updated 01:30 pm EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
Sony ES 5300/4300/3300
Sony on Tuesday afternoon revamped its Elevated Standard receivers with three new models, all geared towards supporting Blu-Ray as well as the latest formats in digital audio. Leading the charge is the 5300ES; the first Sony receiver to support multiple rooms, it can output audio or video to a second zone while keeping up to date on the new area through a picture-in-picure display. The premium receiver also carries six HDMI 1.3 inputs with deep color and a 120-watt amp that powers 7.1-channel sound in Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio forms.
Other models are available for home theater enthusiasts who only need a single zone, Sony notes. The 4300ES slims down through a 100-watt amp and halves the HDMI 1.3 inputs to three; a base 3300ES model borrows the same amp and number of HDMI jacks but goes without the more advanced Dolby and DTS decoding.
All three receivers include the cross media bar (XMB) interface first seen in the PSP for relatively easy setup, Bravia Theater Sync to accept input from XBR sets and other Sony HDMI devices, and the company's multi-purpose Digital Media Port for hooking up and controlling Sony's own iPod dock, a Wi-Fi link, or receivers for Bluetooth and Walkman devices. Sony expects the 3300ES to ship first in August for $1,000 and will follow the receiver with the 5300ES in September for $1,700. The 4300ES releases last, shipping in October for $1,300.