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How do I Choose the Best HDMI&Reg; Receiver?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2016
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To choose the best High Definition Multimedia Interface® (HDMI®) receiver for you, you should consider your needs and what you want out of the device. If you already have a digital versatile disc (DVD) or Blu-ray Disc player, then you probably do not need an HDMI® receiver that features these built into it, unless you are looking to upgrade. Consider if you need a full home theater system or if you have most of the components and you are only looking to replace or purchase a receiver. Look at websites that have reviews of different devices and try to talk to other people who have systems similar to what you want to find out what they have learned through their purchase. Research can greatly increase your chances of being happy with your final product.

An HDMI® receiver is typically intended to be the central component of your home theater and you should keep that in mind as you look at different models. They are available from a number of manufacturers and at a fairly wide variety of price ranges, depending on the features and additional devices. You should consider how many devices you need to have all together in your home theater — think about your audio and video input needs from gaming devices, cameras, digital media players, and other devices.

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If you are just starting to build your home theater, or are looking to do a number of upgrades, then you might consider an HDMI® receiver that comes with other components as well. These home-theater-in-a-box systems can often provide you with just about everything you need to get started, aside from a quality high definition television (HDTV) and any other devices you may want to run with your system. At different price ranges, you can find setups that include 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speakers and a variety of different functions and ports on the receiver itself.

Typically an HDMI® receiver will include an amplitude modulation/frequency modulation (AM/FM) radio receiver, as well as connections for a number of devices. If you want single cable connectivity, be sure to find a receiver that features HDMI® video and audio, as some receivers will only feature HDMI® video and require a separate audio connector. You should also consider the various features of different versions of HDMI® and look for those features in a device, and not just look for version number compatibility.

If you want to hook various gaming consoles and other devices to your HDMI® receiver, you should also be sure that it can provide you with enough ports and connectors for your needs. Some models will feature jacks to allow you to plug in a portable audio device such as MPEG-1 Audio layer 3 (MP3) players, to enable you to use your home theater to play music from the device. HDMI® receivers may also enable use of satellite radio services, and you should look for that type of feature if you use those services.

By deciding on what you need from an HDMI® receiver, you will then be better able to start narrowing your options. Decide on a price range as well, and use those qualifiers to settle on a few potential models and packages. Then do some research online and look for professional and customer reviews of the devices to get a sense of what others have found success with. Whenever possible, allow others to make mistakes for you and learn from their experiences.

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