Your sound and your picture are only as good as your A/V receiver. Lots of brands are on the market, and you want to make sure you buy the right one for you. How can you tell? You have to try it out. Don’t buy it online, based on a bullet-point list of facts. Go to an electronics dealer and look and listen. That will get you started.



Many consumers opt for soundbars, and it’s true they are light years better than the speakers that are built into TVs. Some soundbars boast a surround-sound feature and it’s a clever imitation, but it is just that – an imitation. A soundbar is a bar – you cannot surround yourself with it no matter how hard you try. And not all of them come with HDMI, which leaves you with only half a system, really. Your mom would be impressed with your soundbar, but your friends wouldn’t be.



Another budget choice for many is an HTIB – home theater in a box. Like a bed in a bag, it comes with everything (DVD player, amplifier, receiver, speakers, etc.), but it’s not the best of everything. HTIBs that come with a 2.1 audio system are better than ones that don’t, but not as good as a 5.1, and they can’t hold a candle to a 7.1. There’s a reason it comes all in one box with little to hook up – they are marketed to people who are challenged by hooking up equipment, not true audiophiles.




Receivers vs. Processors

The best way to set up your system is to cherry pick your a/v components based on your individual needs. For instance, a/v receivers are popular because they’re cheaper, smaller and easier to set up than processors. But for those who will accept nothing less than the best in audio, a processor may be the answer. Some people get around spending the money for a processor by adding an amplifier to their receiver, and the untrained ear won’t be able to tell the difference. Various components and brands are compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, so it that’s important to you, put it on your list of must-haves. And if you’re thinking of going the full home automation route, select a system that you can integrate later when you take the plunge.

TYM Smart Homes & Home Theaters sells and installs a/v equipment from Sony, Anthem, Yamaha, Onkyo, Integra, Denon, Marantz and more. They can help you determine what type of system will be best for your needs. When you’re in the market for an a/v receiver, visit TYM and let their experts help you make your selection.


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