The home theater receiver (also referred to as an AV Receiver) not only provides power to the speakers, but serves as an integrated control center for all of your components, often times providing both audio and video switching.
The receiver is both the “smarts” and the “power” behind a home theater system. It takes the audio signals from all of your source components, performs any needed decoding and post-processing, amplifies the signal to power your home theater’s array of loudspeakers, and controls the playback volume. For video signal, the receiver performs the necessary switching and outputs it to your TV. With all this functionality, a receiver is one of the more complex and expensive components in a home theater or home audio system.
• The most important factor in connecting theater components today is using the newest interfaces available. High-definition televisions use an interface called High-Definition Multimedia Interface. HDMI combines digital audio and video together. If your HDTV does not have the HDMI interface, your receiver will be ready when you upgrade the HDTV in the future.
• Digital Versatile Disc and compact disc (CD) players, computer graphics cards, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and portable electronic devices like digicams and cell phones are all migrating to a new audiovisual standard called Unified Digital Interface (UDI). UDI is compatible with the HDMI used on HDTVs. With UDI input and output ports on your receiver, you will be able to take advantage of the latest interfaces for Dvd/Cd players and portable devices. A receiver with a UDI-out port can also connect to a UDI-enabled computer graphics card to stream television to the computer.