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Definition: stereo receiver

An audio amplifier and switching device for a stereo system. The receiver contains inputs for all the audio sources and outputs to one or more sets of speakers. It may also include an AM/FM tuner. Although a stereo receiver has its own amplifier to drive the speakers, it may provide outputs from its preamplifier for connection to an external amplifier with greater power (see stereo system).

In a Home Theater
A stereo receiver may be used in a home theater to add high-quality audio to video sources. However, if there are multiple video sources, the video-only signals would have to be wired directly into and switched by the TV. In contrast, an "A/V receiver" provides a convenient alternative. It combines the audio and video and decodes the surround sound movie formats (see A/V receiver). See home theater and preamp.

High-End Stereo Receiver
This McIntosh 7200 delivers 200 watts per stereo channel. It includes 14 analog and digital inputs and an AM/FM tuner. (Image courtesy of McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., www.mcintoshlabs.com)