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Sony STR-DG810 AV Receiver

Sony STR-DG810 AV Receiver

Sony STR-DG810 AV Receiver


  • Product Name: STR-DG810 AV Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Sony Electronics
  • Review Date: January 27, 2008 10:05
  • MSRP: $399
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • 110 watts x 6 channels (8 Ohms, THD 1.0%)
  • Dolby Digital EX
  • DTS ES, DTS 96/24, DTS NEO:6
  • Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic IIx
  • 6 DSP fields: 3 cinema, 3 music
  • BRAVIA Theatre Sync
  • 30 AM/ 30 FM radio station presets
  • 30 XM Radio presets
  • Front Panel A/V Input
  • 2 Optical Audio Inputs, 1 Coaxial Audio Input
  • 3 HD HDMI video inputs/ 1 output
  • 3 HD component video inputs/ 1 output
  • Single Zone
  • Dimensions: 17" (W) x 6 1/2" (H) x 12 3/8" (D)
  • Weight: 17 pounds, 3 ounces
  • Warranty: 2 years Parts & Labor

If you are like me, you may have acquired more high definition sources than your current AV receiver can accommodate. My case isn't made any better by the fact that my projector is just old enough to not offer any HDMI input. What to do?  Well, for under $300, Sony now offers the STR-DG810 AV receiver that will allow you to connect up to three new HDMI-based high definition sources via HDMI or even use the three component video inputs for game systems or other standard definition or HD sources.

STRDG-810 Rear Panel

As we mentioned, the Sony STR-DG810 offers you an integrated 3x1 HDMI switcher as well as three component video inputs. These HDMI inputs can accept resolutions up to 1080p/60p and will successfully pass-through up to 8 channel of linear PCM audio to a display. You can also tell the Sony to disable the HDMI audio so your TV only receives video signals from the receiver. You have three assignable digital audio inputs to choose from, two optical and one coaxial.  Sony rates the receiver at 110 watts per each of its 6 channels.  The rear panel is rounded out with the usual suspects including AM and FM antennae connectors, 5-way speaker binding posts (for A speakers and spring clips for B), XM radio port, DMPort (more details below), and a subwoofer output to connect a powered subwoofer.  Onboard decoders can handle Dolby Digital EX, DTX ES, , DTS 96/24, DTS NEO:6, Dolby Pro Logic IIX, Dolby Pro Logic II, and Dolby Pro Logic playback for all your favorite surround sound sources.

Sony's Digital Media Port gives you the ability to connect and control just about any of your favorite digital devices with the corresponding optional attachment.  Current DMP accessories include a Wi-Fi PC Client Ready device for streaming music from your PC, a Bluetooth device, and audio docking stations compatible with Network Walkman and iPods.  BRAVIA Theatre Sync will also allow simple, easy operation of select other Sony products like LCD TVs and DVD players.  It is also XM ready and equipped with 5.1 Neural decoding

While the ability to connect three HDMI high definition sources is a great capability, there were some legacy capabilities missing from this receiver.  For one, there are no multi-channel analog audio inputs included on this receiver's rear panel, so multi-channel music lovers should make note of that limitation.  Also, the receiver has no S-video inputs, so if you have older components (say a VCR or 480i DVD player) you'll be forced to connect them using the less-desirable composite (yellow) video inputs.

All in all, the ability to connect three HDMI components makes this receiver worth checking out, provided you don't require 5.1 analogue inputs or the ability to decode HDMI audio. If you're even thinking about adding a high definition DVD player to your system in the future, then this receiver is probably worth adding to your short list to audition.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.