In addition to home theater audio features, a growing number of new home theater receivers, incorporate features such as on-board video upscaling, multi-zone, and home network connectivity.
Video upscaling is a function that adds the number of pixels need to match the specific screen resolution of an HDTV, such as 720p or 1080p. In fact, some home theater receivers provide 4K video upscaling, which you may not need right now – but it is there when you buy that 4K TV down the road. However, keep in mind that the upscaling process does not actually convert standard definition to high definition, but it does improve the image so that it looks better on an HDTV. For more details on how video upscaling works, check out my article: Video Upscaling.
Multi-Zone capability is a function in which the Receiver can send a second source signal to speakers or a separate audio system in another location. This is not the same as connecting additional speakers and placing them in another room. For more details, check out: Home Theater Receivers and the Multi-Zone Feature.
Networking is allowing the home theater receiver to evolve into a true centralized PC/Home Theater media controller. Some home theater receivers now have access to audio and video content stored on a PC, and in some cases provides access to Internet Radio stations, which number in the thousands. It is like the old days of shortware radio, only it sounds a lot better and you don’t need a large antenna.