A/V receivers

Is Dolby Atmos really worth thousands for home theater?

Dolby Atmos logo

Episode 1431

Scott from Orange County, CA

Scott was in a big box store with a listening room and listened to a Dolby Atmos at Home demo and he was blown away. But is it worth thousands to outfit his home theater with it? Leo says no. Many modern AV Receivers now support Atmos. It's a standard like Dolby 5.1 was. The main difference is that Atmos at Home bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive audio experience. Leo says he can use dual HDMI outputs that would give him the ability to create a similar experience.

Should I buy a refurbished A/V receiver?

Yamaha RX-V575P

Episode 1378

Steve from San Diego, CA

Steve is looking to buy a refurbished Yamaha receiver. Leo says that refurbished devices are best bought from the original manufacturer. That way he can still get a warranty to go with it. All too often, they are brand new devices that were returned, and as such, can't be resold as new. So they're sold as refurbished instead. If he's looking for a great deal, refurbished is the way to go. He should just make sure to get it from the original manufacturer.

What HDMI hub do I need to use all my devices?

Episode 1308

Richard from California

Richard bought a Vizio Performance series TV. He has a lot of HDMI ports to plug in but he doesn't have enough on the TV. Would an HMDI splitter work? Leo says if it uses a powered or active splitter, yes. Ultimately, the best way to do it is with an A/V receiver.

Geffen does makes a good HDMI hub, though. MonoPrice also has one. He should search for "Active HDMI Switcher."

Is it better to get an A/V receiver with 'smart' functions or use a Roku with it?

Episode 1097

Steve from Louisville, KY

Steve's Pioneer Audio receiver finally bit the dust. He's looking to replace it and wants to connect Internet Radio to it. He's heard about the Onkyo NR646. Can he use the Roku in concert with it, or should he get smart capabilities in the receiver? Scott says it really depends on which app or service he wants to use, and whether or not it's on the receiver or the Roku. There might not be an option to get a receiver without those smart functions, as most TVs now have it.