Receiver Buying Guide
The HT Guys buying guides have become an annual tradition, and something that we really look forward to putting together. We hope you enjoy this year’s edition!
Less than $500
Marantz NR1501 Slim Line Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $400)
This is a thin receiver that comes in at just a tad over 4 inches in height. The NR1501 has 4 HDMI inputs, supports next generation audio and has an auto calibration feature. The receiver makes our buying guide because it is perfect for someone who has limited space but still wants the features of a traditional receiver.
Onkyo TX-SR608 7.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $499)
What is considered an entry receiver by most makes our list because of its full feature set. The SR608 is THX Select2 Plus Certified, supports HDMI 1.4 and is 3D ready. It will also upconvert your HDMI video complements of the Faroudja DCDi Cinema processing. Its 3D ready, if you care about that and has 5 HDMI input in the rear of the unit. Just an HT Guys tip though. Only buy this unit if you have proper ventilation. Heat may ruin your experience!
$500 – $1000
Pioneer VSX-1120-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $550)
We reviewed the 1120’s younger sibling (VSX-820) back on Podcast #430. Take everything we liked about the 820, great sound, next generation audio support, and iPod support and add Internet radio, support for the Pioneer iPhone app, PC control and throw in two more HDMI inputs (six total) and you have a winner!
Harman Kardon AVR 3600 85-Watt x 7.1 Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $800)
We’re big fans of Dolby Volume and the 3600 has it! Whether you are playing music from the included iPod Dock or watching TV, Dolby Volume will keep the audio at a consistent level. While the 3600 doesn’t have all the features of some units on the list at lower prices, the audio quality of the Harman Kardon is hard to beat!
Yamaha RX-V867BL 7.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $800)
Priced in the mid-range but the 867 has a feature set that’s comparable to many high end units. The 867 not ony has 6 HDMI inputs but it also has two (simultaneous) HDMI outputs. So if you want to have multiple TVs connected to the receiver you can create a sports bar environment in your own home. The Yamaha RX-V867 supports 3D, Audio Return Channel next generation audio and a slew of other great features. The 867 is a great option for those with a slightly bigger budget.
Greater than $1000
Denon AVR-3311CI 7.2 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver (Street Price $1200)
We are big fans of Denon products and the 3311CI is a real powerhouse that we highly recommend! The 3311CI supports Audyssey DSX surround processing, Audessey MultEQ automatic room acoustic measuring and correction system. Support for next generation audio, 3D and Anchor Bay ABT-2015 upconversion and deinterlacing are included. At 125 watts per channel the 3311 will fill almost any room with high quality audio!
PIONEER ELITE SC-37 7.1 Channel 3D Ready A/V Receiver (Street Price $1999)
The SC-37 is “Made for iPhone” so you can incorporate your Apple products into your home theater. Home Media Gallery allows you to stream your network-connected content with DLNA 1.5 support. Control the SC-37 Full-Color On-Screen GUI and PC Web Browser Control. Other features include:
- Marvell® Video Scaler
- THX® Ultra2 Plus Processing & Certification
- Networking Entertainment (Vtuner Internet Radio Service, Rhapsody and SIRIUS Internet Radio)
- HDMI® (V.1.4a with 3D & Audio Return Channel) 6 Inputs (Including 1 Front Input) / 2 Outputs
Posted by The HT Guys, November 25, 2010 3:00 AM
About The HT Guys
The HT Guys
, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.