What's more, most AV amplifiers now also include music streaming services such as Spotify, wireless connectivity including AirPlay, Bluetooth and DLNA, and - new for 2015 - support for new surround sound processing formats, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Sure, a dedicated stereo amplifier will usually give you the best music performance, but if you want an all-in-one amplifier solution for your music and movies, these are the best home cinema amps on our radar.
Whether you're after a budget home cinema amp for under £500 or a money-no-object £2000+ monster with bags of features, these are our favourites. Click through to read the full review or to compare the latest prices and find a bargain.
The best budget home cinema amplifier in our Awards 2014, the Yamaha delivers superb surround sound for the money - not least as it's now widely available for under £200.
If you're looking to set-up a 5.1-system for the first time or upgrade an ageing system without spending too much cash, then this is an ideal choice.
Sonically it delivers a powerful and punchy sound, with clear placement of surround effects. Dynamically it's capable of being subtle as well as delivering those big, sofa-shaking action scenes.
What's missing? Network features. You'll have to plug-in a Bluetooth wireless receiver for any wireless streaming, though Apple devices can at least be connected direcly via USB.
For everything else, this Yamaha is a winner.
MORE: Best price £179
If you do want that comprehensive spec sheet as well as top-notch sound quality, then this Sony amp is the way forward.
Our Product of the Year from the 2014 Awards, it's a worthy successor to the Award-winning STR-DN1040.
The feature list is thorough, with aptX Bluetooth, USB and MHL connections, 6/3 HDMI inputs/outputs, support for 3D and 4K passthrough and support for high-res audio. Spotify Connect is here, too, but there's no Dolby Atmos.
A seriously good AV amp, it balances muscle and subtlety, delivers a wide soundstage, and offers impressive performance with music.
A worth winner in the ultra-competitive £500 amp category.
MORE: Best price £399
Another award-winner, this amp follows in the footsteps of the Pioneer SC-LX57 in delivering class-leading performance around the £1500 mark (and now available for a few hundred quid less).
Dolby Atmos is present and correct, there are 8/2 HDMI inputs/outputs, a smattering of coaxial, optical and USB connections, plus support for 3D, 4K and high-res audio.
Sonically it's every bit as powerful as you might expect for such a hefty block of electronics but there's detail and subtlety to go with that punch and scale.
It may not be a huge leap over its predecessor - bar the addition of Atmos, perhaps - but it's definitely the best on the market around this price.
MORE: Best price £1199
It's fair to say this Anthem AV amp comes with some caveats, but if you want superb sound from a musical surround sound amp, then it's hard to argue with.
What the MRX-510 doesn't offer is features. There's no network connectivity or wireless music streaming, or even an on-board automated set-up process (you'll need to connect a computer).
But while the specs may be underwhelming, not least for those who worry about power ratings, the level of detail, subtlety, scale and even power, is seriously impressive.
Smaller scale soundtracks will show this Anthem amp at its best, with enviable insight and a clear, crisp midrange, but don't worry - it can pump out the high-octance stuff, too.
All told, if you can live without the features and frills, and value audio quality above everything, you really should check this amplifier out.
Fresh out of the What Hi-Fi? test rooms, the Onkyo TX-NR3030 has set a mighty high bar for all 2015 AV receivers.
It's expensive, but it delivers. Dolby Atmos is the eye-catching feature and the results are happily very impressive - the soundfield with an Atmos set-up is massive, spacious and immersive (though you need those extra speakers to take advantage).
The good news is it's hugely capable offering 'standard' surround sound, too. Entertaining, dynamic, nicely balanced, subtle... the list of positives is a long one. A huge array of connections and network features is the icing on the cake.
For high-end home cinema sound, look no further.
MORE: Best price £2499