Sony STR-DH820 More for less?

Sony's new receivers have turned out to be an excellent low price option for mid range receivers.  Honestly if you've read any of the other reviews here @ Tech n Tings you'll find that the 2 previous models I've looked at are nearlly the same price the Sony STR-DH720 and the Sony STR-DH520 

I mention this because its a waste of money to buy at the bottom end of this line as you'll see.  The features and power increase but the price barely does at all.  Check it out


Now this product is also well worth the money in my opinion.  The Sony STR-DH820 7.2 channel 3D receiver has all the same features as the  Sony STR-DH720 and the Sony STR-DH520  but it also adds a couple features and some power.

  • 7.2 AV receiver, 110 watts per channel
  • 3D video pass-through with analog video upconversion (Faroudja DCDi Edge)
  • iPhone/iPod video and music playback via USB
  • Graphical user interface
  • 4 HDMI Inputs
  • Upconvert/Upscale from analog to 1080p via HDMI (Faroudja DCDi Edge

  • HDMI standby pass-through allows access to all HDMI connected devices without having to power on the receiver

  • Audio return channel (ARC) support

  • For a full explanation of the Audio Return Channel (ARC) click here
    Some additional handy features:

    For those of you with Sony Televisions, this product is BRAVIA Sync Capable which allows you to operate and control select Sony BRAVIA Sync devices with one remote including: Sony Blu-ray Disc Players, BRAVIA HDTVs, Sony home theater products, Handycam Camcorders and Cyber-shot Digital Cameras.

    24p True Cinema (pass-through)
    Watch Blu-ray Disc movies in their native frame rate (24 frames per second) when paired with a 24p HDTV and playback device like a Blu-ray Disc Player or PlayStation 3 gaming console via HDMI cable. 

    A necessary feature (in my opinion) when purchasing an A/V Receiver in this day and age is Analog Video Up-conversion.  This allows you to Improve image quality of analog connected devices to HD to look decent on your big screen you just spent a wad on.  The Sony STR-DH820 uses the DCDi Edge by Faroudja to do this processing. Analog connected device signals are converted to digital and output via HDMI, making one cable connection from the receiver to the HDMI-enabled TV possible.  If you're anything like me you have a massive old standard DVD collection that isn't in HD and when you play it on your flat screen that cost you more than you wanted to pay they look like crap.  This feature allows you to use that collection without grimacing and getting pissed of and throwing them all in the garbage or selling them for a fraction of the price you paid for them.

    • 3 analog A/V in 
    • 5 Component Video in
    • 4 HDMI In
    • 2 Analog Audio In 
    • 1 Coax.
    • 2 Optical In/Out/TV
    • 1 USB (Front)
    • Pre Out(Subwoofer)
    • A/V Out (inc. Monitor Out)
    • Component Video Out (inc. Monitor Out)  
    • 1 HDMI out
    The added step up features of this model include:

  • Advanced graphical user interface

  • Second zone audio and video

  • Three component video inputs

  • When it comes to decoding capabilities?
    This receiver doesn't skip anything.

    96k/24Bit PCM,DTS / DTS-ES, DTS 96/24/ DTS NEO:6, DTS HD MA/ DTS HD, Dolby Digital EX/ Dolby Digital,Dolby Dual Mono,Dolby Prologic/II /Iix /Iiz, Dolby TruHD/Dolby Digital, LPCM (2CH/5.1CH/7.1CH)

    In short, it can decode everything any home theater enthusiast requires it to.

    While I can't say I've really been a Sony fan this product for the price?  The Sony STR-DH520 is an excellent buy, with the upconversion, however, the Sony STR-DH820 is my preferred option to both the Sony STR-DH720 and the Sony STR-DH520 .

     I really don't understand the pricing scheme Sony has made here or why you would by either of the lower level receivers for only a hundred dollars less.  But.......Who cares.  I like cheap prices.  Not only do you get a load of futureproof features but you save a wad of cash so you can concern yourself with financial goals and keeping your eye on the "prize"  :)
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