updated 11/24/2006 10:10:08 PM ET 2006-11-25T03:10:08

Onkyo TX-SR
Onkyo
$1,099
www.onkyo.com

One of the things you don’t realize you want until you’ve got your HDTV home is an AV receiver.

That’s when you realize that plugging in and switching between  all of your gear — video game console, DVD player, cable or satellite box, TiVo — means fumbling with the remote to swap from between input signals to watch TV or play a game.

The AV means audio/video, and Onkyo’s TX-SR is a perfect example of doing it right. Plug your various devices into the receiver and fiddle with some settings, and the receiver handles the rest, sending the picture to your HDTV via an HDMI port — which is essential to get the highest-def picture possible from your gear.

The receiver also processes the surround sound provided by HDTV programs, DVD movies, and video game consoles. Not included: the 5 to 7 surround sound speakers themselves, which you’ll need to buy separately.

— Joe Hutsko

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