Battle of The AV Receivers
We’ve all dream of the perfect home theater system, but this dream depends on the depth of your pockets. You’ve got the awesome flat screen, great speakers yet something is stillÃ‚Â missing.Ã‚Â A surround receiver that will be able to handle all the gadgets you’ve got -Ã‚Â Blu-ray player, XBox, and all of the other black boxes in your living room without spending a fortune.
Spending $500 to $600 will get you a a pretty decent receiver that will use a microphone to listen to itself,Ã‚Â it will also configure and equalize up to seven speakers and a subwoofer. It will switch between at least four HDMI sources and lots more analog devices, sending everything off to the TV upconverted to HD resolution through a single HDMI cable.
With so many models with almost similar features how do you tell them apart?
Here are a few that most definitely make the cut for both price range and specs – Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha. Bear in mind: the HDMI 1.4 required to pass 3D video signal to a 3D TV is not a feature that’s offered with any of the tested receivers or current shipping receivers. If 3D is a must-have feature, you can always route video directly from 3D Blu-ray player to 3D TV, using the receiver for audio alone.
Here are the some comparisons:
This Pioneer allows you to enjoy your favorite movies on Blu-ray Disc, on your flat-panel television like never before. With standard features that include a superb ability to upscale and convert analog video signals to1080p when transmitted through HDMI to your high definition television, the VSX-1019AH-KÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s video scaler has nothing but the best quality possible today Ã¢â‚¬â€œ regardless of what video source it receives. And as portable audio devices now becoming a primary source of entertainment, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also great why the VSX-1019AH-K Works with iPhone.
The VSX-1019AH-K is $100 less than the model that it replaced, and it appears that Pioneer was able to hit the $499 price point by chopping out 10 lbs of power supply and much of the multi-channel analog connectivity.
The Onkyo, with superior sound quality and a multitude of HDMI inputs, puts up a very tough fight against the Pioneer. Onkyo delivers home theater the way the music gods intended it to be with the TX-SR607. This advanced receiver has audio and video processors working together for a totally immersive experience. A variety of inputs, including satellite radio, making this the logical center of your entertainment universe.
This 7.2 channel receiver comes with Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby PLIIz and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for audio that sounds more like what the producers had in mind. The Audyssey DynamicEQ dynamically adjusts the EQ settings as the volume is changed so dialogue will always be clear. CinemaFILTER technology adjusts the tonal balance of the soundtrack to account for room size.
The Onkyo embraces digital audio and video with a total of six HDMI inputs, and ignores multi-channel analog connectivity. The front panel HDMI input is great, but the Onkyo really needs a USB port and a full GUI to put it over the top.
The Denon AVR-1910 is a fully featured midrange AV receiver with standout upconverted video quality, although it’s held back by some subpar design issues and average sound quality.The capability to up convert analog video sources has become standard on mid range receivers, but the feature is rarely well-implemented, with poor image quality being the norm. Denon’s latest midrange model, the AVR-1910, is a standout in this regard, offering up the best up converted image quality out of all the receivers that were tested inÃ‚Â 2009. It also delivers a solid midrange AV receiver feature set with four HDMI inputs, second zone functionality, 7.1 analog inputs, and onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
The Denon was the most stylish of the group, but the plastic front panel and controls did not have theÃ‚Â quality feel of the others. The front panel display was also the smallest and hardest to read from across the room. The Denon’s biggest problem though is that it just doesn’t seem to have changed much compared to its predecessor.
The RX-V765 looks every bit a Yamaha receiver with its no-muss no-fuss matte black finish and exposed hard controls. It’s not a stylish or sleek receiver, it has more function than form, but the display window is far improved over the old amber-colored-what-does-that-say displays on Yamaha receivers of old. The new display color is a bluish-white and is far more legible and thoughtfully laid-out than the previous version, a nice upgrade. Also nice is the inclusion of “scene” buttons, which are pre-programmed macros that simplify day-to-day use for applications such as watchingÃ‚Â Blu-ray, TV, listening to a CD and listening to the radio.
On top of some of the RX-V765′s new features, some old favorites are also present, such as Yamaha’s wonderful YPAO automated room EQ software. In terms of power, the RX-V765 isn’t a mega-watt receiver, but its 95 watts per channel across all seven channels are strong enough to power most modern loudspeakers available today.
Hope this helps you narrow down your search. If you are in the market for a receiver share your views and comments with us.