Official Sony STR-DH520 forum - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 121 Old 04-21-2011, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any owners out there? Trying to find out more about this unit as it has a great price and seems to have good specs.

Thanks
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post #2 of 121 Old 04-21-2011, 10:31 AM
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Doubt it, man. Sony's not the preferred brand. Most go with the big 5; Denon, Onkyo (integra), Pioneer, Yamaha, Harman Kardon. It's a cheap entry level receiver, if you have the money I'd get something a little nicer right off the bat.

Your system is only as good as your weakest component.
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post #3 of 121 Old 04-21-2011, 06:00 PM
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Do your own thing rather than buying into "Sony's not the preferred brand." Every AVR manufacturer's products have pros and cons. Pick the one that has the features you want and buy it at the price you want to pay.
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post #4 of 121 Old 04-21-2011, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking at Onkyo TX-SR508 and maybe the Pioneer vsx-1020-k or 920-k if I can find a decent price on those... Just stumbled on the Sony on Amazon for $200 and thought I would ask about it.

Between the three whats the best bang for the buck and whats the overall best one?
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post #5 of 121 Old 06-01-2011, 04:32 AM
 
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I am wondering about this receiver as well. Right now I have two receivers in my shopping cart that are both the same price at Amazon.

Pioneer VSX-520-K 5.1

&

Sony STR-DH520 7.1


The Sony looks more appealing because of the 7 channels and it has automatic calibration which the entry level Pioneer model apparently doesn't have. I don't need any thing fancy right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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post #6 of 121 Old 07-09-2011, 04:39 PM
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Bump.
I am interested in this model also, while trying to compare it to the STR-DH720 as well.

I did a comparison on the Sony site and can only determine that:
1. STR-DH720 had DCAC features while the 520 did not
2. STR-DH720 had NO night mode while 520 DID have
3. STR-DH720 had no 3D pass-through while 520 DID have. (Probably incorrect as it is listed on the features page for both Sony models.)

Sub for both models must be self-powered. The STR-DH720 has two connectors for the sub and the 520 has one.

Looks like the STR=DH720 has better speaker connectors on all speakers, while the 520 uses spring type connectors for surrounds. Further, the 720 has more analog inputs and a bit more power output (140W vs 130W total).
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post #7 of 121 Old 07-09-2011, 07:44 PM
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I had the 510, which is the previous model before the 510. If the 520 is anything like the 510, avoid it. It's a colossal piece of crap. Trust me. There isn't much redeeming about it.
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post #8 of 121 Old 07-10-2011, 04:52 AM
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Could you elaborate a bit? Is the STR-DH720? similarly damned?
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post #9 of 121 Old 07-10-2011, 07:40 AM
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For starters, the LCD display made a loud squealing noise that I could hear across the room. To make sure it wasn't a defect in only mine, I checked the display unit at the store, and it also squealed. That was very annoying and distracting. Second, it had poor sound. No matter how I'd try to tweak it, the center channel was always veiled and sounded distant. All on all, it just didn't sound good. It also had troubles when receiving mixed secondary audio from my bd player.

Edit: one more thing. Sony receivers cannot decode DSD signals, which is odd because that's the native signal from SACD, which is Sony's little baby. That was weird.

You're better off spending a few more bucks and getting a Yamaha or Denon.
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post #10 of 121 Old 07-10-2011, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Second, it had poor sound. No matter how I'd try to tweak it, the center channel was always veiled and sounded distant. All on all, it just didn't sound good.

Could be the quality of the speakers. Just sayin'
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post #11 of 121 Old 07-10-2011, 05:35 PM
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I have the str dh-810...very happy with my purchase!!
226.00 w/ free shipping from amazon. Running 7.1 setup with Polk speakers and a Bic f12 sub. I've noticed no buzzes, hums or noises.
Sony is not preferred on this forum though.

Just checked Amazon...now the unit is 249.00
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post #12 of 121 Old 07-10-2011, 07:17 PM
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While it's true my speakers aren't the best, switching amps made unusable sound into highly enjoyable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsurd2 View Post

Could be the quality of the speakers. Just sayin'

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post #13 of 121 Old 07-13-2011, 11:35 AM
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Ok, so I took a leap of faith and bought the Sony STR-DH720 based on some research. Everything that I read didn't seem too bad for this unit. The specs vs. the price also "seemed" appealing to me. Well, let's just say I am totally disappointed with this unit. Two big problems that I found to be totally unacceptable were 1) constant intermittent loss of signal to the TV (from both the Fios box and Blue Ray player via HDMI cables) and 2) the auto standby mode simply does not work in auto mode... thus not allowing the signal to "pass-through" when I want to watch the TV with TV speakers and not utilize the receiver and the whole 5.1 speaker set-up that I have. If I want to do this, I have to leave the unit in standby mode which essentially leaves the unit on but uses a little less power.... which leads me to think how long this unit will last if I have to always keep it "on".

So I did some more research and found nothing written about these problems.... Called Sony and they told me to return the unit for a replacement as something "seemed" wrong. Ok I thought, bad unit. Well I decided to take it one step further and replace my existing HDMI cables with new ones "just in case"..... And guess what? The new replacement unit was worse.... the signal drop out even more and the auto standby still did not work. The signal drop out is a real pain when you have to wait about 25 seconds for the unit to reboot when you are watching a movie.

And, I'll add a #3 here, 3) the unit loses track of which component was last used and switches to the Blue Ray input. A pain in the you know what if you mostly watch TV. You have to manually re-select your sat/catv input on the a/v receiver each time. Wait, I thought this unit was supposed to automatically select the input.... doesn't work as I have found out. Could it be that I have just received 2 defective units??? Maybe, but what are the odds.....

However, I will say this, when the unit is working, the sound and picture quality are awesome. The best I have owned. But, the 3 items that I have listed above are deal breakers for me and I will be returning this unit for good and getting my money back for a different brand. Sorry Sony, but it's time to move on.
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post #14 of 121 Old 07-13-2011, 04:50 PM
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Wow, that's terrible... I guess I'm a lucky camper because I've had no signal loss or rebooting. Once again, I have last years 810 model and I don't use the pass-thru. I haven't seen the unit lose track of where it's suppose to be either.
My only complaint is it takes a few seconds when changing inputs. I have everything connected using hdmi.
Sorry to hear your having those issues...
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post #15 of 121 Old 07-16-2011, 11:09 AM
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I just got the DH520. $180 on Amazon. I didn't need anything fancy. I have two HDMI inputs (DISH and Blu), and a single HDMI output to a 52" LCD. 5.1 sound bar speaker and sub.

I hope someone can help me with a strange problem I cannot figure out:

When I watch a blu-ray (the source audio doesn't matter, all the same) the receiver will not stay in the correct audio mode. I would like to keep it in AFD, so it always plays the encoded source. However, the receiver only plays 2 channels and a sub. I manually reselect AFD, and nothing changes. If I turn it off and then back on - it works perfectly and detects and plays the source audio.

The same thing happens when I watch DISH. Defaults to 2 channel audio and sub. Doesn't change unless I turn it off and then back on. I can't figure it out!!!

1) Will the receiver "remember" the audio format I select when it powers down and then back up?
2) Will it remember different audio formats for different sources? For example, if I use AFD for blu-ray, and use a stereo mode for a CD player.
3) Why does it only detect after a quick power down/power up?

I suspect it is a receiver setting that I am missing. I haven't had a Sony before, so it probably isn't unique to the 520. Any ideas out there?

ps: Blu-ray player is set to audio output bitstream, and 2nd audio output is off.
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post #16 of 121 Old 07-17-2011, 06:16 AM
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Check to settings on your tv. The audio will prob need to be changed to " theater" or the sony receiver will keep changing to your tv settings.
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post #17 of 121 Old 07-17-2011, 02:39 PM
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Called Sony. Turns out it was a simple HDMI issue. The receiver is a Bravia receiver designed to work with Bravia TVs as a default. Apparently, my Samsung TV was sending info back to the receiver through HDMI and messing things up.

1) I turned HDMI control to AMP
2) I turned HDMI passthrough to OFF

That solved my problems. It's a great receiver, and an amazing deal for under $200.
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post #18 of 121 Old 08-18-2011, 09:31 PM
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i just got the DH520 aswell, i was looking to replace my old sony receiver outdated with no hdmi's and was also looking for it to be $300 usd or less.
i only have BB store locally or sears so i went to bb and they had this model that had the hdmi's i wanted 7.1 and all the modern codecs. i know nothing about highend receivers so just tought it was what i was looking for. the sound is good, it sounds pretty loud. i use it with samsung c7000 tv and the anynet feature from the tv orks with the receiver. making it power with the tv remote and ajusts the volume with tv remote. it also auto switches source wich is nice.

i cannot comment on sound quality because ive not heard other more expensive or similar receivers. one thing that i've noticed is hard to hear the surround effects unless they are very obvious and loud.

one issue i had but cannot replicate it is i powered everything up to watch a bluray and the screen was showing random white dots allover. i had to switch everything off and on and have not gotten that again.

the 3d enabled works perfect, ive watched a 3d movie to test it and no issues with it.

my connection is done with 1 monster hdmi 1.4 cable from tv to receiver, and bluray,pc,ps3 are pluged to receiver with monster hdmi 1.3.

should also mention this receiver does not have analog multichannel inputs. i did not notice this at the store and its a problem for me since i used those multichannel inputs on my old receiver for the PC analog sound for pc gaming. since my PC motherboard does not do DD or DTS from spdif for games, now i need to get an aditional soundcard that does DD and DTS onboard.

another problem bout not having multichannel analogs is for my backed up movies with AAC 5.1 sound on i have this on external drive i just plug to the bluray player and on the old receiver used with multichannel analog inputs. to get correct 5.1 sound. i have not tryd this yet on the new receiver but im suspecting i will no longer get 5.1 channel sound without those analogs unless this receiver somehow is able to decode the AAC correctly to 5.1?
EDIT: I just tested it and it does decode AAC 5.1 very nice.

the menu system on the receiver was confusing for the first 10 minutes after that it is a breeze to work with. every option is also described in the manual for those of us who dont keep up with the latest to read on them.

with the menu system you can adjust speaker level, speaker distance, speaker frequency wich is default of 120 for all speakers. I would like to know if I should change this frequency for speakers and how to know wich to use, it allows for different speaker configurations(location) and also has a small/large speaker option.

also has a night mode that honeslty i cannot listen to any difference between it being on and off.

also has dynamic range adjustments, off,auto,low,medium,high

you can rename your sources very easily and also allows you to select the input source connection for each source or switch between them something like that, i havent playd with that option yet.

it has a lot of sound modes to choose from for music and movies or whatever and then simple bass and treble ajdjustment.
has ARC on hdmi so the if your TV has ARC on hdmi you will get tv sound back to the receiver from the same hdmi cable that goes from the receiver wich is a nice feature for keeping cables to a minimum.

my model did NOT come with the auto tuning microphone and in the book it says only australia and i think uk models of the 520 come with the mic.

for this price there wasn't anything else that could compare in features at BB. meaning 7.1 channel and 3d capable.
oh another issue i got is where to finally place the rear speakers. since my old system was 5.1.

@tedyoh chek your setting under HDMI. i got on mine like this:
controlhdmi : on
passthru: auto
audio: AMP
if you select AMP+TV under audio you will get 2 channel output only so maybe that they setting u need to switch to AMP only.

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post #19 of 121 Old 09-02-2011, 10:01 AM
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Hello! Questions for owners out here... do you know if I can output through HDMI if I am using a composite (Red, Yellow, White) cable?
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post #20 of 121 Old 09-02-2011, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackzarg View Post

Hello! Questions for owners out here... do you know if I can output through HDMI if I am using a composite (Red, Yellow, White) cable?

Check the user manual, depending on the model you're looking at it may - I know the STR-DN models do this, and I believe the 800 models should do this as well.
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post #21 of 121 Old 09-13-2011, 06:18 AM
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I purchased the STR-DH520 from amazing last month for $179 and so far I really enjoy the quality of sound that it's putting forth. I picked up the entire set of entry-level Pioneers from Best Buy to accompany the receiver.

I am currently having an issue with audio being out of sync. I have all of my HDMI devices (xbox 360, PS3, Cable, and 3d Blu-Ray player) plugged into the receiver, which is then output to the television (Samsung 55D8000). All of my HDMI cables are high-speed 1.4. I have enabled the A/V Sync to add an extra 60ms but it's not quite enough. I'm getting sound about ~20 ms before the video. I have also adjusted the speaker distance from the default 9' 10" to the minimum of 3' 3" to add some delay. This didn't really do much as it's only about 7ms. I'm at a loss for things to do.

Strangely enough, my verizon Fios cable is the only thing that's actually in sync. It's connected the exact same way as the other devices.

My other devices are very close to being in sync, but it's out just enough for me to notice and it's driving me crazy. Unless I can find some way of delaying the audio another ~15 ms I just might take a loss and sell this unit on Craigslist and get something better.

Any ideas?
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post #22 of 121 Old 09-24-2011, 10:28 AM
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I just upgraded to the DH520 (previously used a 10-yr old 5.1 receiver, no HDMI).
My set-up is:
U-verse cable box, Xbox360, and AppleTV all connected to STR-DH720 via HDMI. HDMI out to Panasonic TH-42PZ80U TV.

The TV does not have ARC and I'm pretty sure it's HDMI 1.3 capable.
To be honest, I don't know what rating the HDMI cables are (accumulated them over the years).

Problem: Changing the volume on the receiver causes it to self-mute (displays "Muting"). Only solution is to turn off the receiver and turn it back on. This occurs from all components. Muting issue is intermittent, but occurs most of the time.

Attempted Failed Solutions: I've tried using a different receiver (returned a Sony STR-DH810). I've tried rotating the cables. I've played with the HDMI pass-through settings.

Temporary Fix: HDMI from CableBox to TV and TOS from CableBox to Receiver.

Any idea why I'm having muting problems with my set-up??
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post #23 of 121 Old 09-29-2011, 09:09 AM
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Hi,

I have the same problem. I have a Panasonic Viera TV.

I read somewhere that the Bravia Sync feature on the receiver and the Viera Link feature on the TV conflict. The solution is turn off the Viera Link on the TV.

I am going to try this.
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post #24 of 121 Old 09-29-2011, 11:22 AM
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I actually posted my question in another thread and a user posted a solution. Go into the receiver's setting and turn HDMI Control to Off. So far (~3 days) it's worked.
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post #25 of 121 Old 10-17-2011, 07:18 AM
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Hi can anyone help i've got a sony str-dh520 i've my xbox sky ps3 all running though it. The problem i've got after about 5 hours game or watching tv the amp truns it self off. the amp is on an open shelf. I've benn told to put a fan behind it will the sort it ?
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post #26 of 121 Old 10-25-2011, 06:00 AM
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Hi -

I picked up a Sony STRDH520 because i needed a cheap solution to use speakers which were in my bedroom ceiling -

So my set up is just a Cable Box to the receiver, and the receiver to a Samsung
I only want to use 2 speakers.

I took my first attempt to hook it up and the sound was like very "tinny" sounded like people were talking through a can.

The speakers are Yamaha (dont know exact model) - Ive used this type of speaker before so I dont think that is the issue.

I will try those settings i read early in the thread regarding:
1) I turned HDMI control to AMP
2) I turned HDMI passthrough to OFF

I tried feeding the input through TV - then to Sat/Cab -

perhaps the Samsung is causing some confusion to the mix -

Any other ideas?
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post #27 of 121 Old 10-25-2011, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan26 View Post

I only want to use 2 speakers.

This is too late to tell you this I guess, but Sony sells a stereo-only receiver, the STR-DH100, with an MSRP of $150. And no HDMI issues to deal with!

Quote:


I took my first attempt to hook it up and the sound was like very "tinny" sounded like people were talking through a can.

This description is what the output of the rear channels many times sound like, which depending on the scene can be the "echo" portion of a 5.1 soundfield. You might want to make sure the speakers are connected to the receiver's front channel outputs.
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post #28 of 121 Old 10-28-2011, 07:05 PM
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Glad I found this thread. I bought this receiver 2 weeks ago. I have a 7.1 setup speaker wise, Panny Blu-ray BDT-210, xbox, and comcast hd DVR box hooked into it. Output to a Mits. 73" 640.

I have the blu-ray player audio set to bitstream output wise. The receiver no matter what setting I change to or configuration, will not say 7.1. It always comes across 5.1. What settings do I need to change to get it to properly out put as 7.1?? I have been using the latest Transformers movie with 7.1 audio trying to get the receiver to see it as 7.1. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Gonna go play with it some more.

Cool Beans.
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post #29 of 121 Old 10-28-2011, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRaven72 View Post

I have the blu-ray player audio set to bitstream output wise. The receiver no matter what setting I change to or configuration, will not say 7.1. It always comes across 5.1. What settings do I need to change to get it to properly out put as 7.1?? I have been using the latest Transformers movie with 7.1 audio trying to get the receiver to see it as 7.1. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Gonna go play with it some more.

Hi DRaven72, set BD player audio output to Bitstream with Secondary Audio turned Off. Also make sure 7.1 is selected in the disc track under Audio/Language menu.
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post #30 of 121 Old 10-29-2011, 06:31 AM
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I bought this receiver but had to send it back for an issue that turned out to be a cable box problem instead. At any rate, I purchased another receiver and it had OSD. It is so much easier for me to check settings and learn how to operate this thing. It was definately worth the extra money for me. I wouldn't choose a receiver without OSD. The microphone makes things much simpler also.

Other than OSD and the Mic, it will get the job done for most people.
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