Sony ES AVRs with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X at CEDIA 2016 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-20-2016, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony ES AVRs with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X at CEDIA 2016

Last year, Sony debuted its first Dolby Atmos AVR, the STR-ZA5000ES. That remains the company's flagship, but now it's got plenty of company. This year, the company unveiled four new models, and all of them support Atmos and DTS:X.


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.
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Last edited by imagic; 09-20-2016 at 11:19 AM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-20-2016, 11:48 AM
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From Sony's press release...

Quote:
Pricing and Availability

The new receivers are exclusive to the custom installer channel and with a 5-year limited parts and labor warranty. All four models will be available to dealers and the custom installer channel in spring 2017. Detailed specifications will be available in early 2017. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price and high-level specifications are as follows:

STR-ZA5000ES (current model), $2,799.99 msrp, 9 x 130w, 11ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 8 port switch (2 POE), Pre out, Aluminum panel, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA3100ES (new in 2017), $1,699.99 msrp, 7 x 110w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 8 port switch (2 POE), Pre out, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA2100ES (new in 2017), $1399.99, 7 x 105w, 9ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA1100ES (new in 2017), $999.99 msrp, 7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (5/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet, Crestron Connected, Supporting ihiji

STR-ZA810ES (new in 2017), $799.99 msrp, 7 x 100w, 7ch + Phantom 2ch Decode, HDMI (6/2), Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, HDR/HDCP2.2, 1 Ethernet
Sounds like you won't be able to buy them unless you go thru a custom installer/dealer (same as their first Ultra HD Blu-Ray player). I noticed that Crutchfield sells the ZA5000ES. I'm not really sure if that means they qualify as a custom installer or if they won't carry the new models..? What about Magnolia Design Centers?

If I understand the phantom 2 channel decode correctly, it sounds like they are recommending a 5.1.2 speaker setup and that the receiver will technically decode Atmos/DTS-X tracks as if you were using a 7.1.2 speaker setup but then reroute the audio that would go to the rear surrounds, to the side surrounds, using some psychoacoustic trickery to make it sound like it's coming from actual rear surround speakers.

Last edited by HockeyoAJB; 09-20-2016 at 12:02 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-20-2016, 02:15 PM
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So these are available in 6+ months (well Spring is thru June-2017, so up to 9 months away).... wow, will that like kill existing model sales / prices or what??

I thought most consumer electronics waited 3-4 months from intro to sales, to limit the cannibalization of the current model.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-20-2016, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
So these are available in 6+ months (well Spring is thru June-2017, so up to 9 months away).... wow, will that like kill existing model sales / prices or what??

I thought most consumer electronics waited 3-4 months from intro to sales, to limit the cannibalization of the current model.
The ZA5000ES flagship is already available, so no worry there. However, you are right that the early announcement of the ZA1100ES, ZA2100ES, and ZA3100ES could cannibalize sales of the current ZA1000ES, ZA2000ES, and ZA3000ES. If I had to guess, I'd say that the latter 3 models are probably not selling well as-is, so they wouldn't lose many sales. Keep in mind that the current models (with the exception of the ZA5000ES) do not support Atmos or DTS:X and max out at 7.2 channels. With prices ranging from $900 to $1,700, I don't know why anyone would buy these 3 existing models, given the alternatives from other manufacturers.

The new models should fill what has effectively been a gaping hole in the middle of Sony's lineup.

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-20-2016, 05:04 PM
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Where's the 11 amplified channels? Come on if you are going to compete with the rest of the pack, at least make yourself competitive!
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-21-2016, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post
From Sony's press release...



Sounds like you won't be able to buy them unless you go thru a custom installer/dealer (same as their first Ultra HD Blu-Ray player). I noticed that Crutchfield sells the ZA5000ES. I'm not really sure if that means they qualify as a custom installer or if they won't carry the new models..? What about Magnolia Design Centers?
Yes, MDC is a custom integrator and sells Sony's existing lineup of ES AVRs, projectors, and other ES gear like the HAPZ1ES.

movies Sony 65A1E|Sonus faber Toy, Toy Center, Venere Wall|SVS SB2000|Sony ZA5000ES|UDP 205/UB820|ATV 4K
music Sonus faber Liuto|REL S/5|Sony A1ES|Wadia 321|Sony SCD-777ES|Sony PS-HX500 + Schiit Mani|AQ Niagara 5000
desk Sonus faber Toy monitor|REL T-Zero|Rega Brio|AQ Dragonfly Cobalt/Victoria|Mac mini|AQ PowerQuest 3
living Sony 65Z9D|B&W 706 S2|Marantz NR1508|Panasonic UB900
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-21-2016, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudyoVidyo View Post
Where's the 11 amplified channels? Come on if you are going to compete with the rest of the pack, at least make yourself competitive!
It's 11 channel decoding that leaves them behind. Most top end receivers decode 11 but only amplify 9.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-21-2016, 01:56 PM
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The Oct issue of Sound and Vision gave a glowing review for the ZA5000ES. I really want that model since it will do 5.1.4 but it comes at a hefty price.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-21-2016, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helvetica bold View Post
The Oct issue of Sound and Vision gave a glowing review for the ZA5000ES. I really want that model since it will do 5.1.4 but it comes at a hefty price.
The ZA3100ES will get you 5.1.4 if you provide your own amplification for 2 of the 9 surround channels (plus the subwoofer(s)).

Likewise, the ZA5000ES can do 7.1.4 if you provide your own amplification for 2 of the 11 surround channels (plus the subwoofer(s)).
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