Friday, 26 November 2010
This is an excellent home cinema receiver. So far I've used it mainly for listening to Compact Discs and Mini Discs using the 'multi-stereo' mode which outputs the two channel (stereo) sound from all seven speakers plus the subwoofer. And I am very pleased with the sound quality.
It features Full HD 1080 up-scaling of any video sources (which works well with standard DVDs) - and it can decode the latest Blu-ray disc formats (namely Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD master audio).
In terms of inputs and outputs - it has 4 HDMI input sockets which can also carry audio, and one HDMI output for connecting to your HD ready TV. There are also component and composite video inputs/outputs.
There are five digital audio inputs (three optical, two coaxial) - there is no digital output, however there are two standard analogue tape loops, so you can connect audio equipment which requires an output (such as CD recorders, tape decks etc.) in the traditional manner, using standard phono (RCA) leads.
There are also 9 standard analogue line inputs, a multi channel input (essential for SACD) and a Digital Media Port input.
There is also of course, an AM/FM radio with RDS.
The receiver reproduces the sound on CDs and MDs very well, and gives a very musical sound, with good levels of detail and insight into the recording. Bass is well controlled and delivered also. And the sound draws you in.
In terms of DVD playback the sound is even more impressive than CDs or MDs. The DTS soundtrack on Terminator 3 sounds exceptional. Blu-ray playback is top-notch also. The Dolby True HD on Casino Royale (deluxe edition) is great - I am using: Sony BDPS350 Blu-ray Disc Player 1080p Full HD
The automatic calibration feature - using the (supplied) microphone is quick, easy, and accurate, and sets up the receiver to a high standard. This works by sending a series of loud test-tone signals through each loudspeaker in turn. It takes about 30 seconds or so to set-up speaker distances, volume levels, and frequency response settings for all of the speakers plus the subwoofer.
The end result is that the receiver is set up exactly to match your speakers, room size and layout - giving you the best possible sound.
There is a graphic equalizer, which gives you control of bass and treble settings for front, centre and surround speakers (independently). And in addition you can choose one of three auto-calibration frequency settings:
1) Full Flat - Makes the measurement of frequency from each speaker flat.
2) Engineer - Sets the frequency to one that matches that of the Sony listening room standard.
3) Front Reference - Adjusts the characteristics of all the speakers to match the characteristics of the front speakers.
You can experiment with these settings to get the type of sound you prefer. Or you can choose to turn these settings off altogether.
The receiver is also supplied with two remote controls, a large remote and a small remote. Many of the functions are repeated, so this is mainly for convenience sake, and I've found it to be quite handy.
You can operate and navigate the unit's menu system either by using the built in display, or by using the display on your television set. Either way, once you get used to it, it is user friendly and simple.
I have found this to be a good buy with which I am pleased. Click here to check it out.
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