Basic surround sound comes as 5.1 – it's the most common home surround sound set-up. You have five speakers: a centre speaker for super-clear dialogue, front left and right for stereo action and two behind you
for ambient atmosphere. The .1 is the subwoofer for bass. It’s tried and true, and a great way to bring a little cinema magic into your home.
The latest breakthrough in home cinema is Dolby Atmos. This technology uses additional speakers, either installed in the ceiling or sometimes using upwards-firing speakers on the floor, to mimic the kind of sound you get in high-end cinemas. The results are stunning: multi-dimensional, deep, immersive, lifelike sound and once you hear it for yourself you'll want a top-notch receiver with this capability.
While many receivers will be able to process and deliver a 4K image, there are vast differences in the quality of the image between a budget receiver and a higher-end model, with factors like colour reproduction and motion handling. On top of that, you'll get more inputs and outputs – so you can run all your games consoles, set-top boxes, disc players and more through it.