• September 7, 2021

Multi-Zone or Multi-Source Function in Home Theatre Receiver

As you may have known, Home Theatre Receiver, or commonly referred to as Audio Video Receiver (AV Receiver), is a box that consists of a multi-channel amplifier that produces surround sound, pre-amplifier and in-built radio tuner for AM/FM, High Definition Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio and/ or Internet Radio.
It has multiple inputs (video and audio inputs such as TV boxes, Games consoles, DVD/ Blu-Ray players) and outputs (video and audio outputs such as LCD TV, speakers) and an interface (i.e. buttons or knobs) to control them.

However, as the listener needs increase and technology advances, Home Theater Receiver becomes more sophisticated by adding a feature called Multi-Zone function.

What is Multi-Zone www.haytheatre.com function?

Multi-Zone or Multi-Source function is, as the name suggests, a function within the Receiver that allows it to send two different audio signals from two different inputs (i.e. sources) to speakers in different locations simultaneously. To illustrate this, you can play a CD in the kitchen and backyard garden speakers having a BBQ and entertaining your guests, while your and your guests’ kids can watch a movie with the surround sound in the living room. Interestingly, both CD and DVD players are connected to the same Receiver! By having this function, it enables the Receiver to control both audio and video sources and transmit the audio signals to different locations.

This should be differentiated from Multi-Room function, which is performed by wiring speakers to multiple locations and controlling the inputs and outputs through Receiver. All locations will listen to audio signals from the same source with the same volume. You can switch between speakers using the Receiver. To illustrate this, you can play a CD both in the bedroom and living room at the same time.

How does Multi-Zone function work?

1. In general, entry-level to mid-level Home Theatre Receivers have 7.1 channel, which means that you can have the Receiver in the 5.1 channel mode in the main zone and the 2 spare channels for the zone 2. Otherwise, if you are not using zone 2, you can have a full 7.1 channel mode for the main zone

2. You can also set up the Receiver to have a full 7.1 channel mode in the main zone, but purchase an additional pre-amp to transmit signals to an additional amplifier (both pre-amp and amplifier need to be purchased separately) in zone 2, that way you don’t need to sacrifice the full 7.1 channel mode in the main zone in order to have a powerful sound in zone 2.

3. The high-end Home Theater Receivers such as Yamaha Aventage RX-A3010 offers 9.2 channel with Zone 4 digital output to run zone 2/3/4 in addition to the main zone. It also supplies pre-amps that are required for the remaining 3 zones with a choice of using the built-in amplifiers of the receiver. You can use the built-in amplifiers of the receiver in zone 2 and additional amplifiers (purchased separately) in zone 3 and 4. In this Receiver, you will still need to sacrifice the full 9.2 channel mode in the main zone in order to power the zone 2. However, with 9.2 channel capacity and built-in amplifiers of the receiver, the main zone will not need to lose too much surround sound experience (i.e. down to 7.2 channel mode, instead of 5.1 as in entry-level home theatre receivers) in order to have a powerful sound in zone 2.

You will find more information about the leading brand Yamaha and their latest products (both amplifiers and receivers) at the following website.