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Here are 10 things to consider when you begin the search for the right AVR to suit your needs.

1. Inputs and Outputs

– As of 2016, most mainstream AVRs sport HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. This allows them to pass 4K/UHD and 3D content from the source device through the AVR to the display.

– To pass HDR10 content from Ultra HD Blu-ray and online providers with a compatible Roku or Chromecast streamer, you need an AVR that supports HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2.

– Try to determine if the HDMI ports operate at 10.2 or 18 Gbps; they should operate at 18 Gbps if possible.

– An HDMI input on the front panel is a plus if you plan to connect and disconnect a source on a regular basis—for example, a gaming console or camcorder.

– Some AVRs offer more than one HDMI output. With two HDMI outputs, you can feed a projector for nighttime viewing and a flat-panel TV in the same room for daytime viewing. Alternatively, you can send the second HDMI output to a TV in another room, though this will probably require a fiber-optic or coax HDMI cable for such a long run.

– Some AVRs offer an asynchronous USB DAC, which lets you send digital-audio bitstreams from high-res audio source devices. This is important for audiophiles.

– If you have source devices that rely on optical or coaxial digital connections, make sure the AVR you choose has enough of these inputs to suit your needs.

2. Power Rating

– Power ratings for AVRs typically come with many caveats; for example, power ratings typically refer to only one or two channels being powered.

– The more channels you need to power at once, the lower the output of each channel. But it’s extremely rare for a movie or music to demand equal power from all channels simultaneously, so this is less of an issue than it might seem.

– There’s not a lot of difference between 100 watts and 120 watts, or 80 watts and 110 watts. All else being equal, small increases in power ratings do not represent much of an upgrade.

– Most AVR power ratings are specified with a speaker impedance of 8 ohms, which is very common among consumer speakers. If your speakers have a lower nominal impedance, they will draw more power from the amplifiers; be sure the AVRs you are considering can safely drive speakers with less than 8-ohm impedance.

– Many AVRs advertise power ratings into speaker impedances of 6 or even 4 ohms with very high THD (total harmonic distortion) figures; with THD, the lower, the better.

– The sensitivity of your speakers will have a greater impact on how loud your system can play than the power rating of an AVR.

– The power rating of an AVR does not need to match the power-handling spec of your speakers, but they should be in roughly the same ballpark. Under most conditions, the AVR is supplying no more than one or two watts to the speakers.

– For a hybrid high-performance solution, consider an AVR with preamp outs connected to a dedicated amplifier for the three front channels, which typically consume the most power. With some nine-channel AVRs, adding a 2-channel amp lets you take advantage of 11-channel processing.

3. Immersive Audio

– Support for immersive audio—that is, sound from speakers placed around and above the listening position—has become nearly ubiquitous in modern AVRs.

– You can get Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capability in very affordable AVRs.

– Auro 3D is a paid add-on for upper-tier AVRs from some brands. However, there isn’t much content encoded in Auro 3D yet.

– Seriously consider a 9-channel AVR that gives you 5.1.4 channels (five main channels, one subwoofer channel, four overhead or height channels) if you want the full immersive effect. 5.1.2 is good, but 5.1.4 (and 7.1.4) systems can convey movement and ambience better.

4. Number of Amplifier Channels

– As a general rule, more amplifier channels will cost you more money. Therefore, it is important to decide how many speakers you need to power ahead of time.

– 5-channel AVRs are the most basic and typically the most affordable.

– 7-channel AVRs can handle Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in a 5.1.2 speaker configuration as well as traditional 7.1 speaker systems.

– 9-channel AVRs can handle 5.1.4 Atmos and DTS:X, which offers a superior immersive experience to systems with only two elevation channels.

– Some 9-channel AVRs also offer 11-channel processing, but you’ll need an external 2-channel amp to take advantage of that.

– This year there are several 11-channel AVRs to choose from; these models can handle 7.1.4 Atmos/DTS:X or amplify multiple zones.

5. Room Correction

– Room correction—compensating for acoustical irregularities in a given room—is one of the most important features to consider when deciding between different brands of AVRs.

– Some companies, such as Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo, use their own proprietary systems, while others, like Denon and Marantz, license sophisticated third-party solutions such as Audyssey and Dirac Live.

– There is a lot of variation in terms of capability between different room-correction systems.

– Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and Dirac Live both have a reputation for being very effective.

– Some speaker and room combinations benefit from room correction more than others.

6. Networking

– Whether you need it or not, a 2016-model AVR is likely to have some sort of network connectivity.

– An Ethernet port is useful if you plan to locate the AVR far from a wireless router or use IP control in conjunction with a home-automation system. Also, a wired Ethernet connection assures the best possible performance for audio streamed from other devices on the network.

– Many AVRs use Wi-Fi to offer compatibility with Apple AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi, and other wireless AV systems.

– Another useful networking feature is playback from a DLNA server connected to your home network.

7. Wireless and Multi-Room Audio Features

– For many years, some AVRs have offered the ability to send audio and video to two or more separate rooms or “zones” in a home using dedicated hard-wired connections such as interconnect and speaker cables as well as analog video and even HDMI.

– These days, many AVRs come with some sort of networked-audio capabilities. Some brands only offer their own proprietary system such as Denon HEOS or Yamaha MusicCast, which work only with other compatible products from the same manufacturer. Other brands, like Pioneer and Onkyo, have adopted third-party platforms such as Google Cast and DTS Play-Fi.

– If you like to mix and match brands, the DTS Play-Fi ecosystem includes products from the most manufacturers.

– If you use Bluetooth, look for aptX technology, which ensures high-quality audio transmission.

– Some AVRs offer the option of streaming audio from cloud-based services.

8. Analog Inputs and 2-Channel Audio

– Unless you have a legacy video source, such as a LaserDisc player or VCR, analog video inputs, such as component or composite video, are completely unnecessary.

– If you have a collection of analog-audio sources, make sure there are enough analog-audio inputs to accommodate them on the AVRs you are considering.

– If you plan on listening to vinyl records, look for an AVR that offers a phono input; not all of them do.

9. Remote and App-Based Control

– Since AVRs are complex devices, they often come with remote controls that are stuffed with buttons.

– Many AVRs have included an RS-232 serial port for connection to home-automation systems from companies like Crestron, but this is being supplanted by IP control over your home’s network.

– Control apps for phones and tablets are available from many AVR makers, but their functionality varies widely. If like to control things with a mobile device, you might want to consider how capable the app is.

– Look for an IR input if you plan to use a standard remote and house the AVR in a cabinet or closet.

10. Budget and Recommendations

– The key to shopping for an AVR is to set your budget first, determine how many speakers you plan to power, factor in what sources you intend to connect, and consider the kind of content you intend to consume—some folks are music-first and others use AVRs primarily for home cinema.

Article originally written by 

by  on October 24, 2016 on AVSForum

Posted in Bearded Blogger By Atish Moin

Fear

24/10/2016 10:53 AM

Posted in Bearded Blogger By Atish Moin

Felinear Speaker

20/10/2016 5:44 PM

Wonder why your in ceiling speaker may not be working or is constantly making a vibrating, almost purr-like sound?

 

Posted in Bearded Blogger By Atish Moin

Ever been to a store and the salesperson is trying to shove a particular brand or product down your throat, or putting down other brands, just because they do not stock it or do not have it in stock?  Or perhaps the salesperson has the same product he is trying to sell at home in his personal setup also.  People, please do not buy into this bulls#!t and do not be afraid to ask the salespeople to further verify their claims.   At Digital Cinema, no salesperson is paid any comission at all, this is done so we can remain impartial and you will never hear us put down any other brand, unless it really is crap.  Please come and see us for honest and trasparent advice.

Posted in Bearded Blogger By Atish Moin

R(e)volution

22/08/2016 1:42 PM

Over the past decade, music has become increasingly available. At first you had to visit a record store to buy a CD, then you were able to buy the song digitally from the iTunes Store. Today it is more common to just play the song directly from the internet via a catalog service, like Spotify or Tidal. Throughout these 3 stages of the music distribution revolution, the Hi-Fi industry created ever more sophisticated solutions to find and playback songs, in order to closely couple the buying and consumption experience (after all - it would not make much sense to be able to buy a song instantly, only to later spend 5 minutes finding and playing said song).


During the first stage of the digital distribution age, manufacturers attempted to capitalize on the small size of CDs (compared to vinyl) by making CD changers. These machines stored anywhere from 5 to 200 CDs in a motorised mechanism. The idea is that you would keep a physical paper “dictionary” of disc names and track titles. As you can imagine this kind of housekeeping didn't really catch on in residential environments…


Somewhere before and during the rise of iTunes several innovative companies (most notably iMerge) made CD storage servers that contained hard drives to store a thousand CDs or so - along with an internal dictionary that users can search with a remote control to find the song they wanted to play. These devices automatically downloaded the track and album names from the internet (e.g. Gracenote) so that you did not have to do any housekeeping. The achilles heel of these devices turned out to be the difficulty of reading track names from a tiny screen metres away on the device’s front panel or having to turn the TV on…


In the golden era of iTunes (Stage 2), people were willing to sit in front of a computer mainly because it was a breakthrough to be able to sample and buy tracks from the comfort of one’s own home. The accompanying iPod placed the screen very close the user’s eyes - fixing the track name display issue above. In keeping with the theme of solving one problem and creating another, the iPod metres away from proper speakers and achieving Hi-Fi sound (because as we all know, real ladies don't listen on headphones)...


Around the same time that iTunes launched (2002/2003), a pair of startups, Sonos and Rhapsody, had a very different vision. They believed (correctly as history has shown) that buying, finding and playback should be melded into a single, seamless process, with the user only having to pay a fixed monthly subscription to listen to whatever they desired. The track selection would be done via a screen on the user’s palm, while the actual playback will occur on a separate device connected to the speakers (and this time, there will be no new problems created). Such a grand vision required a great deal of effort both technologically and legally (But nothing a hundred million dollars or so couldn’t solve).


A decade later, we are now at the penultimate stage three of the music consumption revolution. Although Rhapsody may have faded slightly into the background, the vision has turned out exactly as planned, with the market claimed by newer players like Spotify.


The ultimate music playback system consists of a responsive and easy to use controller app, coupled with a very high quality playback device that trumps the sound quality of a high end CD player. These systems, which do exist, are few and far between, surrounded by mountains of immature products left, right and centre. We have witnessed examples of these, from certain major brands, that do not work at all in a consistent fashion, even after replacement, while others, from other major brands, can be slower than finding the CD, opening the tray, finding the remote control and pressing play.


In conclusion: when making a decision to buy your ultimate music playback system - make sure you get a demo of both the control side and the playback side. The system should be easy to use, responsive enough to not bore you with anticipation, and sound great. The solution is out there, you just have to look in the right direction...

Posted in Bearded Blogger By Atish Moin
 

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