Being nearly the same price the Sony STR-DH820 is the way to go between those three models seeing as the features and power increase but the price barely does at all.
Now the differences in features for the Flagship Sony STR-DN1020 are minimal but important depending on your needs.
The Sony STR-DN1020 7.2 channel 3D receiver has all the same features as the Sony STR-DH720 , Sony STR-DH520 and the Sony STR-DH820 but it also adds a couple features and some power. These features are pretty much the difference I would say as to wether or not you want this Flagship Sony STR-DN1020 over the Sony STR-DH820
- 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)
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.
Some unique features to the Sony STR-DN1020:
- Offering not only DLNA certification but PC and external drive streaming. This is a huge plus. New Onkyo models that offer streaming capabilities in the same price range aren't DLNA certified.(Onkyo NR-609)
- Digital Cinema Auto Calibration room correction system
- Sony has another proprietary system for wireless streaming of audio to their rear/zone speaker. With The STR-DN1020 it is ready to go without another transmitter or anything.
- Syncronize playback with Sony HomeShare Netspeakers, BD players and BD systems using Party Streaming technology
- Uses Digital Legato Linear advanced sound processing technology to upscale audio signals to 192khz
- 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)
- 2 Pre Out(Subwoofer)
- 1 HDMI Monitor out
- 1 Component Video Out
- 1 HDMI out
- 1 Ethernet Port
When it comes to decoding capabilities ?
These Sony receivers all come with solid decoding capabilities for any receiver in this price range. The only thing they're missing is THX.
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.
Now the previous models are here for you to see the differences. Let me summarize if you want to save the reading. Firstly, the bottom of the series includes the Sony STR-DH720 and the Sony STR-DH520.
These are a waste of energy to even consider in my opinion. The Sony STR-DH820 is nearly the same price and has much more to offer.
Now essentially, with the wireless speaker connectivity, DLNA Certification and the Ethernet network capabilities this receiver provides more futureproof features for not that much more money. If you know you will never need either of these options, just save yourself over $100 and get the Sony STR-DH820.However, if you need these options or are unsure if you may in the future? Save yourself the money and hassle and just get the Sony STR-DN1020. If you're looking at the new line of Sony receivers, it is the top of the line and really its cheap as dirt considering the features it comes with.
I could think of a couple more "ports" I could put to use though ;)
And if you're looking to put the wireless rear or zone 2 speakers to use here's an option that allows you to have mobile speakers to play anywhere in your home or just clutter free wireless rear speakers.
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