AV receiver

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A combination of an AV receiver (below), a DVD player and a receiver for digital television (set-top box).

AV Receiver (including A / V receivers ) are multi-channel Hi-Fi - amplifier with integrated radio tuner , the various A udio- and V ideoquellen on their analogue and digital outputs can switch. Televisions , video projectors and / or monitors can be connected to the video outputs, which are usually implemented via HDMI sockets . Loudspeakers or additional power amplifiers are connected to the audio outputs . The inputs of an AV receiver allow the connection of many different audio and video devices. Practically all current AV receivers also have options for network connection of the device via LAN , WLAN , Bluetooth and / or USB connection. This means that multimedia files from the home network or the Internet can also be played back or other devices can be connected.

Because of their versatility and the ability to implement surround sound , AV receivers are a central component of home theater systems. You can process signals from different surround sound or multi-channel sound systems , such as the older Dolby Surround , the Dolby Digital used in DVDs or the Dolby Digital Plus , Dolby TrueHD , DTS and DTS-HD that are possible with Blu-ray Discs . Because of the multitude of technical possibilities, AV receivers require far more than other consumer electronics devices to study the operating instructions before installation, and the deeper use of the possibilities requires considerable knowledge and expenditure of time.

Audio and video switch

The back of an AV receiver offers a wide range of connection options. The top row are digital HDMI connections, below are various cinch sockets (yellow / green / blue / red) for video signals. The middle row (red / white) are cinch sockets for conventional analog audio signals and the bottom row are connection terminals (black / red) for up to 11 loudspeaker boxes .

AV receivers serve as a control center in the home theater and connect the different devices with each other in such a way that both listening to audio sources (e.g. radio , CD , turntable or portable audio devices) and watching video sources (e.g. from TV tuners , video recorders or Blu-ray Disc players ) no different amplifiers and loudspeaker sets are required - but all devices through which an AV receiver can be played with speakers connected to it. For example, a video projector integrated in the home theater system can be connected to the AV receiver and optionally display the image from various input devices (e.g. VHS or DVD recorder , Blu-ray disc player, game console ) while the connected Loudspeaker play the associated sound. In the case of an AV receiver with two or more video outputs (mostly HDMI), it is also possible to switch between the video output on the television or the beamer without having to switch. An HDMI ARC socket to which a television set (screen with TV receiver ) is connected also becomes the input for the audio signal of the television in television mode.

AV receivers have various interfaces (such as HDMI, component video , S-Video , composite video , AUX , USB , LAN , WLAN , Bluetooth ) and support different formats (such as. B. MP3 , FLAC , DSD ). In addition to audio decoders, many models also have image processors with which the video input signals are processed and made available for high-resolution output devices (such as 3D , HD, Full HD , 4k , high dynamic range video such as Dolby Vision and HDR10 +) and optionally can be extrapolated (so-called upsampling ). The more numerous the connections and formats supported, the more versatile the AV receiver can be. The trend of as many cable connections as possible (digital / analog) is increasingly shifting towards the most diverse radio connections and the integration of functions in the AV receiver that were previously provided by external devices. This is also due to the growing number of functions in smart TV devices such as the integration of apps for video streaming , internet radio or news portals. It is important for the user to decide which functions and media content he wants to make available through which device (e.g. smart TV, smartphone , tablet computer or AV receiver) and in which form he wants to output the content.


Various options can be selected to control the functions provided by the AV receiver. Classically, this is done using buttons on the device or the remote control in combination with the display on the device or with the on-screen menu. AV receivers with voice control and support for control apps on mobile devices (smartphones or tablet computers) are also available. Some AV receivers can also be controlled via a Smart TV if this is connected to an HDMI connection. This allows the volume to be controlled using the remote control of the television, and when the television is switched off, the receiver is also switched to standby mode.

Control via apps

Various hi-fi providers offer free apps for their AV receivers, which enable remote control of network-compatible devices from the respective manufacturer. All that the user needs in addition to an app-compatible receiver is the right app on a device with an Android or iOS operating system. Most of the proprietary apps are offered free of charge.

voice control

Some of the current AV receivers are also compatible with voice assistants. There are theoretically two possibilities for integrating voice control in the area of ​​the AV receiver: On the one hand, an external device with an integrated voice assistant can be used. The Alexa Voice Service, which runs on the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers, is a very well-known voice system. On the other hand, an AV receiver has such software. So far, there are no AV receivers available on the German market that contain an integrated voice assistant by default, but rather they contain software such as HEOS from Denon and Marantz or MusicCast from Yamaha, which comes with certain additional software (called Skill by Amazon) can communicate with the external device with integrated voice assistant via WLAN.

Structure of the amplifier part

An AV receiver is usually designed as an integrated amplifier, so it has both a preamplifier for each audio output channel and the corresponding power amplifier. Multi-channel sound systems enable a realistic spatial sound experience, depending on the number and wiring of the channels. AV receivers have multi-channel amplifiers for connecting at least five speakers with tweeters and mid-range speakers as well as a bass box ( 5.1 setup). Current models have a maximum of 13 power amplifiers. However, 13 power amplifiers are rarely required in practice in home theaters. 11 power amplifiers, on the other hand, are required for a 7.1.4 setup, for example, with the last number indicating the number of ceiling speakers.

While most satellite speakers are connected directly to the power amplifiers of the AV receiver, active subwoofers (with built-in power amplifiers) are supplied via their own pre-amplifier outputs, which are provided separately for this purpose. Passive subwoofers are usually supplied via the loudspeaker connections of the power amplifier. Wire clips are usually available for connecting the loudspeakers to accommodate cables with a cable cross-section of 2.5 to 4 square millimeters. The boxes can be plugged in for receivers with sockets for banana plugs.

In so-called multiroom solutions, speakers are connected to the AV receiver wirelessly, usually via WLAN. So it is possible to distribute the output audio signal throughout the living room.

Audio decoder

AV receivers are able to convert various surround sound formats into surround sound , depending on the decoder installed . In the case of films, the audio material contained is saved in different sound formats. In the home cinema sector, Dolby , DTS and Auro-3D are currently most common. The names of the audio formats usually also stand for the company behind them. Depending on the history of the format, different variants were developed or marketed.

With an integrated Dolby decoder, for example, a matrix-coded stereo sound can be converted into a 5.1 signal ( Dolby Pro Logic II and IIx). With video signals, instead of pure stereo sound, it is often the case that encoded room sounds are transported which, despite the playback of a video with only two sound channels, can be converted into sound information at all six sound outputs by a suitable decoder. Today's models can also continuously decode different variants of digital sound formats, which can be played via a cinch cable connection ( S / PDIF ) or an optical fiber ( TOSLINK ).

Blu-ray discs , audio DVDs and SACDs also often contain particularly high-quality digital sound formats (e.g. DTS HD Master Audio , Dolby TrueHD , DSD ), which must be fed to the AV receiver via its HDMI inputs, as only HDMI -Interfaces and fiber optic cables can transmit the required high data rates from the playback device to the AV receiver.


Only when an AV receiver is optimally set can it achieve the best possible sound quality on all connected speakers for a given room acoustics. For this, the front, center, effect and bass speakers must be perfectly coordinated with each other and with the room. Since this is a complex undertaking, the user can fall back on automatic calibration functions with many AV receivers. The digital room correction measures the response of the listening room and tries e.g. B. to correct resonances, rumbling basses or hissing highs. There are currently four widely used calibration systems on the German market: Audyssey, YPAO, MCACC and AccuEQ. Only Audyssey is developed and updated by an independent provider. The rest of the mentioned are manufacturer-specific developments.

Radio tuner

The main reason that a radio receiver is also present in the device is that it only marginally increases the production costs of an audio amplifier, whereas a separate VHF tuner as a hi-fi component with its own housing requires additional space and investment costs. In Germany, DAB + tuners must be integrated from December 21, 2020 , this applies to all radio devices with a display.

In addition to the integrated, antenna-bound radio reception units (analog and / or digital), many AV receivers also have an integrated Internet radio and / or access to music streaming services.

Differences between popular models

Different AV receiver models differ in the audio and video area as well as in terms of their functionality, among other things in the criteria listed below.

Audio area

Video area



Well-known representatives of common brands of AV receivers on the German market include:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Home Cinema 2019: Tips - AV Receivers. In: pc-magazin.de. April 5, 2019, accessed April 4, 2020 .
  2. a b Carsten Rampacher: Is it now worth buying a new AV receiver / amplifier? In: hifi-regel.de. March 17, 2020, accessed April 4, 2020 .
  3. HiFi Control - These apps control AV receivers. In: connect.de. June 13, 2013, accessed April 5, 2020 .
  4. HEOS + Alexa. In: denon.com. Retrieved April 5, 2020 .
  5. Alexa + MusicCast. In: de.yamaha.com. Retrieved April 5, 2020 .
  6. AV receiver with voice control for more convenience. In: av-receiver.de. Retrieved April 5, 2020 .
  7. c't smart home . Heise Medien GmbH, October 14, 2019, p. 70 .
  8. Carsten Rampacher: Kaufberatung: This is what modern AV receivers / AV amplifiers do. In: hi-fi regulator. March 27, 2020, accessed March 28, 2020 .
  9. a b TIPS FOR THE OPTIMAL HD HOME CINEMA. HiFi Klubben Deutschland GmbH, accessed on March 28, 2020 .
  10. Stefan Schickedanz: The best multiroom system. In: AllesBeste GmbH. November 4, 2019, accessed March 28, 2020 .
  11. Bert Kößler: Sound formats in home cinema - an overview. In: Heimkino Praxis. August 5, 2018, accessed March 28, 2020 .
  12. Acoustic optimization in home theater. In: pc-magazin.de. March 19, 2013, accessed April 5, 2020 .
  13. How to optimize your AV receiver: 10 tips. In: pc-magazin.de. May 3, 2019, accessed April 5, 2020 .
  14. A comparison of calibration systems for AV receivers. In: hifi-im-hinterhof.de. Retrieved April 5, 2020 .
  15. Milestone for DAB +: Federal and state governments decide to make digital radio mandatory in receivers. digitalradiobuero, November 8, 2019, accessed on March 28, 2020 .
  16. Jonas Roth: Overview of common brands of AV receivers. Retrieved July 2, 2020 .