Harman Kardon AVR 154 -Building an Affordable Home Theater: (PT2.2)


Still with the theme of purchasing components slowly on a tight budget I'm showing you the Harman Kardon AVR154 Home Theater Receiver .  Now this is another True power receiver that comes with 30wpc x 5 channels or 40wpc x 2 channel stereo RMS.  This may sound wimpy but if you're in an apartment and cant have tower speakers, it's all you need.  Again, True power makes all the difference (see http://majormack.blogspot.com/2010/12/building-affordable-home-theaterpt-2.html).  Harman Kardon is another solid manufacturer and they lists their ratings accurately so you don't have to be concerned about poor craftmanship or phony wattage ratings.

Now as you can see here, this receiver has more than enough connectivity with 3 HDMI inputs with analog (RCA) and S-video upconversion as well as 1080p and audio pass through.  The upconversion feature in many receivers these days essentially takes a crap video signal and makes it 1080p so it doesn't look like more crap on your brand new fresh and clean big screen.  It has the optical and coax inputs for other devices that may require them as well.  Now I've mentioned that to purchase a receiver that is "Futureproof" its important to buy one that supports TrueHD and DTS-HD to support Blu-ray and HD audio it contains. For the price of this receiver if these aren't a concern for you or you're mainly listening to music, cable tv or regular DVDs' then this is definitely a feasible option.  The reason I mention the music, television and DVDs are all generally produced in stereo sound or at best as 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS audio etc. which this receiver supports.
You can view the specs on this receiver @ http://www.harmankardon.com/EN-US/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?PID=AVR%20154

As I mentioned previously, if you have limited space or you're worried about tower speakers in your home theater this is an excellent choice for a stereo receiver.  It can be paired with some solid bookshelf speakers or even satellite speakers and a sub for a good surround experience.  I have a similar HK receiver that I've used in this manner in my living room and I have enjoyed the sound it produces, especially for music.  Now I mentioned that it doesnt support HD audio (TrueHD, DTS-HD) but thats not to say you cannot connect a blu-ray player and watch blu-rays.  What happens when you do this is the receiver decodes the main DTS Audio track.  Simply put, if its a DTS-HD 7.1 blu-ray audio, when decoded by your receiver it will decode the main DTS 5.1 audio minus the HD extension that makes it 7.1 surround.  Understand, DTS kicks ass so if you have no intentions of going 7.1 at anytime this product is perfect at the price.  This price tag is really what makes this an appealing option with the features it has.