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Sony Adds 3D Passthrough, Audio Return Channel To AVRs

SAN DIEGO — Four new A/V receivers
(AVR) in Sony’s mainstream component-
audio line include the company’s fi rst
AVR with HDMI 1.4 3D passthrough and
fi rst AVRs with HDMI 1.4’s audio return
channel (ARC).

The company is also reducing the price
of AVRs with built-in decoding of all Bluray
surround formats to an everyday $300
from $400 and HDMI repeater function
to $230 from $300.

Like last year, 1080p up-scaling of analog-
video sources continues to start at $400,
and $300 remains the opening price point
for AVRs with wireless second-zone audio
capability. With the additional of a proprietary
S-Air wireless transmitter, the $300+
receivers send audio from connected sources
such as iPods to tabletop amplifi ed speaker
systems in up to 10 rooms.

The 3D-compatible AVR is the 7.1-
channel STR-DN1010, shipping in June
at an everyday retail of about $500. With
HDMI 1.4 inputs and output, it delivers
HDMI’s audio return channel and
3D passthrough features. 3D passthrough
transports 3D video from connected devices
to 3D-compatible HDTVs. Compatible
devices include a pair of Sony Blu-ray players
available in February at $200 and $250.
A 3D firmware upgrade will be available for
the two players in the summer.

Other features of the 7×110-watt DN
1010 include decoding of all Blu-ray surround
formats, second-zone S-Air wireless
audio capability, four HDMI inputs, three
component-video inputs, 1080/24p support,
Deep Color and x.v. Color support,
1080p up-scaling of analog-video sources
via HDMI output, icon-driven menu,
a Digital Media Port (DMP) input that
connects to Sony’s iPod and Net Walkman
docks, Bluetooth stereo receiver and a
DLNA-certifi ed Wi-Fi client that streams
music from a networked PC.

The three other AVRs introduced feature
HDMI 1.3 inputs and an HDMI 1.4
output, thus providing HDMI 1.4’s audio
return channel but not 3D passthrough.

To open the mainstream AVR lineup,
the 5.1-channel STR-DH510 will be
available in March at about $230 with
three HDMI inputs, two component-video
inputs, HDMI repeater function, audio
return channel, playback of Blu-ray
soundtracks in linear PCM format and a
Digital Media Port, a spokesman said.

At $300, the STR-DH710 is due in
March and adds 7.1-channel capability, decoding
of all Blu-ray surround formats in
native format, three HDMI and three component-
video inputs, S-Air wireless-audio
option and audio return channel.

The $400 STR-DH810, also due in March, features four HDMI inputs, three
component-video inputs, up-scaling of analog-
video sources to 1080p, S-Air option,
decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats,
fully assignable audio and video inputs, audio
return channel and universal remote.

The products will join the previously announced
BDV-E770W and BDV-E570
Blu-ray Disc home-theater systems, which
will be Blu-ray 3D capable with fi rmware
updates available in the summer.

The E770W is due in March at about
$650 with multichannel SACD playback,
decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats,
Sony’s Bravia Internet video services, BDLive,
DLNA certifi cation with a fi rmware
upgrade, built-in 1GB memory, IP content
noise reduction, integrated S-Air wireless
rear speakers, optional USB Wi-Fi dongle,
iPod playback via USB, and playback
of photos, music and video via USB-connected
devices. It also features 1080p upscaling
of DVDs.

The $550 BDV-E570, also due in
March, offers the same features except for
IP noise reduction and wireless speakers. A
wireless kit is optional.