updated 08:25 pm EDT, Wed September 9, 2009
Sony's ES-series A/V receivers get new models
Sony has announced several new Elevated Standard (ES) A/V receivers, the STR-D5500ES and STR-D3500ES. The 5500 model is the company's first receiver to feature IP network control, enabling integration with Control4 home automation systems.
The device also features automatic phase matching, another first for Sony. The technology corrects phase differentiation between front, center and rear speakers, which is claimed to provide the optimum sound stage even across a variety of different speakers.
Each of the 7 channels provides 120 watts of amplification, with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. An option for HD Digital Cinema Sound attempts to replicate the sound characteristics and acoustics of a movie theater. Users can connect six sources via HDMI, while two HDMI outputs are also available.
The receiver is capable of up-scaling sources to 1080p in the primary zone, or up to 1080i in the secondary zone. Both zones also have an icon-driven menu system for easier configuration and interface navigation.
Sony's 3500 model also supports 7.1-channel audio, although each channel is driven by a 100 watt amplifier. The device provides four HDMI inputs and is also capable of Control4 integration.
The STR-D5500ES will be available next month for $2,000, while the STR-D3500 will ship for $1000.