How to select a home theater receiver.
A home theater receiver incorporates the capabilities of three components. First a tuner for AM/FM and maybe HD, Internet, or XM/Sirius satellite radio. HD Radio is a high-quality digital signal that can be transmitted to your HD equipped radio.
Second a pre amp where you can connect your DVD or CD player, VCR, or iPod into to select your video or audio source. This pre amp then takes these incoming audio signals of surround sound or stereo and sends them to the output audio channels. The video signals are sent to a TV monitor.
Third an amplifier that can amplify the signals and send them to the speakers for a stereo or surround sound system. The amplifier can have the ability to support a surround sound systems with 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 channels. It must amplify the signals and drive power to the speaker system, except the sub-woofer which usually has an amplifier built into its own case. This is the meaning of the .1 of 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 designations.
The power rating of the amplifier means how much power is available to drive the speakers. The higher the power rating is the louder you can drive the speakers. So the speakers must be selected that can receive this power with out distorting the signal.
dB SPL (Decibels, Sound Pressure Level) is a measurement of how loud a signal is with a meter. The human ear does not perceive the same sound level over the audible frequency range. We can hear sounds from about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, with our best perception from 1,000 Hz to 5,000 Hz. Studies and graphs have been made to determine a standard equal-loudness contour for the typical human ear. You can check these contour charts out by plugging " equal-loudness contour " into a search engine.
Distortion (THD) The total harmonic distortion is a measurement of the amount of distortion in an amplified signal. The lower the THD the better the system will sound and usually defines a better quality receiver.
Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N) is the capability of the receiver to separate and cancel the noise out in an incoming signal and therefore it does not amplify this noise.
Another thing you must take into consideration on how to build a home theater system is what size and shape is the theater room? Obviously a small room needs a smaller system or you will peel the plaster off the walls.
Enjoy designing your easy home improvement projects and set a reasonable budget for your system. It is very easy to get carried away, listening to a great sound system in a show room, that is too big and too expensive for your needs.
How to select a
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