Forgive me if this is a silly question, but how does one watch a movie if the the sound is delayed. Does the amp have a "sync" feature to match it up to the video signal?
Quick answer is, yes they have a sync feature.
There's two types of delays to contend with. The first that this thread is concerned with is an audio delay due by the sounds of it to something within the AV receiver. This kind of delay is often quite small, although noticeable with instruments. Often due to processing the receiver does to decode multichannel signals and any additional fx processing it might apply.
When watching a movie though, the bigger delay is in the picture processing where you can have 100-200ms of delay added by the tv compared to perhaps 10-40ms by your receiver. The difference if very noticeable with out of sync lips.
Most receivers have a audio delay option that you can tweak to further delay the audio to match the delay your TV will cause. However, with HDMI, there's a neat feature where all devices within the connection such as your dvd player, av receiver and tv can notify the other devices of the delays allowing the AV receiver to automatically apply the correct audio delay without you having to manually tweak it. On my receiver this is named "lip sync" and is just an on/off setting, unlike the audio delay setting which is 0-500ms.
If straight mode is still showing too great a delay, it may be worth searching for your receiver model with the latency or lag keyword added to see if anyone else has experienced it or found a workaround.
Edit: Forgot to mention the 3rd type of delay that's relevant to surround sound systems. That of the sound waves leaving the speaker and reaching your ears. As others have mentioned there's usually a distance setting that you can adjust to let the audio be delayed differently by each individual speaker so that sound reaches you at the same time. More advanced systems can also account for reflections inside your room using a mic you place in various positions (such as the audyssey system on some receivers).