Sony’s STR-ZA3100ES AVR, one of four new models.
The new models are the STR-ZA810ES ($800), which has seven 100-watt amps; the STR-ZA1100ES ($1000), which also has seven 100-watt amps; the STR-ZA2100ES ($1400), which has seven 105-watt amps and nine-channel decoding; and finally, the STR-ZA3100ES ($1700), which ups the amplification to seven 110-watt amps and features nine-channel decoding.
All of the new Sony ES AVRs are designed for custom installation and control with home automation systems. They feature easy setup, removal front panels, rigid “frame and beam” construction, and HDCP 2.2 HDMI ports. Plus, they all include a five-year warranty.
Custom installation-friendly features include discrete operating codes, D.C.A.C. EX auto-calibration with 31-band EQ. From the STR-ZA1100ES on up, they also feature ihiji cloud-based network management. These AVRs also all have a new feature called Phantom Surround Back, which Sony says creates as 7.1 effect with a five-speaker surround configuration.
As you might expect from Sony ES gear, the company touts superior sound quality thanks to high-capacity transformers, low noise oscillators, sonically-tuned audio grade resistors, and the use of three powerful DSPs to handle audio decoding and processing.
On the video side, all of the new models include six HDMI inputs, except for the STR-ZA1100ES that only has five. All the models have dual HDMI outputs, and all of the HDMI ports are 18 Gb bandwidth, HDCP 2.2 compliant, and can handle 4K 60P (4:4:4) video. The new receivers are all capable of distributing 4K video and multichannel audio simultaneously to two different zones.
Detailed specifications these new models will be available in early 2017, and Sony expects to ship them during spring 2017.