despite conspiracy theories that have circulated for years.
If you're experiencing a spell of bad luck, many people may ask you the same question: is Mercury in retrograde?
Even if you don't do drugs, there's a surprisingly decent chance your fingerprints have traces of cocaine and even heroin.
California residents, brace yourselves: an atmospheric river could bring multiple inches of rain to central and southern parts of the state over the next few days.
The researchers said the magma under Yellowstone may stretch as far as Mexico.
A look at where and why tornadoes happen and what to do if you're stuck in one.
Researchers have discovered 15 new planets around cool stars known as red dwarfs, and one of those planets might be able to host liquid water on its surface.
NASA's robotic space station crewmember could head down to Earth as early as May for repairs.
The rise of the largest volcanoes in the solar system may have led Mars to possess oceans hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought, a new study finds.
Stephen Hawking will spend eternity in the company of some other tremendously influential English scientists.

If You are the Only User on Your Windows XP Computer, Do You Think One User Account Is Enough?

I am going to assume that you are running windows... Read More

Compare MP3 Players for the Coolest Features and Sweetest Deals

How can you compare mp3 players to be sure you're... Read More

How Do MP3 Players Work? Digital Audio Technology Revolutionizes Music Enjoyment

Millions have enjoyed recorded music since 1877 when Thomas Edison... Read More

What are the Main Components of Any Computer, and Which are the Most Critical to Its Performance?

Computers are everywhere, and vary in specification, brands, sizes, shaped,... Read More

4 Computer Money-saving Tips

Tip #1 -- Rebates: A rebate is not always a... Read More

Spyware Remover

Your first step in removing dangerous infections from your computer... Read More

Basic Problem in a PC

I have a p3 500MHz PC with 128MB RAM, 10.2... Read More

JVCs First Three-Layer Combo-Disc Blu-Ray / DVD

JVC developed and used a high-performance reflective film to produce... Read More

How to Protect your PC from Spyware in the Cyber Age

Wouldn't you be shocked to find that your personal sensitive... Read More

How I Started Working With 3D Modeling Programs

So I'll start from the very beginning.One day I was... Read More

Are You Well Protected?

Winter?the official start of the cold and flu season. Though,... Read More

Do Higher Digital Camera Prices Mean Better Cameras?

Understanding digital camera prices makes finding the best camera value... Read More

Bluetooth Headphones For Your PDA

Nothing is worse than having to negotiate all kinds of... Read More

Plasma TV vs LCD TV

For those seeking to buy their first flat panel TV... Read More

7 Reasons NOT to Take Your Laptop on Holiday!

Heading off on vacation soon?Then perhaps you're tempted to take... Read More

Password Nightmares

Good Morning Mr. Sampson. Please type in you Personal Identification... Read More

How Does a Palm Pilot Work?

Just The Facts, Ma'mPalm pilots are all the rage now.... Read More

MobiTV and Visual Stimulation Imput for Personal Cognitive Performance

Stimulus thru Caffiene or Visual Input?It appears that the Mobi... Read More

The Importance Of Email Backup

Viruses, software failures, power failures, human errors, hard drive failures... Read More

Flash Memory, Part I: MMC and SD

MMC and SDFlash memory is available in so many formats... Read More

Protect Your PC from Viruses, Worms & Trojans

Each of the items in the checklist below is part... Read More

Basic Diagnosis Guidelines for Your PC

Simone is exasperated. She has to work on her university... Read More

4 Easy Ways to Speed Up A Sluggish PC

Computers are supposed to speed up our productivity?to help us... Read More

10 Tips to SPEED Up Your PC

1. Let your PC boot up completely before opening any... Read More

CCNA 640-801 Certification Primer

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Certification is meant for... Read More

cheap led light bulbs led parking lot Pete's produce ..