The Sony str-de545 receiver offers allmost everything you need to start your own home cinema. The ratings are fair for the price: 5 x 100 w music power at 8 ohm, dts, dolby digital and dolby prologic. The radio part offers a rds-eon tuner with 30 presets for am and fm total. Due to the rds-eon the receiver can interupt a dvd or other source when traffic information is at hand or news. Personaly i just use the rds function wich identifies the station. The receiver has 2 digital inputs and 1 digital coax input, it can connect : dvd (1 optical digital 1 coax digital) , cd, tape / md / openreel, tv/sat (1 digital input), 5.1 (for example a dvd player with sacd function) , aux , video . The receiver is easy to use, with 6 small buttons and one "jogdial" ( a big flat knob that can be turned) and 2 larger buttons you can set up the receiver in no time. You can choose for dvd : auto mode (each time the receiver seeks for the best entry) , Opt = for optical digital input and coax. this can be done easily .. press dvd/ld input, press knop imput mode until it reads the connection you made . Same for tv/ld where the option is Opt or analogue Since this receiver has built in digital decoders it is advised to use the decoders of the receiver, in that case you will get the best sound quality. In dolby digital (licensed from Dolby laboratories) the sound quality is good but on dts (from Ditgital theatre systems) the sound quality is awesome for this money. with 6 speakers you achieve cinema sound in the living room. the 6 speakers are: subwoofer = a active (with amp also) subwoofer for the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) and the bass Center = this is the most important speaker , since 75 % min goes over the center and the front and subwoofer. Rear= these are for the wide image, mostley effects like a helicopter flying over it comes straight forward towards you and after your back it disappears. It als
o has severall sound modes to listen too, and you can even use it a night , there for sony has integrated it with a compression technique that the loud effects are taken down in volume and the level of the entire film is more the same. This mode has also several levels like most of the modes do have. A built in test tone on the remote is nice to test if the speakers are equal in volume. the entire amplifier is digital built so there is less distortion and a better sound.