Sonypalooza, Pt. 4: A/V receivers!
It wouldn't be CEDIA without some new A/V receivers, and Sony did not disappoint. It just announced the STR-DA5500ES and STR-DA3500ES, two new receivers aimed at high-end installations.
The 5500ES puts out 120 watts across each of its 7 channels, and features a whopping 6 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs (great for flat-panel/projector combination setups). It supports plenty of audio formats, including 8-channel linear PCM, and can process 1080p/24 cinema video and Deep Color and x.v.Color video codecs. The receiver can manage up to three zones, including a 1080p video main zone, a 1080i secondary zone, and an audio-only third zone. It's also networkable and compatible with any DLNA-compliant device, and can access Shoutcast and Rhapsody music services. It will retail for $2,000 when it ships next month.
At $1,000, the 3500ES is only half the price of the 5500ES, and as a result offers fewer features. It loses 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output, and forgoes all of the networked functions of the 5500ES. Fortunately, it keeps the 3-zone support, and can handle the same audio and video codecs. It also ships in October.
— Will Greenwald