When it comes to home theater systems, receivers play a crucial role. Not only do these power your speakers and let you set them up just the way you want, they're responsible for decoding the audio from whatever you're watching, and some now even come with extra features such as the ability to play multimedia files from your computer! So, how do you go about choosing the best home theater receiver? Here are 7 features you may want to consider. 1) Sound Format: All 5.1 channel surround sound receivers will be able to send the sound from DVDs and TV shows to your speakers for the surround sound experience. Dolby Digital and DTS and widely supported by home theater systems, but newer receivers will also be able to decode DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD for a more authentic sound (only if the Blu-Ray DVD also provides this). 2) HDMI: The best home theater receiver will have more than one HDMI input. This means you can hook up all your external devices to the receiver, and in turn connect them to your TV with just one HDMI output. This is useful when your TV doesn't have enough HDMI inputs for all your devices. 3) 3D Capabilities: If you have a 3D TV, or are planning on upgrading soon, then you'll need to find a home theater receiver capable of passing 3D signals through to your TV. This is becoming more and more common in all-in-one home theater systems. 4) iPod Dock: More and more home theater receivers now come with an iPod dock that lets you charge your iPod as you play your music, and control its functions, through your home theater system. 5) Multi-Room Capability: If you want to be able to enjoy features of your home theater receiver in more than one room then look out for receivers with multi-room capability, or a receiver with extra speaker outputs. 6) Stream Music From Your PC: The best home theater receiver will now connect to your network via LAN or Wi-Fi to let you stream music files from your PC to your TV screen. You may even be able to access other internet services, such as Netflix or internet radio. 7) Remote Control: The more functions your home receiver has, the more buttons you can expect on the remote. When you buy an all-in-one home theater system, your remote should be able to control everything. But if you buy certain elements from different manufacturers then you may want to choose a receiver that features a multi-brand remote or a "learning" remote.
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