Reviewer Tryouts: Sony STR-DG820
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November 4, 2008, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
The first thing to note about the packaging is the use of easier-to-recycle packing materials, a definate plus for the environment. Also obvious is the new form-factor...rather than having units slightly shorter than other recievers, like previous generations, this unit boasts a new-for-2008 ground-up design, with a shorter chassis. If any compromises have been made to do so, we will find out shortly.
Inside the box we find the remote placed on top, the manual bag with remote batteries, seperate french/english manuals, AM loop antenna, FM wire antenna, and an odd, black round thing, which turns out to be the calibration mic. The inclusion of the mic should facilitate system set-up, or does it?
Pulling the unit out of the box, we are greated by a note attached to the top...and I must say, it was well placed so that prospective owners don't miss it before they install the unit in thier entertainment unit; a job well done.
Taking a look at the back, I was immediately disappointed...it's quite sparce. No discrete 5.1/7.1 inputs or outputs, no S-Video, and a single sub-out. There are, however, decent speaker connectors, allowing the use of bare wire, or banana plugs, as is expected for a unit in this class. The "B" channel, though, uses plain wire terminals, again a disappointment for users like myself, that make use of 4 front speakers.
Taking a look at the front we are greeted by a simple design, just a few knobs, a few more buttons, a hidden panel with front A/V connectors, and the input for the calibration mic. The front LCD display is minimalistic and simple, a definte plus for home theatre use.
The remote itself is long and slender, with a grooved, rounded bottom, and a divot in the back for positioning. It feels great...but at about a foot long, it's hard to manage until you become familiar with it. Although awkward at first, it's new-age styling won me over.
Setup and control via the remote is a tad painful; a lack of onscreen display means limited descriptions are available for what it is you are setting. Without video scaling, though, the menus were adequate and easy to manage, going only a few levels deep for each option.
Set-up using the included calibration mic is as easy as pie...set all speaker volumes(including your subs) to medium levels, three button presses and a few chirps from each speaker later, and it's all done.
Last edited by cadaveca; November 7, 2008 at
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