When hooked up with the digital-audio output from a DVD-Video player or digital satellite receiver, the 75 watts-per-channel HTR-5540 handles 5.1-channel surround decoding for both major formats, Dolby Digital and DTS. In addition, the HTR-5540 processes Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES, which create an even more expansive soundfield through the use of a center-rear surround channel, totaling six discrete full-range channels in addition to the LFE (low-frequency effects) channel: left, center, right, and left, center, and right surround.
Non-Dolby Digital and DTS sources can benefit from surround processing, too. With enhanced directional steering over standard four-channel Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II provides five channels of surround processing from any stereo source--whether that's a TV broadcast, VHS tapes, or your favorite CDs, cassettes, and LPs. Pro Logic II delivers full-bandwidth stereo surround channels with 40 dB of left-right separation.
A key benefit from a Yamaha receiver, of course, is Yamaha's proprietary signal processing, including Cinema DSP (digital soundfield processing), which creates aural "imaging" that not only makes your home sound like a theater, but also sounds better than most movie theaters. Based on a wealth of measured data in studios and halls, Cinema DSP is designed to bring out the full potential of movie sound mixes, reproducing them the way directors and sound engineers intended.
And, when you're listening to multichannel presentations late at night, you'll appreciate Silent Cinema, which simulates 5.1-channel listening through a pair of ordinary 2-channel headphones (not included). Silent Cinema uses unique parameters for each soundfield to ensure accurate headphone representations of each soundfield.
Then there are the six-channel DVD-Audio-ready inputs mentioned above. "If DVD-Audio is so high-tech," you might wonder, "why do I need analog inputs to appreciate it?" You need them because, for reasons of data density, DVD-Audio players perform their own digital-to-analog conversion, passing high-resolution analog signals on to your amplifier. (And analog is, after all, what your amp feeds your speakers.)
DVD-Audio can deliver up to six channels of discrete, full-frequency sound at greater-than-CD resolution (24 bits, 96 kHz sampling rate versus 16 bits, 44.1 kHz for CD), and some discs will exploit the chance to offer an ultra-high-resolution, stereo-only 192 kHz sampling rate. In stereo or surround, the sound from DVD-Audio is packed with detail, yet it's smoother and sweeter than the sound from even the best standard CD players. The HTR-5540 accommodates decoded DVD-A signals and routes them to the appropriate speakers in your surround system.
The versatile unit offers five video input connections (with four S-video inputs), five fixed and assignable digital-audio inputs (great for DSS, CD, laserdisc, gaming consoles, and minidisc), and front-panel input connections for your camcorder or other spontaneous hookup. The HTR-5540 comes with a preset remote control.
Finally, the HTR-5540 benefits from Yamaha's Digital ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology) build philosophy. ToP-ART's goal is to maximize digital quality while minimizing analog circuitry. The culmination of the best digital engineering and design possible, it brings together several key elements to create the best-sounding, easiest-to-use A/V components available.