Sony STR-DH810 7.1 Home Theater Receiver

 This is the Sony STR-HD810 7.1 Home Theater Receiver. I`m really not much of a Sony fan but the price and the specifications really turned my head.
Sony STR-DH810 Front Panel

Now firstly we have to be clear.  Sony power ratings for this receiver show as 100W X 7 Channels.  As I`ve described in previous posts you have to recognize the difference between Continuous or RMS power and Nominal power ratings.  Sony is one of the worst offenders the receiver manufacturing business.  The power rating listed on this product is Nominal power.  In my experience with Sony, it's likely at best you can expect 50W or 60W RMS (True Power).  To get a more detailed explaination of the difference take a look here. This is one of the main reasons I am not a fan of Sony.  But it can still power most speakers, just ensure they are speakers that don't require a lot of power.

Now some of the basic features of the STR-DH810 include:
  • 7.1 Channel, 700W(Nominal Power)
  • BRAVIA Sync
  • Digital Media Port
  • 24p True Cinema
  • 4 x 1.4 HDMI 3D Inputs
Sony STR-DH810 Back Panel

As you can see, this receiver does have all  the connectivity required for a starter system.  What I do see its missing is SVideo and a multichannel audio connections.  Its likely anyone purchasing this receiver doesn't use high res audio equipment that multichannel inputs allow you to use anyways.  

This receiver does have 1080p upscaling and upconversion to HDMI.  Bravia Sync allows you Bravia owners control over your TV/Receiver with the one remote.
Now despite my opinions of Sony, I have thought its decoding capabilities have been solid.  It does also come with a mic and auto-calibration system to setup distances and volumes of each individual speaker.
This receiver decoders will handle: 
  • Dolby Digital, DTS HD Enhanced, Pro Logic, TrueHD, 
  • DTS ES Discrete 6.1, DTS ES Matrix 6.1
  • DRS 96/24 and DTS Neo 6 decoders.  
  • This STR-DH810 also has an 8 channel PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) bitstream.  This allows loss-less audio giving you an exact reproduction of the source audio.

The receiver comes with a programmable, multi-component remote, and it even allows a slightly-limited wireless speaker capability called S-AIR;  I wouldn't recommend wireless speakers for several reasons but the ability to wirelessly run multi-room zones/configurations would be appealing.

S-Air? This is a proprietary technology Sony has developed to wirelessly stream media to different areas, rears, or zones.

This product does have some features that will make it a valuable purchase with its decoding capabilities, 3D compatibility and 1080p upconversion.

Sony is definately a preferred brand for many.  Our own ear is all that matters when making a purchase like this.  The price ranges from about $220 to the $360 range which makes this a good buy.  The cheapest price I could find was actually Amazon; I`ve included a link on the side of the page here.  It supports what you need to run High Def blu-ray and television and has more than enough connectivity to keep anyone going.