Denver – Sony came to the CEDIA Expo with a trio of upscale A/V receivers targeted to the custom-install channel and designed to minimize the time spent on system design and installation.
The new series of ES Z receivers has been redesigned to make enhanced-install features a priority, a spokesperson said. The three are also Sony’s first receivers with HDCP 2.2 copy protection on their HDMI 2.0 ports, which support UltraHD video at 60fps.
The announcement follows the creation earlier this year of a nationwide network of independent reps to step up the level of sales and technical support for A/V specialists and CI dealers. Last year, Sony hired former Niles president Frank Sterns as its first custom sales VP and launched new programs for installers and A/V specialists.
The three new 7.2-channel AVRs offer such install-oriented features as three-zone capability, sound modes for in-ceiling speakers, an on-screen UI and front-panel menu to offer faster integration setup, multiple front-panel integration buttons hidden by a magnetic faceplate, a back- panel layout said to make wiring easier in rack-mount installs, HDMI matrix switching, three IR repeaters (one in/ two out), 12-volt trigger (three on the top model), certification for third-party home-automation systems, and IP control integration, among other features.
The top model adds 8-port gigabit Ethernet hub with power over Ethernet (PoE).
The three models are the STR-ZA3000ES and STR-ZA2000ES 7.2-channel receivers, arriving mid-September at respective retails of $1,699 and $1,399, and the 7.2-channel STR-ZA1000ES, arriving in January at $899. Rack ears will be available for all three models this month at $99.
None features Dolby Atmos surround decoding. All feature dual HDMI outputs and three-zone capability.
The three start with the $899 STR-ZA1000ES, rated at 7×90 watts into 8 ohms at 1kHz with 0.9 percent THD. It features six HDMI 2.0 inputs and one output, seven assignable inputs (five HDMI and two component), front USB for system updating and setup, one port for IP control integration, 4K upscaling, one 12-volt trigger, three IR repeaters (one-in, two-out), powered zone two, variable line-out on zone two and three, in-ceiling speaker mode, and second-zone output via HDMI, optical, digital, and analog.
The $1,399 STR-ZA3000ES 7receiver steps up output to 7×100 watts and adds eight assignable inputs (six HDMI, two component), front HDMI input, and aluminum front panel and faceplate, among other things.
The top $1,699 STR-ZA3000ES steps up output to 7×110 watts and adds eight-port gigabit Ethernet hub with PoE (x2), three 12-volt triggers, and multichannel preouts, among other things.