TOP AVRs include PIONEER, MARANTZ, YAMAHA, SONY, ONKYO, DENON.
There is a wide range of models for those who want a full-featured audio video receiver. All do the basic functions but higher end models have extra features. Some of the latest features include 3-D, HDMI 1.4, iPod and iPhone connectivity.
Receivers usually have a built in tuner for AM and FM radio reception. Satellite radio tuners are also found in many modern receivers, allowing reception with just an external antenna (and a satellite radio subscription, if necessary). Some models have HD Radio tuners.
Some models have Internet Radio and PC streaming access capabilities with an ethernet port.
AV receivers usually provide one or more decoders for sources with more than two channels of audio. This is most common with movie soundtracks. Movie soundtracks have been provided via a number of encoded formats. The first common format was Dolby Pro Logic. This format contained a center channel and surround channel. These channels were mixed into the left and right channels using a process called matrixing. Receivers were produced with Dolby Pro Logic decoders which could separate out these two additional channels.
With the introduction of the DVD around 1997, the Dolby Digital format became a standard. Dolby Digital ready receivers included inputs and amplifiers for the additional channels (6). Most current AV receivers provide a Dolby Digital decoder and at least one digital S/PDIF input which can be connected to a source which provides a Dolby Digital output.
A somewhat less common surround sound decoder called DTS is standard on some receivers and is also 6 channels (5.1). With Bluray movies, yet more decoders have been added to some receivers. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders are available on many receivers.
Hook Ups : Cabling and Interface Options
Most modern receivers can handle HDMI, the newest audio/video option. The beauty of HDMI allows for both high definition audio and video to be sent via one cable. Other common digital inputs are HDMI, digital TOSLINK, and digital coaxial which can be used with CD, DVD and Blu-ray players. Blu-ray discs will play high definition audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio via HDMI. Dolby Digital and DTS will play on either HDMI or digital TOSLINK or digital coaxial cables.
The Denon AVR-2311CI 7.1 channel Receiver features high resolution audio decoders, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. It also comes equipped with Dolby’s Pro Logic IIz decoder, which provides superb surround sound from conventional stereo audio sources such as CD. The Pro Logic IIz decoder also features the ability to produce two additional front height effect channels, which provides a dramatically expanded front soundstage.
In addition to conventional AM and FM tuning, the Denon AVR-2311CI also features HD Radio. With HD Radio AM sounds like FM, and FM HD radio sounds like CD.
HDMI 1.4a Includes 3D Blu-ray Compatibility
Featuring 6 HDMI inputs, the AVR-2311CI is also equipped with Denon’s high resolution video processor, which accepts standard definition video sources and upconverts them to HDMI. The latest HDMI 1.4a standard is supported, which provides 3D pass-through (Broadcast and Blu-ray), and also supports Audio Return Channel. The HDMI upconversion allows for a single HDMI cable run to the TV, avoiding the expense and hassle of multiple cable runs.
Quality Discrete Power Amplifier Section
The equal power amp design features 7 discrete power amp circuits, and each channel is rated at 105 watts (8 ohms, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, .08% THD). For configuration flexibility, Denon’s Power Amp Assign function lets you use 2 of the amp channels for surround back speakers, or front height effects speakers, or they can be assigned for stereo second zone multi-room use.
* HDMI v1.4 features: 3D pass-through / Audio Return Channel / On-screen graphical user interface / Support for Deep Color and x.v.Color
* Direct play for iPod and iPhone via USB
* Room equalization/calibration: Audyssey MultEQ with included setup microphone/ 6 room-correction positions / Audyssey Dynamic Volume
* Video upconversion: High-bit I/P converter and scaler to 1080p (all sources)
* Multi-source/multi-zone: 2 sources, 2 zones with selectable pre-amp outputs
* Processor: 32-bit floating-point processor
* Other connections: 8 analog audio inputs / 1 microphone port / 1 dock control port / 1 AM tuner antenna / 1 FM tuner antenna
* Other connections: 1 remote control in, 1 out / 1 RS-232c / 1 DC12V 150mA trigger out
* 105 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
* Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES™, Pro Logic® IIz, and DTS Neo:6 decoding
* Audyssey Laboratories' MultEQ® six-point auto setup and room calibration system (microphone included)
* Audyssey Dynamic Volume mode to keep listening levels steady
* Audyssey Dynamic EQ™ for fuller sound at lower listening levels
* dual-room/dual-source audio (powered and line-level stereo audio output for 2nd room; using powered 2nd-room output allows 5.1 home theater in main room)
Digital Music Options:
* listen to music from iPod®, iPhone®, or other portable music player via the front-panel USB input
* add optional Denon ASD-11R or ASD-3N iPod docks to view photos and videos
* built-in HD Radio™ tuner
Audio Performance Features:
* high-current, low-impedance amplifier design
* Pure Direct modes switch off all unused circuitry for the cleanest possible sound
* Compressed Audio Restorer for better sound with compressed music sources like MP3 files
* 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters for all channels
* 1080p-compatible HDMI digital video switching (6 in, 1 out)
* analog-to-HDMI video upconversion (up to 1080p) with Anchor Bay Technologies video processing and scaling
* HDMI version 1.4a with support for 3D video, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.v.Color, auto lip-sync, and HDMI-CEC
* component video switching (2 in, 1 out)
* digital audio inputs: 2 optical, 2 coaxial
* digital audio outputs: 1 optical
* 5 audio/video inputs, including:
o 1 front-panel input with composite video
o 4 rear-panel inputs (1 composite, 2 composite/S-video, and 1 S-video only)
* 1 audio-only input
* no phono input
* 2 sets of main speaker outputs
* back surround speaker channels re-assignable for bi-amping front left and right speakers
* 3 Quick Select buttons — save settings for commonly used sources, like video input and volume level
* on-screen display for easier system setup and operation
* multibrand remote
* 17-1/8"W x 6-3/4"H x 16-3/16"D
* weight: 24 lbs.
* warranty: 3 years