Surround Receivers

What Are Those Power Outlets On The Back of an AV Receiver For?


While falling out of favor in recent years, if you have an older AV receiver, you may notice a couple of power outlets on the back. For many, they were a confusing addition to a device that didn’t really seem like it needed to be more confusing. So, what’s the deal? What are those power outlets on the back of your AV receiver for? Let’s discuss!

Convenience Is King

Long before the days of HDMI-CEC and even universal remotes, people strived for a way to use fewer remotes (probably because they kept losing them). They didn’t want to have to hunt around for every remote in order to power on all their gear. Any trick they could use to simplify the process was welcome.

Denon AVR-X7200W remote control
Fewer of these please

Someone over there at “Big AV Reciever” decided to help out. The solution? Add power outlets to the back of their AV receivers. But how could this possibly make a difference? Simple. These are switched outlets. This means that those outlets will not receive power if the AV receiver is in standby mode. Power on the AV receiver and the outlets get power. Power it down and they switch off. Any device connected to these outlets basically responds to the power button on your AV receiver remote.

The Problem

If you have your hand up because we never really forget how to do that from elementary school, you’ve probably got some questions. Obviously, this only works for devices that either are powered on all the time or have some sort of hard switch for power. You switch them on and let the outlet control whether or not they get power.

This works great for specific devices. If you have an EQ between your receiver and your amplifier, it’s great. But for devices that need additional inputs (like a CD player), you may be able to get them to power up, but you’ll still need another remote to control it. Of course, this is why AV receiver remotes often have the ability to control other devices. But then…why do you need the power outlets again?

Obviously, this is why we don’t see them on modern AV receivers.

Can You Use the Power Outlets on Your AV Receiver?

Of course! If you have access to these outlets, feel free to use them. Just take note of the power maximums. Most of these outlets are limited to specific power outputs. You can’t exceed these with anything plugged into them. Make sure any device you connect to the outlet draws less than the maximum power and you should be fine.

Have you used those power outlets on the back of an AV receiver? Let us know in the comments below!


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