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What You Need To Know About Stereo Receivers
Author: Jim Johnson

There has been a revolution taking place in the home entertainment and electronics field in the past decade that will change how we view and listen to entertainment forever. Not long ago, you watched TV and listened to stereo music separately. But increasingly audio and video sources have become combined and now we have a multitude of audio/video devices that we can choose to enjoy including dvd players, camcorders, video games, HDTV, and more. And with this audio/video consolidation the home stereo receiver has had to keep up with the times.

Today we have a wide selection of receivers to choose from. Of course, you can still get the most basic stereo receiver that accepts sound inputs and powers only two speakers at a time. In fact, you can get some very high quality equipment in this area very inexpensively now. In fact, you can build a very cheap and basic home theater setup by using the stereo receiver to process sound from a DVD player, VCR, and your TV.

If you get a receiver that has support for Dolby Pro Logic, Pro Logic II, and Pro Logic IIx, you can even get simulated surround sound from your home theater system if you have four or more speakers. Of course, the pro Logic formats are not digital, they are for analog sound inputs but it can help improve your sound quite a bit if you still use analog components.

For most modern uses though, you will need a receiver that can handle both digital audio and video inputs and then routes the signals to the correct component like your TV and speaker setup. On the video side look for receivers that have enough video inputs to support all the video devices that you plan to use, and also be sure that the connection types match up between the video devices you have and the receiver inputs. On the audio side, if you plan on using the digital surround sound capability that much of today's entertainment is going to, your receiver should be able to decode both Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround sound and then support at least 5 speakers and a subwoofer to distribute each channel's sound to the appropriate speaker.

You will want to have plenty of power to accomplish all of this and so for a typical home theater setup you will need about 50 watts of power for an average room, 75 watts per channel for a larger room, and for very large rooms 100 watts per channel or more will be needed to truly get the sound you want.

The top stereo receiver manufacturers are Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, and Yamaha. If you browse their current offerings you will find that most of these companies make high quality products that will work well. The biggest question is what your needs are instead. Once you understand what your needs will be, you can then choose the best stereo receiver from any of those brands to fill those needs very well.

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