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Sony STR-DA4400ES Owner's Thread

post #1 of 220
Thread Starter 
Thought i would start this thread off with a link to the manual, even though this model has not hit the streets as yet.
http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3875807111.pdf

Quick Start Guide
http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3875808111.pdf
post #2 of 220
Great find! Amazing, 6 HDMI Inputs!!! Do you have the manual for the 6400 and 5400ES?
post #3 of 220
Thread Starter 
havent sourced those yet, as soon as i find i shall post here
post #4 of 220
Sadly no HD Radio again
post #5 of 220
I am hoping it will show up on the 5400ES or the 6400ES...
post #6 of 220
I don't think there is going to be a 5400ES.
post #7 of 220
Of course! The STR-DA5400ES (august) and 6400ES (september) are coming soon!

Mentioned in "Sirius" license list;

http://www.directedsirius.com/Docs/S...e_Products.pdf

...and in Sony 2008-Dealer-Roadmap;

http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a
post #8 of 220
My mistake.
post #9 of 220
`zone2/zone3 have fixed audio outputs, needing additional receivers for 7.1 plus multi-zone. Would it be better if Sony includes variable output at zone2/3? Hope new models STR-DA5400ES/DA6400ES will include it.
post #10 of 220
Sony receivers are all digital. One reviewer of a Sony receiver once said "it's digital, and it sounds like it".

Would someone who has heard recent Sony digital receivers AND Onks, Denons, HKs, Pioneers- all of which are NOT digital- please tell us how the Sonys sound, in comparison? I'd like to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mod View Post

Thought i would start this thread off with a link to the manual, even though this model has not hit the streets as yet.
http://pdf.crse.com/manuals/3875807111.pdf
post #11 of 220
the last ES digital (S-master Pro) receivers were the STR-DA7100ES and 9100ES.
Sony gave up this technology for its receivers.
post #12 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoba View Post

the last ES digital (S-master Pro) receivers were the STR-DA7100ES and 9100ES.
Sony gave up this technology for its receivers.

A lot of Sony fans were greatly disappointed in this too. I know there was trepidation when Sony moved to the all digital receivers, but they were very well accepted and supposedly sounded great. The 7100 and 9100 have retained their value very well because of it.
post #13 of 220
Has anyone bought one of these yet? I know there's a portion of this thread that is missing due to the failure of the avsforum database, but last time I checked, no one had owned one yet. I also mentioned about 5 days ago that sellers on E-bay are selling the 4400ES for less than MSRP.
post #14 of 220
I just bought one off eBay. With the $250 off from the Microsoft live.com promotion it was too good a price to pass up. According to the seller it will ship out today so I should be able to give you guys my initial impressions by this weekend if I'm really lucky.
post #15 of 220
I also bought one with the $250 live search cashback to make it about 800 shipped for the receiver!

It is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow so I will post pics and thoughts on it then. I'm using mind for a home I am building so my setup will be limited for the time being...
post #16 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by avmba View Post

I also bought one with the $250 live search cashback to make it about 800 shipped for the receiver!

It is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow so I will post pics and thoughts on it then. I'm using mind for a home I am building so my setup will be limited for the time being...

My delivery is scheduled for Friday so you might just be the first person on the forum to get one. I'm replacing a DA4ES with the 4400 so hopefully I can give a good comparison between the two.
post #17 of 220
I am eagerly waiting for a review of the 4400. I have been waiting to get the 4400 as there seems to be several issues with the 5300. Also, who is selling the 4400's. I searched e-bay and am not able to find any, also how do I get the live search rebate ?
post #18 of 220
There aren't any STR-DA4400ES in stock on eBay at the moment. I believe that MordredKLB and I grabbed two of the three that were available for purchase earlier in the week.

The key is to monitor for what you want on eBay. Once you find what you are looking for, go to http://www.live.com and search for "Sony receiver" or something similar.

If the Live Search cashback for 25% is active, you will se it in the sponsored results at the top of the screen and an offer to get 25%cashback on your purchase.

Note that the promo isn't always running. For complete program details, go to http://cashback.live.com
post #19 of 220
OK, mine just arrived so I will do a detailed report and am taking pictures along the way.

note that I will not have a great setup to test yet (720p plasma, crappy HTIB speakers) but can give a good overview. WIll run HTPC, Xbox, Cable DVR, HD-DVD all through the UI and its paces...

Let me know if there are any scenarios I can test for and I will be happy to try and oblige.

Alex
post #20 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by avmba View Post

OK, mine just arrived so I will do a detailed report and am taking pictures along the way.

note that I will not have a great setup to test yet (720p plasma, crappy HTIB speakers) but can give a good overview. WIll run HTPC, Xbox, Cable DVR, HD-DVD all through the UI and its paces...

Let me know if there are any scenarios I can test for and I will be happy to try and oblige.

Alex

Congrats on being the first to get yours. What receiver were you using prior?
post #21 of 220
OK, Her eis a brief first post. FedEx arrived today with my DA4400ES that I bought from a seller on Ebay during Microsoft's excellent 25% cashback program.

The unit arrived double boxed and everything was in great condition. Here is the exterior packaging (4400es1)

Lots of good stuff in the box, including antennas, two remotes (one for whatever second zone you might want this to function in), batteries, and antennae. (4400es2)

Got everything hooked up - it took a bit of time. The GUI is the same as last year as far as I can tell (will get some shots soon)

First impressions:
1. LOTS of HDMI In! I only needed two right now but they work great. HTPC is detected without any problem, HD-DVD works fine. lots of good format decoding for HD-DVD

2. This unit runs incredibly cool when not under load. It is far cooler than my cable box, xbox 360, and even my low-wattage HTPC. It is incredibly sturdy and has the heft to prove it.

Overall, a great unit. I don't have the whole setup running yet as I bought it for a house that I am completing right now and the Live Search cashback was the catalyst for acting now (hard to pass this receiver up brand new for $850 OTD).

There is a weather pattern blowing through Phoenix right now so I have major appliances unplugged - but if there is something specific you want me to check out I'd be happy to try and do it.

p.s. - still need powered sub. Old unit was an Onkyo HTIB but my new system will feature a head-end in the coat closet (ventilated) with structured wiring and recessed speakers throughout the house. Everything except the xbox will be located in closet and then sent to whatever area I want in the house via structured wiring.

avmba
LL
LL
post #22 of 220
Looks great. Let us know how well it works and how good it sounds for both stereo music and movies. It should be a big step up from the onkyo.
post #23 of 220
I purchased my STR-DA4400ES on e-Bay as well; it arrived yesterday morning but today is the first chance I have had to look at it (there is much wire untangling and re-organizing with my components before I get it hooked up). First thing I noticed was the Manual is in English (GB) and French (FR).

Odd, I thought that GB - Great Britain would be used to designate English language. Though this manual is the same one posted in this thread; the same manual linked to on the Sony Style site for this model.

Then I found there are no S-Video inputs.
The specs on the e-Bay auction seemed to be copied right from the Sony Style site and both list:

S-Video Input(s) : 5 (1 Front/4 Rear)
S-Video Output(s) : 3 (2 Rear/1 Monitor Out)

But mine seem to have fallen-off during shipping.

I suppose I could go check the bottom of the box; perhaps they are rattling around in there.

I have sent a message to the eBay retailer, asking if this is a European model. I sent a similar message to Sony Support.

Not like I have a TON of things using S-Video; just an old VCR I considered dusting-off since the STR-DA4400ES has a bazillion inputs... and an older SD TiVo box.
post #24 of 220
I noticed that the Sony website listed S-Video when there isn't any. It's pretty much only the highest end Sony models that have S-Video outputs, and it's been that way for several years.
post #25 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by MordredKLB View Post

I noticed that the Sony website listed S-Video when there isn't any. It's pretty much only the highest end Sony models that have S-Video outputs, and it's been that way for several years.

Ah, I was originally looking at the 5300, because of the S-Video inputs. Then I saw the *400 series was just released, so I went with the DA4400ES.

I got feedback from Sony Support. Their e-mail support instructed me to call them. Unique costumer service there; e-mail support = phone call. Perhaps if I had called in the first place, they would have directed me to send the issue via carrier pigeon.

After some checking, the support person confirmed the unit has no S-Video and the Sony Style site has incorrect specs.

My mistake, I guess I should have waited for the 5400, whenever that is released. Now I will have to watch my 80s porn tapes via composite.

Umm, I mean... cherished family movies which I transferred to VHS years ago.
post #26 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShmoo View Post

I have sent a message to the eBay retailer, asking if this is a European model. I sent a similar message to Sony Support.

Often times, manufacturers that sell their products in the U.S. and Canada include French in their manuals for simplicity purposes given the French Canadians they sell to there and Canada's language requirements for packaging/instructions.

I wouldn't read to much into the GB/FR vs EN/FR or US/FR
post #27 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShmoo View Post

I have sent a message to the eBay retailer, asking if this is a European model. I sent a similar message to Sony Support.

STR-DA4400ES will not be released in Europe, only 2400, 3400, 5400 and maybe the 6400, so it is impossible that you have got an European model
post #28 of 220
Well, I got my DA4400ES this afternoon and I've been playing around with it. This isn't the easiest beast in the world to set up and it's taking me some time to figure out the best way to hook everything up.

Sadly, at the moment I'm not completely sold on it. I've had some annoyances and weird issues that I don't completely understand but there's one thing that's really upsetting me. For some reason the receiver is completely flaking out with 1080p/24 output. I've got a PS3 which has been hooked up to an XBR4 for a year now and it's worked perfectly. When I put the 4400 in the middle of the HDMI I get a picture about 25% of the time. Oddly enough it works almost every time when I first start a BD disc but if I switch video inputs and then switch back I get a message on the TV that appears for about half a second that says "unsupported Video format" and then the screen flashes black, and the sound cuts out for a few seconds. Then it comes back, I get the same message... repeat ad infinitum. Disabling 1080p/24 output in the PS3 menu and instantly I have perfect picture.

So far everything else appears to work. The sound appears to be fine, it doesn't get scalding hot and it looks nice. IR input is sluggish and not 100% responsive, but I guess that's okay. The OSD is nice but I was expecting it to look a bit more like the XBR4's menus. The fonts used are ridiculously huge. I'll have more feedback and a little more information for you guys soon hopefully.
post #29 of 220
Edit: Figured out the GUI Mode a bit better so it makes some sense to me. It doesn't look like it overlays HDMI input regardless of resolution. The screen blacks and audio cuts out when you go into the menus.

This receiver is amazingly awesome at assigning inputs. You go into the menu, select the output you want (i.e. SACD/CD), then select the video input and audio input you want from a handy list. This is exactly the way all receivers should do it.

I didn't notice in the pictures, but the connections on the back aren't gold like on my old DA4ES. I'm not sure what the standard el cheapo connection is actually made out of, but this has them. I'm one of those people who think it probably doesn't affect the sound noticeably if even audibly so it doesn't bother me too much, but I'm annoyed that Sony cheaped out. All receivers at a $1500MSRP should have gold connectors period.

The receiver gets loud. Volume range is -infinity to +22dB. I don't believe for a second that it's actually 22dB over reference, but it's loud. I turned an Opeth CD up to -1dB playing through my Klipsch RF-3s. It was a during a quiet guitar interlude and it was loud... then some heavy guitar came in and blew my ears out. We're talking ear damage in a few minutes loud. I'd like to say the sound wasn't getting muddy, but I couldn't listen long enough to make an accurate judgement.

I'm going to try and play around with the video upscaling if I can, but the wife wants to watch the Olympics so it may have to wait until tomorrow.
post #30 of 220
To me, the video upscaling is hard to qualify as good or bad. Honestly, without looking at a test disc I can't really tell how good it's doing. It's not a huge difference like the PS3s upscaling was.

NOTE: I'm now not sure if the following paragraph is correct. It might actually be a problem with the DVD player, or the Aspect setting on my TV.
Here's another problem I have. The 4400 stretches all 4:3 SD content to 16:9 1080p. There are no side bars and there doesn't appear to be anyway to even turn off the scaling. I can't even change the "Resolution" setting under Video Settings. The default is Auto, and it gives me a "You can't change this setting" message when I attempt to alter it. I'm probably missing something somewhere, but I dunno.
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