|Anthem AVM 30 AV Preamplifier|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps|
|Written by Tim Hart|
|Friday, 01 April 2005|
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The AVM30 is not the only preamp/processor/ tuner that has yet to add HDMI or DVI switching capability to its arsenal of tools. However, a product that boasts video switching should probably include this feature. The ability to stay in the digital domain for video is not trivial and is the best performance upgrade to come down the path in quite some time.
I liked the layout of the remote, as well as the fact that Anthem chose to backlight all of the buttons with the same cool blue light as the display on the AVM30. I’ve complained about this oversight more than once on other products, as I feel that this is a requirement, not a fancy option. Nothing kills a projection system movie watching experience faster than having to turn on the lights to change the volume or any other function you may need to access on the remote. The only issue I have is that there isn’t a separate button to activate the back-lighting. Hitting any button will activate it, but on several different occasions, I hit the wrong button looking for a function and accidentally changed the source or did something else that brought everything to a halt. I finally resolved the issue by first pointing the remote away from the AVM30 and pushing a button to get my bearings, and then entering the function I wanted. A single button away from all of the other functions, perhaps on the side of the remote, would be one option.
I’ve reviewed many products that at first appearance seemed to have a synergistic flow to the operation, from designers who obviously had done their homework, only to have the whole thing go south because of funky gee-whiz gizmos that I would never use or a dozen different DSPs that mean nothing to me, but are there because the marketing department thought they would drag in new buyers. The AVM30 is different. It has so many capabilities that I would have to print the manual (which is very easy to follow and covers all of the operational aspects of the system) and put it in this review to discuss all of the features. The quick start guide is done very well, showing all of the options for hooking up all of my ancillary components. It had me up and running in no time. The set-up is also intuitive and easy to understand, allowing the user to customize the system to the nth degree; it is can be infinitely tailored to any imaginable configuration. I don’t think you could spend your money any more wisely than with the AVM30. With future software upgrades available online, the chance of obsolescence is practically nil. The remote is easy to see and manipulate and the display is attractive and easy to read. This unit is the best-performing processor in its class and competes with the highest price preamps in the world. The price is a bargain, in my opinion. In fact, I bought the review unit. That’s the best endorsement I can offer.