As my STR-DA4ES has recently lost its surround left channel (amp is dead/dying works, then doesnt, sometimes a smack will bring it back for a brief moment. Something that sounds like a complex fix for amp about a decade old), I am heavily considering the 5700ES.
However, I have a few questions that are not clearly answered in specs. As I have no local retailer that sells this, I may just have to pull the trigger and order without hearing it first. Hearing it is a crapshoot anyway considering your room / speakers etc.
Firstly, the specs include 1080/p upconversion. Does this also apply to the component jacks? Will ALL (including 1080i/p component) material be upconverted to 1080p out the HDMI jacks? I have a four year old plasma TV and it's built in 1080i conversion is pretty crappy, I figure this would be good to know how this feature is on this unit.
Secondly, is it easy to assign what to tell it to do with less than 1080p signals? The Onkyo NR818 for example can be set to leave pass through as the option of choice on any input. I would not want to introduce any additional lag into my game consoles.
Thirdly, it mentions speaker reassignment? Does this mean you can literally plug all the cables in however you want then set them all through the settings? As in say you connect center to front left, you could assign it so it was proper in the menus? (a setting like this on the STR-DA4ES would mean I wouldn't be looking to upgrade because the two surround back channels work perfect on it and I only use it for 5.1)
Finally, is it possible to watch one source and listen to another without getting too complicated? I figure you could always do this with zone 2 HDMI out, set it to one thing, then set main to another, set TV to according input of "zone 2". This is a great feature to say mix in your own music with PS2 (and even PS3) as well as older gaming console hardware. This is further complicated because the source I need to listen is the preamp in (or multi ch in, as was previously called)
With the recent price reductions on this model (likely due to the 5800ES's impending launch) this one looks like a really good deal right now. I am comparing it to the Onkyo NR818, which probably is a better quality amp, but I do love Sony's gimmicky menus and features, and I NEED a preamp input for the analog outs on my HTPC. One day Ill get a card with HDMI audio inlay, but my X-Fi Prelude is still the best overall card Ive personally heard.
Thanks in advance!