Difference between av receivers in UK and USA

Are there any differences between an av receiver bought from the USA and an av receiver bought from UK? The reason I'm asking is I'm wondering if I can buy av receiver from USA and use it in UK?


Yes, you could buy an AV receiver in the US and use it in the UK - and I assume the main reason for wanting to do so is that they are cheaper compared to the pound value over here (I'm in the UK). However, there are a few reasons why I probably wouldn't, so consider these before you buy.

1. The warranty for the receiver would be based in the US. What if you got it home and it didn't work? Or failed after six months? You would have to ship it back to the US for repair/replacement.

2. AV receivers are pretty heavy - the shipping costs may be quite high. Or, if you are bringing it back yourself - how much will the airline charge you to check it in?

3. You may well have to pay import duty when it goes through customs - this will add to the cost.

4. In the US they use 110-120 volt power and in the UK we use 220-240 volts. Unless the power supply of the receiver supported both types (probably won't), then you would have to buy a good quality transformer to convert UK power into something the receiver will be able to use. Remember, an AV receiver needs to deliver good quality current to your speakers, and so it is important it gets the power it needs. Here's an example of a stepdown transformer at Amazon - Tacima 240/120V Stepdown Transformer USA to UK 500VA SC5476.

5. If you are playing standard definition video, then a US receiver will probably be designed to use NTSC rather than PAL, which is used in the UK/Europe. Many new devices can handle both (especially Blu-ray and DVD players) - but it may be an issue. I would check the receiver you are looking at will handle PAL video ok. You don't need to worry about HD images.

So there are a few things that come to mind. In theory, you will be able to run a US AV receiver without any problems. However be sure that it really is going to be worth your while before you try it.

Just my opinion.

Paul (Site Editor)

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About Home Cinema Guide

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.