One welcome trend
in AV receivers is the addition of more features at lower price points. Modern, full-featured AV receivers are signal processing powerhouses, and we've come to expect HDMI switching, video processing, on-screen UIs and room correction as de rigeur features. Everyone loves these conveniences, but there's a catch -- in many cases, sound quality is what's getting left behind in the transition. Audioholics
has put its hand to enough receivers to know this, and without crying foul, the linked article does a good job of keeping you informed of the tradeoffs. Bottom line -- software-laden silicon keeps getting cheaper and lighter, but the (largely analog) componentry used for audio amplification doesn't. So if your latest receiver is lighter, cheaper and sports a longer spec list, you have a good idea where designers trimmed; and it's not the S-Video ports
. The differences may not be audible, but if current trends
in audio are any indicator, the limit of what is "good enough" is headed for market testing. Meanwhile, take your ears along with the spec sheets if you're shopping receivers.