The powerhouse of any system is the Amplifier or AV Receiver - in distributed audio systems its Power Amps, but in home-theater systems the amplifier unit takes on multiple roles, becoming an AV switcher, and even a network streaming media player.
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An AVR (audio-video-receiver) in a home-theater system not only powers the speakers but also conducts and choreographs all of the audio and video switching, as well as the decoding and trans-coding of the signals.
And today's new AVR's and amplifiers are getting smarter too... with connection to the internet they can now stream your local music, as well as play internet radio stations, or receive critical updates to enhance functionality. And even more they can now connect directly to an mp3 player via usb or built-in docks.
Here is a break-down of the different application types:
- Home Theater - For any home theater you need to start with an AVR, these units will handle all of your switching and audio setup automatically. This is also responsible keeping your surround sound speakers calibrated for optimal sound. If your looking for affordable and easy setup go with our E series, if you more options, control, and better sound calibration choose our pro X series.
- Extended Surround - If you are planning on purchasing a AVR for your home theater that offers extended surround such as Front Height or Front Width audio channels you may need a separate amp to power those channels. Our Episode 2 channel Power Amplifers give you just the features you need to handle this task.
- Whole-Home Audio - Power Amplifers give you just the features you need, and lots of power to run lots of speakers. Multi-channel models breakup the rooms into sections and separate amps for ultimate flexibility and longevity. The devices however do not offer switching or remote control, additional devices will be needed to handle those tasks.
- Network Receivers / Stereo Receivers - These stereo devices are specifically designed for audio, great for placing on a bookshelf in a study or bedroom, or use or portable models for quick and easy sound in any room, or outside. Many also include built-in iPod docks for easy playback of your favorite music.
- Sub-Woofers - If you want to go with an in-wall subwoofer, instead of an in-room one, you will probably need a separate amplifier as most in-wall subs do not have the amps built-in. Subwoofer amplifiers are specially designed to just run subwoofers, ours include features you won't see anywhere else at these price points.
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