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AV Receivers and Processors Are in the Driver’s Seat

It is a custom installation axiom that the receiver and/or processor can make or break an AV project. Without them your client might as well listen to cassette tapes on a vintage bookshelf stereo or a videotape on the near-extinct VCR. Here is what some manufacturers are coming up with to keep that scary scenario at bay.



new CI-centric AV receivers include the high-end AVR-2809CI, a multi-zone unit that incorporates both Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume. Other features include HDMI 1.3a capability with support for Deep Color, upconversion and scaling to 1080p from all analog sources, support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, and “Secret CI Modes” for certified Denon Integrators that allow them to access special functionality not available to end users.


ZR-6 is a six-source, six-zone wholehouse audio receiver that can be used as a simple, single-box distributed audio solution or as the cornerstone of a higher end system. In addition to a built-in AM/FM tuner, the ZR-6 auto-configures with the Niles VS-6 High Definition Video Switcher to enable simultaneous video distribution of sources to each zone. Additional features include independent source level, volume turn-on, bass, treble and variable loudness controls for each zone.


latest AV receivers include the top-of-the-line M80, a fully featured model equipped with the complete suite of audio technologies from Dolby and DTS. It has HDMI inputs and outputs, plus Silicon Optix video scaling to convert all incoming video signals to HDTV resolution, as well as seven highcurrent amplifier channels capable of 130 watts output into 8 ohms, and a full set of preamp outputs that allow connection of external amplifiers. An RS-232 interface lets installers connect the M80 to third-party control systems.


The Theater Grand 401 Receiver (TGR- 401) by SUNFIRE delivers 200 watts times seven channels, features the company’s patented TDC (Tracking Downconverter) technology, boasts three HDMI v1.3a inputs, and one HDMI output. In addition to an array of surround sound modes the unit also includes SIRIUS, AM, and FM tuners, an eight-channel input for DVD-Audio or SACD, eight balanced XLR outputs, and a video format conversion system that automatically up-converts composite video to S-video, and S-video to component video.


Elite SC-07 AV receiver boasts 140 watts of power, seven channels of surround sound, and AIR Studios certification and Direct Energy amplification, allowing the unit to operate with low distortion and virtually no wasted energy. It has four HDMI inputs, a Faroudja 1080p video scaler, a Burr-Brown eight-channel sampling rate converter for jitter reduction in all audio formats, as well as Wolfson digital-to-analog converters for full 192 khz audio performance.


fully integrated W.H.E.N. (Whole-House Entertainment Network) system includes the AVR21EN surround receiver that features patented EzSet equalization technology and DCDi by Faroudja video-processing technology. The unit controls up to six external AV sources and two internal AM/FM tuners, and has two-way remote routing of composite video and digital audio and control signals. The system extends audio signals throughout the home by using a proprietary Digital Signal Transfer bus.


top-of-the-line AVR 7550HD 7.2-channel audio/ video receiver includes four HDMI inputs, offers HDMI V1.3a capability, and can pass video signals to 1080p, with repeater functionality that enables the use of longer HDMI cable lengths. The AVR 7550HD incorporates Faroudja DCDi Cinema digital-video processing as well as Dolby Volume technology, and is the first receiver to utilize the latest generation Texas Instruments Aureus DA710 audio digital signal processor in a dual-DSP implementation.


new THX Ultra2 Plus certified 7.1- channel AV receiver, the TX-NR906, has HDMI repeaters for four HD video sources, new THX Loudness Plus processing, Audyssey’s new Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume technologies, HQV Reon- VX video upscaling to 1080p, HD Radio, and advanced networked audio capabilities. Audio decoding and processing is courtesy of three Texas Instruments Aureus 32-bit DSP chips, while IR and bidirectional RS-232 ports offer system control, 12- volt triggers, and an improved graphical user interface for system setup.


The DTR-9.9 by is an ISF-certified, THX Ultra2 Plus, three-zone, 7.1-channel surround receiver. These innovations are combined with HDMI 1.3a, Ethernet and RS-232 capabilities, video upconversion and scaling, as well as user-friendly on-screen menus and ample connectivity and switching. Rated at 145 watts per channel and certified for use with four-Ohm speakers, the DTR-9.9 also has a high-current capable power supply with low-feedback WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology).


nextgeneration 7.1 channel AV home theater receiver, the RXV3900 (140w x 7) supports HD Radio and is XM/Sirius Satellite Radio-ready, as well as iTunes tagging and iPod compatibility via the optional YDS-11 universal dock. An optional Yamaha Bluetooth wireless audio receiver (YBA-10) enables users to stream A2DP audio from devices, such as mobile phones and computers to the unit.



second iteration of its Statement D2 AV processor has eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. Fitted with a VXP digital image processor that offers two 12-bit channels for deinterlacing, the D2 also has two DSP engines with 800 MIPS (million instructions per second) of processing power for eight-channel decoding of new HD audio standards. It also supports DVD audio in 7.1 format up to 192 kHz, and comes with Anthem’s new Room Correction System (ARC-1TM).


AV8003 is a THX-certified, 1080p scaling, multi-source/multizone preamp/processor that, thanks to its built-in digital media player, streams audio and HD video via an Ethernet port from a networked PC. Marantz’s first built-in video scaler enables enhanced video performance with upconversion and scaling to 1080p from all analog and digital sources, and features a host of audio and video processing technologies.


Performance Series AV2 is a 7.1-channel preamplifier/digital surround processor that includes several HDMI inputs and outputs, as well as DCDi by Faroudja digital video processing for upscaled and enhanced 720p or 1080i output. The AV2 can connect directly to a computer via its USB port, enabling users to playback streaming audio files and to access the music files on a computer via the AV2 and its remote control.


SSP200 utilizes four switchable HDMI inputs, DVI, RS232, USB, Integrated video scaler to 1080p and balanced 7.1 channel inputs/outputs. A features packed AV processor, the SSP200 also boasts Patented High Dynamic Bass (HDB) circuitry for advanced bass management, an auto-calibration microphone, composite and component video deinterlacing, as well as component video bypass switching (up to HDTV 1080p compatible) analog video to digital, hi-def video conversion.


eightchannel preamp/processor, the MV-5, can accommodate a pair of HDMI source devices, such as a DVD player and HDTV tuner, and can connect directly to a PC via USB, enabling the control and playback of streaming audio files. Able to support two independent zones with its 12 configurable inputs, the MV-5 also features Faroudja video processing technology which allows for the upconversion of incoming video formats to HDMI output, and has the an optional d-1 dock that enables the control and playback of iPods.


Moon CP-8 multi-channel preamplifier/ processor features 7.1 channels with HD audio and video decoding; HDMI 1.3a inputs and output; three-zone multiple source capability; RS-232C and serial IR ports for full custom external control; and HD video circuitry that includes Faroudja DCDi video processing.