What to look for

I'm limited in knowledge of home theater equipment and hoping someone can help me. Basically, I want to install a 5.1, maybe a 7.1 surround sound system in my basement along with my TV. Though, I know I can pretty much buy a Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, etc. and have a decent system (or maybe not) but what I'd really like to know is....what do I look for in a good system for a moderate price? Nothing extravagant but nothing cheap. If you were to basically tell someone to go shopping for a receiver with a list of what to look for, what would they be?

Thank you for any help I can receive.

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When I was spending my own money I liked Harmon Kardon Dolby recievers. (During a home remodel the cat pissed through the vents on top, unbeknownst to me until later.) Despite a good clean sound all the way up to 'way too loud', they are not indestructible. ;])

Right now I have an RCA unit I bought off the shelf (its in storage) and am using an old Sony just to get by with.

Each of these brands have pluses and minus; mostly in the user interface portion actually. Somebody else will have another take on it but unless you have a particular need (two kinds of hardware that _must_ work without fail), then you are going to find way too many choices to choose from.

See if you can spend some time in the high end showrooms and try the things out with power running through them and see if the ergonomic part of the equation sits right with you.

One last thing; some setups power the sub channels from the central unit but I find sending the signal to self powered sub, while a bit to initially setup the right balance, is a better set up down the road.

ht, TBerk

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Nowadays, I'd suggest a receiver with good room correction, such as the Denons with Audyssey MultEQX . HDMI in/outputs should be standard by now too.

After that the main decision is what speakers to buy. They'll make the biggest difference.

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Steven Sullivan

There's a lot of discussion these days of "future-proof" receivers. It's worth considering. The various faqs and discussions available here are a good place to start:

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