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Old November 4, 2008, 10:24 AM
cadaveca cadaveca is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,628
Default Reviewer Tryouts: Sony STR-DG820


Purchasing home theater components can be overwhelming...High definition video and audio have now become standards to look for, and interpreting all the acronyms can make you dizzy. HDCP-compliancy, HDTV, Dolby Digital True-HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, HDMI, and Blu-ray are all now part of the short-list of current requirements in the new HD standard, and today we look at the cheapest entry that offers all of these things.

This entry, of course, is the Sony STR-DG820, a product to market from Sony, owner/designers of Blu-Ray technology.

Can they live up to the standard they themselves created? Let's take a look at what it boasts:
I'll taken the liberty of pulling the specs direct from Sony's site, which you can find here(click!):

Product Specifications

Weights and Measurements
Dimensions (Approx.) : 16 15/16 x 6 1/4 x 12 1/4" (430 x 157.5 x 310mm)
Weight (Approx.) : 17 lbs 10 oz (8Kg)

Speaker Terminal Type : Screw Binding Posts (A); Spring Lever (B)

AM/FM Memory Presets : 30 FM - 30 AM
XM® Connect and Play™ Compatible : Yes
XM® Memory Presets : 30

Audio Features
Digital Cinema Sound™ Technology : Yes
Dolby® Digital Decoding : Yes
Dolby® Digital EX Decoding : Yes
Dolby® Pro Logic® Decoding : Yes
Dolby® Pro Logic® II Decoding : Yes
Dolby® Pro Logic® IIX Decoding : Yes
dts® 96/24 Decoding : Yes
dts® Decoding : Yes
dts® NEO:6 Decoding : Yes
dts®-ES Decoding : Yes

Remote Control : Yes (Pre Programmed)

Power Consumption (in Operation) : TBD
Power Consumption (in Standby) : TBD
Power Requirements : AC120V, 60 Hz

Convenience Features
A/B Speaker Switch : Yes (A / B)
Digital Cinema Auto Calibration : Yes (Mic- Mono)
HDMI™ Technology : Active Intelligence

Inputs and Outputs
AC Outlet : 1
Antenna Terminal (AM Loop) : 1 (Rear)
Antenna Terminal (FM 75 Ohm) : 1 (Rear)
Coaxial Audio Digital Input(s) : 1 (Rear)
Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr ) Input(s) : 3 (Rear)
Component Video (Y/Pb/Pr) Output(s) : 1 (Rear)
Composite Video Input(s) : 4 (1 Front/3 Rear)
Composite Video Output(s) : 1 (Rear)
HD Component Video Input(s) : 3 (Rear)
HD Component Video Output(s) : 1 (Rear)
HDMI™ Connection Input(s) : 4 (Rear)
HDMI™ Connection Output(s) : 1 (Rear)
Headphone Output(s) : 1 (Front- Silver)
Optical Audio Input(s) : 2 (Rear)
RCA Audio Input(s) : 7 (3 Dedicated/4 Audio/Video)
RCA Audio Output(s) : 2 (1 A/V Output, 1 Output)
Subwoofer Output(s) : 1 (Rear)

Channel Power Rating : 7.1 Channel Power Rating: 110W x 7 Amp Power (8 ohms, THD 1.0%)
Impedance : 8 Ohms
Sound Fields : Cinema - 3; Music - 3; Auto Format Decoding - 11; 2 Channel - 1 Tuner Type : Auto Tuning, Direct Tuning, Station Name
Zones : Single


Things to note are HDMI 1.3a compliance, 110w x7 with A/B switching, and the required onboard Dolby Digital True-HD/DTS-HD Master Audio decode. Also uncommon for recievers at this price point is the inclusion of 4 HDMI inputs, and one output, giving this unit 1 more input than pretty much every other reciever in it's class, nevermind some that are higher priced.

Last edited by cadaveca; November 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM.
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