Panasonic has recognized their customers' desire for high-quality performance with easy setup, and the result is their new home theater receiver, the SA-XR70 ($400). This fully digital receiver features HDMI connectivity, which simplifies the connection to other sources and allows for high-quality playback. It supports high-definition images up to 1080p and the DVD-Audio multichannel audio format. The SA-XR70 has built-in decoders for DTS, DTS ES, Dolby EX, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. Connections include optical inputs and outputs, component video, and S-video.
Having an intuitive remote control for your theater is essential. With Philips' new RC9800i touchscreen remote, you can control and access digital information and content from multiple devices in the home. The RC9800i ($499) recognizes more than 600 brands of consumer electronics. All you have to do is let the unit know what equipment it will be controlling and how the gear is connected, and the remote will do the rest. It creates its own macros for turning on devices and selecting the correct inputs. Activity-Based Control even blends the most-often-used functions into activities, which are matched to smart macros so that you can watch DVDs or listen to CDs at the touch of one button.