So now you've got your HD video feeds sorted out and you're ready to experience high-definition programming. But what about the sound? The speakers on HDTV sets tend to range between fair to good. But most sets won't give you the same sound quality you'd experience at a movie theater. For that you're going to need some extra equipment.
One instrumental part of this puzzle is an A/V receiver. These devices accept video and audio input from various sources like cable feeds, DVD players and video game consoles. Then the receiver sends out signals to other equipment such as your television or a sound system. With an A/V receiver, you can route sound to speakers set up around your home theater to get that immersive surround sound effect.
Another benefit to an A/V receiver is that it can act as a switching station for the various input devices connected to your television. Most HDTV sets have several input ports. But you may have more HD devices than your television can accommodate. An A/V receiver might be the solution -- simply plug your devices into the receiver and the receiver connects to your television.
The high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) is a technology that can transfer uncompressed digital audio and video signals. Most HDTV sets available on the market have at least one HDMI port. If your set doesn't have one, an HDMI A/V receiver won't work with your system. Other A/V receivers may be compatible but may not provide the same quality as an HDMI unit.