[caption caption="Many components work together to create the perfect home audio system." align="right"]
For the ultimate in home entertainment, you need perfect sound. Learn about all the necessary components of a home audio system.
An audio-video receiver lies at the heart of a home theatre system. It acts similarly to an amplifier, and streamlines the audio and video inputs that are connected to the system and provides a central connection point for all the products in your system.
An AV receiver handles all surround sound processing and switching between sources and speakers, controlling how each speaker operates and generating sound and acoustic output.
Its primary purpose is to amplify sound from a number of possible audio sources, as well as direct video signals to your television from various sources. The user can program and configure a unit to take inputs from devices such as DVD players, VCRs, etc, and easily select which source you want to direct to your television and have sound output for.
Although MP3s have all but taken over CDs as the standard music format, many of us still have a massive collection of CDs or prefer to listen to them for their higher quality, so a CD player is still a necessary addition to the home audio setup.
The rise in popularity of the internet as a digital content delivery system has led to the development of a vast selection of inexpensive, HDMI-equipped, Full HD media players that are capable of supporting an array of audio and video formats.
A media player essentially combines a hard drive with hardware and software for playing audio, video and photos through your home entertainment system.
A media streamer acts as an interface between the television and the external hard drive used to store your favourite movie and music files.
Similar to a set-top-box, media streamers can draw video and audio files from a server stored in the house and display it on a local screen, for example the television in the living room. Typically, a house would have more than one media streamer, with each capable of independently streaming files from the server.
You can then view movie files via the HDMI output port on the back in Full HD 1080P quality on a big screen TV.
A great advantage is that you don’t have to burn audio and movie files onto a disc in order to listen or view media around the house.
Blu-ray disc player
For those wanting the absolute pinnacle of high-quality audio, Blu-ray can provide it. Because most Blu-ray discs have lossless audio, the sound quality is able to match the original master tapes from a recording studio.
You will only experience the sound quality if you have a superior sound system and you also need to have an AV receiver that supports the lossless surround sound formats as many, especially older ones, don’t have the capacity to support the formats.