Closeup of the front panel of an AV receiver

If you’re into music, movies, and gaming, your AV receiver is one essential component you simply won’t be able to live without. But what is an AV receiver, and what does it do? From relaxing with the radio to immersing yourself in the world of online gaming, your AV receiver allows you to control it all. More than this, you can also switch your video inputs from sources such as your Blu-ray player, satellite or cable receiver, or gaming console and route them through to your TV, monitor, or projector.

In essence, your AV receiver acts as the central hub of your home entertainment system. It allows you the freedom and flexibility to simply and quickly switch between the components with only the push of a single button, providing you with the ultimate in control and convenience.

The Different Uses of an AV Receiver

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for your audio and video needs, then an AV receiver could be just what you’re looking for, as there really isn’t anything it can’t handle. Typically, however, the most common uses come down to these:

  • Movies
  • Gaming
  • Radio
  • Streaming & MP3s
  • Vinyl, cassette, and CD media

Making the Most of Your TV and Movies

Movie Night

While many of us still love going to the movies, there’s something to be said for watching a movie at home. You can, of course, pause, rewind and stop the movie anytime you want, and if you have the right equipment, it can be a better, more comfortable, and more convenient experience than paying to see the same movie at the theater. And with many movies now available to stream immediately through services like HBO Max, there’s an added incentive to staying at home.

There are, of course, a multitude of streaming services and content providers to choose from, and everything from ABC and Amazon to Vudu and YouTube sounds so much better through an AV receiver. Not into streaming? DVD and Blu-ray players, plus your cable or satellite receiver, can all be hooked up too.

Regardless of where you get your entertainment from, you can enjoy it all with immersive surround sound. The latest formats, such as Dolby Atmos, go beyond the regular 5.1 or 7.1 setup by incorporating height channels that produce sound from above and below you for a truly three-dimensional experience.1 And, of course, the best AV receivers are capable of decoding this format so you can truly feel a part of the action.

Get Into Your Game

Gaming TV

Surround sound isn’t just for movies. If you’ve ever played a game like Call of Duty, you’ll know there’s nothing more frustrating than hearing a shot ring out and not knowing where it came from. But hook your console up to an AV receiver and it’ll feel as though you’re truly in the game itself – with only the potential lag from the internet to worry about.

You’re not restricted to the newer consoles either. If you’ve got something older, such as a Nintendo Wii or even a retro Atari TV game, you can plug that in too and enjoy your games in a way you’ve never done before!

Tune In and Chill Out

FM Radio

Despite what you might have heard, video didn’t kill the radio star and you can still listen to all your local and national stations through your AV receiver. Many AV receivers also have the ability to receive satellite radio, such as SiriusXM, while others will allow you to connect a satellite radio receiver into the back of the AV receiver itself.2

Whether you’re looking to enjoy today’s better music mix or take a trip down memory lane with the golden oldies, an AV receiver can make almost any kind of music sound better than ever.

No Cables Required

Streaming Music

It wasn’t so long ago that the only way to listen to the radio was by tuning in to the correct AM or FM frequency, but nowadays you can listen to almost any station, from anywhere in the world, through smartphone apps. More than this, you can customize the type of music you listen to by creating playlists on services like Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music.

But how can you have that music streaming through your AV receiver? You could connect your phone with a cable via its headphone jack or even install the streaming app on your Smart TV, but there’s an easier option: Bluetooth. If your AV receiver is Bluetooth compatible, there’s no need for cables or any of the mess that usually comes with them.3

Go Retro and Revisit Your Vinyl, CD and Mix Tape Collection

LPs Cassettes and CDs

When MP3 and streaming audio became the world’s preferred method of listening to music, many of us converted our music to a digital format, uploaded the files to the cloud and then consigned our collections to the attic. Of course, vinyl, cassettes, and CDs never truly went away, and in recent years there’s been a resurgence of these retro formats.

Now you can blow the dust off your favorite vinyl and enjoy the authentic sound of your LPs and 45s by connecting your turntable to your AV receiver. And those mixtapes you swapped with your friends in high school? Your AV receiver and a cassette deck can help you relive those memories too.

Regardless of what you listen to or how you listen to it, and even if you don’t consider yourself an audiophile, you won’t regret amping up your sound experience with an AV receiver!

Article Sources

Tech Pro Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Roberts B. Dolby Atmos: what is it? How can you get it? Published May 24, 2021. Accessed December 28, 2021.
  2. Sirius XM. SiriusXM on Your Home Audio System. Accessed December 28, 2021.
  3. G A. Different Bluetooth Versions: What You Need to Know. Published September 3, 2021. Accessed December 28, 2021.