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Today’s Show:

Receiver Buying Guide 2012

So if we haven’t spent enough of your money this year we get to spend some more. We continue our holiday buying guides with receivers. Our goal with these guides is not necessarily about getting the latest product. Its about getting a good product at a great price so you may see some of last year’s gear on the list. All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box store. This year there are some fantastic deals to be had! Enjoy!

Less than $500

Pioneer VSX-1122-K 630W 7-Channel A/V Receiver, Network Ready, Pandora, iPod/iPhone $486
Just like last year our first receiver barely makes the less than $500 cutoff. We loved this receiver when we reviewed it back in July (Podcast #538) and at that time it was going for almost $600. What’s not to like. It has 7 HDMI inputs, comes with Airplay, has Internet connectivity, and sounds great! If you are looking for a highly capable mid-range priced receiver that delivers top range performance the Pioneer VSX-1122-K should be at the top of your list!

Marantz NR1403 Slim Line 5.1 Channel AV Receiver $400
Many of us have limited space in our racks and having a receiver that is shorter opens up more placement opportunities. The unit has 6 HDMI inputs, Audyssey MultEQ and Dynamic Volume, and Next Generation Audio processing. While it doesn’t have every bell and whistle of other receivers, it sounds great! If you don’t have much space this unit may be an option for you.

$500 – $1000

Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver $550
We are big Yamaha fans and this receiver continues to impress us. If you were in the sub $500 category you may wait a month or two and this receiver may be in it. It has everything that we have become accustomed to expect in a receiver like this, Airplay, Android/iOS remote control support, next generation audio, and automatic room calibration just to name a few. What you don’t expect in a receiver at this price is assignable amplifiers for bi-amp connection or second Zone for extended audio in another room, two subwoofers (one in second zone), and 4K upscaling for when you buy that 4K HDTV. This receiver has so much to offer and at $550 you really can’t go wrong!

Denon AVR-2313CI Networking Home Theater 7.2 Channel Receiver with AirPlay and Powered Zone 2 $900
Denon makes excellent receivers and the 2313 may be the best on in this category. It comes with Airplay/SIRIUS/ Pandora support, two HDMI outputs with six inputs, multi zone support, as well as next generation audio processing. There is support for DLNA 1.5 and Windows 7 built right into the receiver so your content is not trapped on your PC. It does keep you future proof a bit with 4K scaling and it has advanced audio processing from Audyssey to help even out the audio level changes for casual viewing. The 2313 is the most expensive receiver in this category but to get this kind of performance a few years ago would have set you back almost twice as much.

Pioneer Elite SC-63 7.2 Channel Network Ready AV Receiver $860
We complete this category with a Pioneer Elite receiver. Like the Denon this receiver has support for Airplay, SIRIUS, and Pandora. It also is DLNA and Windows 7 support which frees your PC media files. If you don’t want to do the DLNA thing then you are probably and iOS user. Pioneer has you covered. The SC-63 has support for Airplay and wait there is something for HT One owners as well. With HTC Connect you can stream content to the SC-63 just as easy as the iPhone. The only real knock against this receiver is that the Qdeo video processor only goes to 1080p.

Greater than $1000

Yamaha RX-A3020 9.2-Channel Network AVENTAGE AV Receiver $2000
This receiver has some serious chops! It has all the features of anything else on this list but it does them better. What sets this receiver apart is the attention to detail on things that you wouldn’t consider having impact on audio and video quality.  The receiver has a cross member frame to virtually eliminate vibration at higher volumes. Vibration can affect audio quality. It even comes with a fifth foot to help dampen the unit. Every part was specifically designed or sourced for the AVENTAGE line to shape the sound. The A3020 is more of the stuff we love about Yamaha receivers.

Anthem MRX 700 7 Channel AV Receiver $2000
This is the only receiver that is available through dealers only. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some units on this list what it does have is power. The MRX 700 does all the next generation audio processing and it has Dolby Volume. It supports custom installers with RS-232, Triggered Output, and Second zone. It also has a sophisticated calibration mode. If you have a dedicated theater room this is the receiver for you.


Download Episode #560

Posted by The HT Guys, December 7, 2012 12:20 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.