Setting up your audio video receiver for an improved listening experience
AV receivers are designed to take care of and connect all the speakers, audio and video sources and everything you see on the big screen. It is the key element of making sure you get a cinema-like experience in the comfort of your home.
Because of that and many more things we need to say that AV receivers are truly impressive devices. If you are not too familiar with how the AV receiver works it will be pretty confusing where to start from when you get one. So, if you have just gotten an AV receiver or you are planning to buy one, we are here to make sure you figure out what to do with it. So, let’s begin!
How to choose the best AV receiver for you
Although buying an AV receiver may seem complicated, we assure you that it’s much easier to buy one than any other piece of equipment. If you are paying special attention to the design, they all look the same. The only thing you will have to decide here is to get a black or a silver one.
While the checklist when buying other equipment can be pretty long, when it comes to buying an AV receiver you need to pay attention to the number of HDMI ports, the number of speakers you have and of course, your budget.
Since most people already have a 5.1 sound system the choice is pretty simple – they need to choose a five-channel AV receiver. However, if at some point you need to upgrade your system then it would be wise to choose a 9 or 11-channel AV receiver just to be safe when the time for the upgrade comes.
The number of connections is also an important element here since we really need the most capable extractor with switch capabilities here. We really need to have enough HDMI input ports to connect all our precious devices like the gaming console, Blu-ray player, set-top box and so on. Of course, since 4k videos are becoming more and more popular they will have to support the latest HDR and 4k specs. Also, in case you would like to connect your old VHS player you won’t have any problems with that.
And finally, we have to mention the price since in most cases it is a big decision-making factor. After all we can only buy what we can afford and this makes the buying process much easier.
The price dictates whether your AV receiver will support only 5.1 systems, have several or more HDMI ports, whether it will have internet or not and so on.
Now it’s time to connect everything
Now when you have finally purchased the device it is time to connect everything properly.
When you take a look at the back of the device you may get confused with the large number of connections. However, most devices have everything labeled clearly and precisely so it won’t be difficult to figure out how to set it up properly.
When we need to plug in the speakers it is important to power off the amp in order to prevent possible damage.
Maybe you have noticed it so far but every HDMI port is clearly labeled depending on the source it is assigned for. This means that the manufacturer paid special attention and optimized these ports for specific sources like DVD, Blu-ray, media player and so on.
And one more thing about connections. If possible, use an Ethernet cable for internet connection because it’s more stable than Wi-Fi. And the front USB is pretty handy for changing our smartphone or playing music from an USB stick.
And now – the calibration
During the setup process it is important to initially use the auto-calibration feature. Most of these AV receivers have a mic which makes this process pretty simple. Just plug it in and start the auto-calibration. It will do everything necessary to optimize the performance according to the surroundings.
The calibration will make the system sound just right. All you have to do is to follow the on-screen instructions and monitor it till the calibration finishes. It doesn’t last too long, from a couple of seconds to a few minutes depending on the device and surrounding.
Before you begin with the calibration it is important to tell the amp whether you have Dolby Atmos speakers or other speakers installed. It also needs to know whether you have one or more subwoofers. Additional details will be necessary, for example what’s the height of the room ceiling so make sure to have all the details ready when the calibration begins.
The auto-calibration systems today are pretty precise but you should always trust your ears and make the necessary tweaks manually. Additionally, in case you need to make some changes in the room, moving or replacing furniture it would be wise to run the auto-calibration process again.
DSP and surround sound modes
If you have finished the calibration process and you want to play a 4k Blu-ray you will be asked to set up two more options – DSP (digital sound processing) and surround sound modes.
However, we wouldn’t like to enhance the audio too much and therefore we need to pay attention to a few sound modes that will enhance the sound quality. The modes we want to check are named: straight, direct or pure direct. They deliver the signal pure from the audio source to the audio output.
Another thing during this process is to create shortcuts for specific settings in case you watch different types of content like sports, computer games, movies and so on. By doing that i.e. creating shortcuts, you won’t have to change the settings every now and then.
And finally press that play button
An interesting thing about AV receivers is that they tend to sound better the more you use them. Since you are going to practically live with it you will definitely notice this. Because of that whenever you need to test your AV receiver it is wise to use it for a day or two before the test.
Now, when you have connected everything and everything is set up properly it is time to try it. Grab your favorite snacks or drinks, play that new blockbuster movie you have been waiting to watch and enjoy. We are sure you will be more than satisfied with your ideal sound system and improved listening experience.