Home Theater, Surround Sound, AV Receiver Connections

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Home Theater Receiver - Entry Level - Rear Panel Connections - Onkyo Example

Home Theater Receiver - Entry Level - Rear Panel Connections - Onkyo Example
Home Theater Receiver - Entry Level - Rear Panel Connections - Onkyo Example. Photo © Onkyo

Pictures of Rear Panel Connections on Home Theater Receivers

Are you confused by all those connections on the back of your Home Theater Receiver? Are you planning to upgrade your current Receiver to one that provides better compatibility with your new HDTV? If the answer to either, or both, of these questions is "YES", then get familiar with what types of connections a Home Theater Receiver has, and what they are used for, by checking out pictures of Home Theater Surround Sound Receiver Connections. The following pictures are rear panel examples for both an Entry Level and High End Home Theater Receiver.

These are types of Audio/Video input/output connections that commonly found on an Entry Level Home Theater Receiver.

In this example, starting from left to right, are the Digital Audio Coaxial and Optical Inputs.

Moving just to the right of the Digital Audio Inputs are three sets of Component Video Inputs and one set of Component Video Outputs. Each input consists of a Red, Green, and Blue Connection. These inputs can accommodate DVD players, and other devices that have component video connection options. In addition, the Component Video Output can relay the signal to a TV with a Component Video Input.

Below the Component Video connections are the Stereo Analog connections for a CD player and Audio Tape Deck (or CD Recorder).

Moving right, at the very top, are AM and FM Radio Antenna Connections.

Below the radio antenna connections, there are a host of analog audio and video connections. Here you can plug in your VCR, DVD player, video game, or other device. In addition, there is a Video Monitor output that can relay the incoming video signals to a TV or monitor. Both Composite and S-Video connection options are offered.

In addition, a set of 5.1 channel analog inputs are featured to accommodate DVD players that feature SACD and/or DVD Audio playback.

Also, this example features both video inputs/outputs than can accept either a VCR, DVD Recorder/VCR combo, or a standalone DVD recorder. Most higher-end receivers will have two set of input/output loops that can accommodate both. If you have a separate DVD Recorder and VCR, look for a Receiver that has two VCR connection loops; this will make cross-dubbing easier.

Next, there are the Speaker Connection Terminals. On most receivers, all the terminals are red (Positive) and black (Negative). Also, this receiver has seven sets of terminals, as it is a 7.1 Channel receiver. Also, note that htere is an extra set of terminals for connecting a "B" set of front speakers. The "B" speakers can also be placed in another room.

Just below the speaker terminals is the Subwoofer Pre-Out. This supplies a signal to a Powered Subwoofer. Powered Subwoofers have their own built-in amplifiers. The receiver simply supplies a line signal that must be amplified by the Powered Subwoofer.

Two types of connections that are not illustrated in this example, but are becoming more common on higher-end Home Theater Receivers, are DVI and HDMI input/output connections. If you have an upscaling DVD player, HD-Cable or Satellite Box, check to see they utilize these type of connections. If so, consider a Home Theater with those connections.

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Home Theater Receiver - High End - Rear Panel Connections

Home Theater Receiver - High End - Rear Panel Connections - Pioneer VSX-82TXS Example
Home Theater Receiver - Rear Panel Connections - Pioneer VSX-82TXS Example Home Theater Receiver - High End - Rear Panel Connections - Pioneer VSX-82TXS Example. Photo © Pioneer Electronics

These are types of input/output connections that commonly found on a High End Home Theater Receiver. NOTE: Actual layout depends on brand/model of Receiver.

Starting on the far left, are the Digital Audio Coaxial and Optical Inputs.

Below the Digital Audio Coaxial Inputs is an XM Satellite Radio Tuner/Antenna input.

Moving right, are three HDMI input connectors and one HDMI output for connecting DVD, Blu-ray Disc, HD-DVD, HD-Cable or Satellite boxes that have high defintion/upscaling capability. The HDMI output connects to an HDTV. HDMI also passes both video and audio signals.

Moving right, and to the top, are three connectors for external remote control sensors used in multi-room installations. Below these are 12 volt triggers which allow hardwired on/off functions with other components.

Moving down, there is a Composite Video Monitor Output for a second location.

Continuing down, are three Component Video Inputs and one set of Component Video Outputs. Each input consists of a Red, Green, and Blue Connection. These inputs accommodate DVD players, and other devices The Component Video Output connects to a TV with a Component Video Input.

Continuing right, are S-Video and Composite video, and analog audio inputs/outputs that can accept a VCR, DVD Recorder/VCR combo, or a standalone DVD recorder. Many receivers will have two sets of input/output loops. If you have a separate DVD Recorder and VCR, look for a Receiver that has two VCR connection loops; this will make cross-dubbing easier. Also in this connection group are the main S-Video and Composite video monitor outputs. AM/FM radio antenna connections are at the top of this section.

Moving further right, at the top, are two sets of analog audio-only inputs. The top set is for an Audio Turntable. Below are audio connections for a CD player, and audio tape deck input and output connections. Moving further down is a set of 7.1 channel analog inputs for DVD players that feature SACD and/or DVD Audio playback.

Moving right, and to the top, is a set of 7.1 Channel Preamp Output connections. Also included: a Subwoofer line output, for a Powered Subwoofer.

Moving down is an iPod connection, which allows an iPod to be connnected to the receiver using a special cable or dock. Below this is an RS232 port for connecting the receiver to a PC for advanced control functions.

Next, there are the Speaker Connection Terminals. These terminals are red (Positive) and black (Negative). This receiver has seven sets of terminals, as it is a 7.1 Channel receiver.

Above the Surround Back speaker terminals is a Convenience Switched AC Outlet.

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Onkyo TX-SR503 and Pioneer VSX-82TXS Home Theater Receiver Front Panel Views

Onkyo TX-SR503 and Pioneer VSX-82TXS Home Theater Receiver Front Panel Views - Not to Scale
Images not to Scale Onkyo TX-SR503 and Pioneer VSX-82TXS Home Theater Receiver Front Panel Views - Not to Scale. Images © Onkyo USA and Pioneer Electronics

Check out the front views of typical entry-level and high-end home theater receivers as well as price comparisons for home theater audio and video cables.

Above are photos of the Onkyo TX-SR503 Entry-Level Receiver (left) and the Pioneer VSX-82TXS High End Receiver (right). The images are not to scale. Although both Receivers are the same width and approximately the same depth, the Pioneer VSX-82TXS, pictured on the right, is about twice the height, and about twice as heavy, as the Onkyo TX-SR503, pictured on the left.

You will notice, on the bottom right of the Onkyo, there is a Composite video input and a set of analog stereo inputs on the front panel. On the bottom left of the Onkyo is a Headphone Jack.

In addition, the Pioneer has a flip-down front panel door that houses additional controls (not shown in the photo), as well as a set of both Composite and S-video connections, and both a Digital Optical and analog stereo inputs. In addition, the front panel also hides a Headphone Jack.