How do you get the most out of your HDTV? Add sound to match the widescreen image. Yes, you could add a soundbar or a home-theater-in-a-box system as I suggested Monday, or you can add speakers to an AV receiver, as I suggested yesterday. Here are 10 new AVRs affordably priced between $250 and $500.
Like the identically-priced Onkyo SR313, this Yamaha 5.1 channel AVR packs in four HDMI inputs and sets of component video cables, but also adds a front USB jack for iPhone/iPod connection. As many AVR users know, there's often a delay and on-screen hiccup as the AVR adjusts when you switch from one HDMI device to another. To solve this annoyance, this and other Yamaha AVRs feature high-speed HDMI switching that eliminates this hiccup. This and Yamaha's other AVRs also offer an ECO Mode, which reduces power consumption by 20 percent thanks to a lower-power standby mode. That wired doohickey on the left side of the receiver "hears" how your speakers sound and automatically adjusts to keep the surround sound balanced and keeps the bass from getting too boomy.