This is the first A/V Receiver I bought for a surround sound system. I bought this A/V Receiver while it was on sale for $200, which was half of its retail value. This receiver produces excellent sound from my speakers, which are a mix of Panasonics and Sonys. Hooking up the speakers and placing them is quite easy, due to clearly labeled inputs and the auto-calibration microphone which comes with the system. I also like that this system has many options for speaker placement, e.g. you can have front high speakers or a back center speaker, or you can bi-amp your front speakers etc. depending on the number and size/type of speakers you have available. This receiver has plenty of inputs and input options for all your audio needs; cd players, video-games, blue-ray players etc. Issues:
--Hooking up video-game systems or other devices with component cables can be confusing, due to the fact that you have to program where the audio and video inputs are coming from before playing. I also think that this receiver's "up-conversion" process only allows certain resolution inputs to be accepted through component cables (480i vs. 480p etc.). In the manual, it suggests connecting video-game systems via composite cables only. This is an easy fix though, just use an HDMI cable (you can get them cheap from walmart.com!!) Xbox 360 and PS3 both have HDMI outputs, I'm not sure about the Wii though...
--For a novice, going through the menus and reading the display can be confusing at first (if you didn't understand what I meant by "bi-amp" in the first paragraph, you're a novice; it's OK, I was too...Google It). Also, the manual is 100 pages long and you really REALLY should read it all before hooking stuff up.
--I have a Sony Bravia TV, and from time to time the remote controllers can be confusing as they will both control the other device to certain points. I'm sure there's a way to make one controller do it all... but I don't really feel like reading about it in the manual now.
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