2017 Sony ES Series: ZA5000ES / ZA3100ES / ZA2100ES / ZA1100ES / ZA810ES - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
The old saying, you get what you pay for, definitely applies to Sony ES products. They are worth what they are asking for them.
Why is that?

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post #62 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian_Barros View Post
Why is that?

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The SOUND is AMAZING on the new Sony ES products. I had a STR-ZA3000ES and wanted to upgrade to ATMOS and DTS:X so I went with a Denon AVR-X4300H and it is good on movies but TERRIBLE on music. I miss my Sony ES sound so much. I'm actually thinking of going back to Sony ES and I'll take a huge loss on the Denon.
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post #63 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
The SOUND is AMAZING on the new Sony ES products. I had a STR-ZA3000ES and wanted to upgrade to ATMOS and DTS:X so I went with a Denon AVR-X4300H and it is good on movies but TERRIBLE on music. I miss my Sony ES sound so much. I'm actually thinking of going back to Sony ES and I'll take a huge loss on the Denon.
I have a Sony 1080. I just got a Denon 3400 but was looking at the 3100es but didn't pick it up because I liked t the idea of having eARC and some of the newer tech. I got the 3400 used and come to find out that the HDMI out board is busted so I have yet to hook it up.

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post #64 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
The old saying, you get what you pay for, definitely applies to Sony ES products. They are worth what they are asking for them.


Agreed. Haven’t seen one bad review of a Sony ES product.


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post #65 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 07:16 PM
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I have a Sony 1080. I just got a Denon 3400 but was looking at the 3100es but didn't pick it up because I liked t the idea of having eARC and some of the newer tech. I got the 3400 used and come to find out that the HDMI out board is busted so I have yet to hook it up.

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To be fair, the Sony 1080 doesn't really compare to the 3100ES. The 3100ES is in a different league. I hate the Denon 4300 which is now the 4400. So, the 3400 is going to be even worse. I had a Marantz that came new in the box with a bad subwoofer output jack and a busted door flap. Being that Marantz is Denon, I don't know why I bought the Denon. So many features for such a good deal? But like I said, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. I'm looking to now spend MORE money to get LESS features just to go back to a Sony ES. I hate the sound of that, but I want the good Sony ES music sound quality back, and the Denon just doesn't cut it.
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post #66 of 257 Old 08-19-2018, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
To be fair, the Sony 1080 doesn't really compare to the 3100ES. The 3100ES is in a different league. I hate the Denon 4300 which is now the 4400. So, the 3400 is going to be even worse. I had a Marantz that came new in the box with a bad subwoofer output jack and a busted door flap. Being that Marantz is Denon, I don't know why I bought the Denon. So many features for such a good deal? But like I said, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. I'm looking to now spend MORE money to get LESS features just to go back to a Sony ES. I hate the sound of that, but I want the good Sony ES music sound quality back, and the Denon just doesn't cut it.
To be fair the reviews between the 3300 vs 3400 are pretty different. I'm not huge into music so I'm more concerned about HT and gaming sound. Have you used the 1080 and the 3100?

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post #67 of 257 Old 08-20-2018, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
To be fair, the Sony 1080 doesn't really compare to the 3100ES. The 3100ES is in a different league. I hate the Denon 4300 which is now the 4400. So, the 3400 is going to be even worse. I had a Marantz that came new in the box with a bad subwoofer output jack and a busted door flap. Being that Marantz is Denon, I don't know why I bought the Denon. So many features for such a good deal? But like I said, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. I'm looking to now spend MORE money to get LESS features just to go back to a Sony ES. I hate the sound of that, but I want the good Sony ES music sound quality back, and the Denon just doesn't cut it.
How much different does the 1080 vs 11-3100 sound? Have you heard both? I was thinking of picking up a 1100 just to try it out as it can be found used for a decent amount. I just don't think I'll get much difference out of it. Also my living room is not the greatest set up so I was hoping that audessey would give me better sound than DCAC EX. Since the 1080 and ES line have the same Auto calibration I don't think it would correct some of the issues I have

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post #68 of 257 Old 08-20-2018, 05:05 PM
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How much different does the 1080 vs 11-3100 sound? Have you heard both? I was thinking of picking up a 1100 just to try it out as it can be found used for a decent amount. I just don't think I'll get much difference out of it. Also my living room is not the greatest set up so I was hoping that audessey would give me better sound than DCAC EX. Since the 1080 and ES line have the same Auto calibration I don't think it would correct some of the issues I have

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I'm really sorry but I can't recommend any Denon products for you. The 4300 gets better "reviews" VS 3100 as it is newer and it's a higher class, and it still is a terrible receiver. The most disappointing thing on the Denon, and this is going to surprise you, but it is Audyssey XT32. Audyssey is so hyped up but it literally sucks the life out of my $3000 front speakers. I get good bass, but terrible treble with Audyssey turned on, but when I turn Audyssey OFF, my speakers come alive! BUT, then the bass goes away. There is no happy medium with Audyssey especially on Denon models. I prefer the Sony mic calibration system due to the simplicity and the sound. The Audyssey might "correct" speaker issues, but it sucks the life out of your speakers which is worse than just correcting them. I will never buy a Denon, any model, again. I'm anxious to get back to a Sony ES. I can only speak to the quality of the ZA line of the ES series. So, while I've heard that all Sony ES receivers sound amazing, I only know about the ZA line from experience. If you buy the Denon, you'll always wonder what you're missing out on.
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post #69 of 257 Old 08-20-2018, 09:38 PM
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I have a question. The STR-ZA3000ES has Direct Cinema Auto Calibration (DCAC). The STR-ZA5000ES has DCAC EX. Does anyone know what the difference is? I liked the simplicity and sound results from the regular DCAC. I'm hoping that DCAC EX is about the same or the same. I'm wanting to purchase a 5000es but there are no youtube videos showing how to do calibrations on any Sony models. Not even any pictures of the calibration steps on Google! That is the downfall of the ES receivers. Not much user support out there. BUT, the Sony ES support line was always helpful when I used to use my 3000ES.
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post #70 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
I'm really sorry but I can't recommend any Denon products for you. The 4300 gets better "reviews" VS 3100 as it is newer and it's a higher class, and it still is a terrible receiver. The most disappointing thing on the Denon, and this is going to surprise you, but it is Audyssey XT32. Audyssey is so hyped up but it literally sucks the life out of my $3000 front speakers. I get good bass, but terrible treble with Audyssey turned on, but when I turn Audyssey OFF, my speakers come alive! BUT, then the bass goes away. There is no happy medium with Audyssey especially on Denon models. I prefer the Sony mic calibration system due to the simplicity and the sound. The Audyssey might "correct" speaker issues, but it sucks the life out of your speakers which is worse than just correcting them. I will never buy a Denon, any model, again. I'm anxious to get back to a Sony ES. I can only speak to the quality of the ZA line of the ES series. So, while I've heard that all Sony ES receivers sound amazing, I only know about the ZA line from experience. If you buy the Denon, you'll always wonder what you're missing out on.
I know. Well the 3400 I bought is going back so I'm looking at the 2100es..... I can set up a 2 speaker Atmos set up but would like to move to 4. I have the Sony 1080 and the worst part about it is the menu interface.... Yes it looks great but not the easiest to use as it's sluggish as hell. The ES line looks to implement the exact same gui..... And idea how it behaves?

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post #71 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 12:57 PM
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I know. Well the 3400 I bought is going back so I'm looking at the 2100es..... I can set up a 2 speaker Atmos set up but would like to move to 4. I have the Sony 1080 and the worst part about it is the menu interface.... Yes it looks great but not the easiest to use as it's sluggish as hell. The ES line looks to implement the exact same gui..... And idea how it behaves?

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On my Sony ES STR-ZA3000ES the GUI was one of the main things that I loved about it. I never noticed any lag at all.
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post #72 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 01:02 PM
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On my Sony ES STR-ZA3000ES the GUI was one of the main things that I loved about it. I never noticed any lag at all.
That's great to hear. Hopefully that carries over to the newer series. I wonder what the chances are that Sony updates to support eARC or any of the other 2.1 specs. Really my only gripe. I'm looking at the Sony Masters series tv for my next set which supports it. Would be nice to drop my shield tv out of the main rooms chain of devices.

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post #73 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 01:19 PM
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To be fair the reviews between the 3300 vs 3400 are pretty different. I'm not huge into music so I'm more concerned about HT and gaming sound. Have you used the 1080 and the 3100?

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Actually Brian I actually missed this part of your comment. If you are into movies and don't care about the way music sounds then Denon will work out fine. I listen to mainly music and my Denon 4300 is amazing on movies but not very good with higher frequencies in music.
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post #74 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 01:32 PM
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Actually Brian I actually missed this part of your comment. If you are into movies and don't care about the way music sounds then Denon will work out fine. I listen to mainly music and my Denon 4300 is amazing on movies but not very good with higher frequencies in music.
Ok. Is that while in 2ch stereo for music? My Sony sucks in be 2ch mode but sounds pretty good in surround for music

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post #75 of 257 Old 08-21-2018, 10:08 PM
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Ok everyone, I bought a new Sony ES STR-ZA5000ES today. So I'm about to get back into the Sony ES game again. I hope I like it as much as I liked my ZA3000ES. I'm sure I'll have questions to ask, so get ready everyone!
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post #76 of 257 Old 08-27-2018, 09:43 PM
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Ok everyone, I bought a new Sony ES STR-ZA5000ES today. So I'm about to get back into the Sony ES game again. I hope I like it as much as I liked my ZA3000ES. I'm sure I'll have questions to ask, so get ready everyone!

I was an early adopter of the STR-ZA5000ES and absolutely love it. You can see my equipment setup in my signature below but what I ran into when looking at various options was the number of 4K 2.2 compliant inputs. Most of the receivers only had one or two while the 5000 had all of the HDMI inputs supporting full 4K. I have three 4K devices hooked to my 5000 and it does a great job with all of them. I also love the Dolby Atmos support. I added the "up" speakers to my speaker setup after purchasing the 5000.


I still don't use the 4K upscaling of the 5000 though as my projector does a far better job of 4K upscaling than the 5000 or any of the 4K devices I have.

Regards, Steve
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post #77 of 257 Old 08-27-2018, 10:24 PM
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I was an early adopter of the STR-ZA5000ES and absolutely love it. You can see my equipment setup in my signature below but what I ran into when looking at various options was the number of 4K 2.2 compliant inputs. Most of the receivers only had one or two while the 5000 had all of the HDMI inputs supporting full 4K. I have three 4K devices hooked to my 5000 and it does a great job with all of them. I also love the Dolby Atmos support. I added the "up" speakers to my speaker setup after purchasing the 5000.


I still don't use the 4K upscaling of the 5000 though as my projector does a far better job of 4K upscaling than the 5000 or any of the 4K devices I have.
I just began tonight to start installing the 5000ES. When I had the 3000ES, it had only 2 of the HDMI ports as being HDCP2.2. But I loved my 3000ES and only switched to a Denon X4300H because I wanted ATMOS and DTS:X. Also, the Denon had 7 rear HDMI ports, while the 5000ES only has 5. All of the Denon's were HDCP2.2 just like the 5000ES. I also had the Denon setup as an 11 channel receiver. I'm hoping to do the same with the 5000ES. The Denon offers more features, but they are mostly worthless. I didn't want the wifi that the Denon offered so I had to buy a network switch and now I don't need it. But, I had 7 HDMI devices plus two on my 4K Sony TV. So, going down to 5 ports on the rear on the 5000ES, I had to get an Awakelion 5 port HDMI switch. I bought an OREI switch but then learned it didn't support [email protected] and didn't support ATMOS and DTS:X. So, now I have an OREI switch that I don't need either. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have the 5000ES setup. I'll post pictures of my setup when done. I'm a little bit worried about DCAC EX as that is not what my 3000ES had. I have 4 powered subwoofers and I'm hoping they don't give the system fits. Wish me luck!
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post #78 of 257 Old 08-29-2018, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
I just began tonight to start installing the 5000ES. When I had the 3000ES, it had only 2 of the HDMI ports as being HDCP2.2. But I loved my 3000ES and only switched to a Denon X4300H because I wanted ATMOS and DTS:X. Also, the Denon had 7 rear HDMI ports, while the 5000ES only has 5. All of the Denon's were HDCP2.2 just like the 5000ES. I also had the Denon setup as an 11 channel receiver. I'm hoping to do the same with the 5000ES. The Denon offers more features, but they are mostly worthless. I didn't want the wifi that the Denon offered so I had to buy a network switch and now I don't need it. But, I had 7 HDMI devices plus two on my 4K Sony TV. So, going down to 5 ports on the rear on the 5000ES, I had to get an Awakelion 5 port HDMI switch. I bought an OREI switch but then learned it didn't support [email protected] and didn't support ATMOS and DTS:X. So, now I have an OREI switch that I don't need either. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have the 5000ES setup. I'll post pictures of my setup when done. I'm a little bit worried about DCAC EX as that is not what my 3000ES had. I have 4 powered subwoofers and I'm hoping they don't give the system fits. Wish me luck!

Good luck with the setup. I'm very pleased with my 5000. The auto calibration process was also much better than previous AVRs I have had. I certainly don't have 4 Subs but I do have an Atmos setup with 2 upfiring front speakers and that works great on the 5000.

Regards, Steve
Projector/Receiver - Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K PJ & Sony STR-ZA5000ES 4K Atmos AVR
Media Devices - Panasonic DP-UB820 4K BR, Sony UBP-X800 4K BR, ATV 4K, and Roku 4K
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post #79 of 257 Old 08-29-2018, 10:51 PM
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Ok. So I have a stupid question. I know that the thicker the power cord, the better right? Some people with really expensive equipment spend hundreds on just a power cord. Not much point to do that on a receiver, BUT, when I disconnected my Denon and got ready to hookup the Sony 5000ES, I noticed that the Denon power cord is very thick. I also noticed the Sony power cord is very thin. Maybe the Sony cord is normal, but up next to the Denon cord, the Denon cord is at least twice as thick. Should I stick to the manufacturer recommended thinner Sony power cord or should I use the thicker Denon cord?
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post #80 of 257 Old 08-30-2018, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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New ES models on the way? Maybe a succor to the 5000ES?
https://cedia.a2zinc.net/CEDIA2018/P...sionDateID=265

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post #81 of 257 Old 08-30-2018, 09:54 PM
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Ok I REALLY need some HELP!! I've hooked up my 5000ES. I am using my external amplifier to power the FRONT L&R speakers. Height 2 says (assignable). On my Denon 4300, I assigned the height 2 to use my internal front channel amp. I can't seem to "assign" any amp to the Height 2 speakers. When I go into speaker setup, I have front speakers shown as being plugged into the FRONT on the back of the receiver and they are NOT. They are plugged into the external amplifier. I cannot figure out a way to tell the receiver that the front channels are not being used. When I run the calibration, the front speakers make the tone, so its smart enough to tell that there is an external amp there. But I get an error when trying to run calibration because it's looking for the HEIGHT 2 amplification from the HEIGHT 2 PRE OUT, and that isn't what I want to do. I do not want to have to use my expensive external amplifier for the HEIGHT 2, I want to use them to drive my power hungry FRONT speakers. I can't do that though! For such a "tweak able" GUI, I can't seem to tweak a thing! PLEASE HELP!!

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post #82 of 257 Old 09-01-2018, 12:56 AM
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I talked to Sony ES today. The site says the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals used for 11 channel ATMOS can be used by assigning it to any unused internal amp. I had done just this on my Denon 4300. I have very power hungry speakers and therefore the 130W that this receiver offers isn't near enough power for my front main speakers, so I have an external amplifier for the front mains. This means the front internal amp on the 5000ES isn't being used by me and I should therefore go into the setup and assign HEIGHT 2 to use the front main internal amp. This is exactly what I did on my Denon and it worked like a piece of cake. The 5000ES receiver on the back of the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals even says the word (assignable). After calling Sony ES, it's sort of an OOPSY and sort of a lie as well! Technically if you aren't using surround back speakers, you can somehow assign that section of the amp to HEIGHT 2. Though if you want an ATMOS setup, you'll need the surround back speakers, so of course you won't be able to use the surround back's internal amp for the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals. Therefore the HEIGHT 2 is therefore NOT assignable and those speaker terminals are worthless as you'll need an external amp to plug into the HEIGHT 2 pre-out and you'll plug the speakers into the external amp, not the flagship 5000ES. So, unlike the advertising of this receiver, if you want ATMOS and you use an external amp to drive your main speakers, you'll need TWO external amplifiers!! So a feature in my Denon that was half the cost, doesn't work on the flagship Sony ES. VERY DISAPPOINTED as far as that goes.

Next, the sound on my two year old STR-ZA3000ES was very impressive and the DCAC calibration system was a breeze. When I unboxed the 5000ES I was expecting better than the 3000ES, but it's just the same. The magnetic door has pegs in addition to the magnets. It makes installing and removing the front door panel almost impossible. I put the door flap on and I had to use a butter knife to pry it back off! What was wrong with just leaving it be a magnetic door? Remote is the same cheap remote that the overpriced 3000ES had. I complained to Sony about the 3000ES remote being so cheap, but the flagship model using the SAME remote is even more embarrassing. Running the DCAC EX gave wild results. I had to run it as a 7 channel system while I search for another external 2 channel amp just to run a pair of small ATMOS speakers. But I ran DCAC EX and it sounded terrible. I did A LOT of tweaking, only where it let me (frustrating) and it still sounded terrible. I have FOUR powered subwoofers. My Denon calibration system controlled TWO subs. The Sony ES flagship has two inputs for subwoofers but it only controls ONE. Another disappointment for a flagship receiver. Now how would I expect DCAC EX to calibrate four subwoofers? I don't. I powered off the back two subwoofers and then ran DCAC EX. After the setup was complete, I turned on all four of my subwoofers and tried some music and there just was hardly any bass at all! I have four Power Sound Audio V1801 subwoofers with 18" woofers each and I had the gains set on the subs to 90% and they had next to no bass! To achieve decent bass, I had to turn the gain up to +10 MAX and even that wasn't enough bass. So, I ran the DCAC EX again! This time I had the calibration ask me that famous last question that everyone says to say no to, and I said YES to the question. And with that, I had more bass. Still, I have my subs turned to 90% gain which is dangerous in my opinion and the gain set to +5. Now I have bass, but it's sloppy. When listening to MUSIC on A.F.D. Auto Format Direct mode, two channel plus subs, this is what I needed to set my settings at to achieve acceptable bass. But in certain frequencies of bass, the sounds were very sloppy and overemphasized. In other words, some bass notes needed more volume and some bass notes needed less volume. So, IMO the DCAC EX did a terrible job. And this receiver boasts having a 31 band equalizer but you can't see those results on the screen and you can't adjust them. You can adjust bass and treble, but not individual bands. I had to add treble into my front mains, and so I have great highs, but midrange is lacking. My reason that I gave up on Denon was because there was no way to add in high frequencies and now I had that challenge fixed, but the Denon had better midrange with Audyssey and Audyssey DEFINITELY manages bass in regards to subwoofer management, MUCH better.

So, overall, my opinion of the 5000ES is not as high as I would've liked it to be. Now full disclosure.....I bought TWO of these 5000ES receivers. One was new in the box and one was refurbished. I got the brand new unit in box for a three digit price beginning in 9. I then forgot about a low ball bid that I left on a refurbished unit. I won the refurbished unit also at a three digit price beginning with a 6. I've setup the brand new unit. I've tested the refurbished unit and it works fine and looks perfect. I got my last receiver, a Denon X4300H, for a three digit price beginning in 9. So, I'm not comparing the receiver to a 3000 price range receiver. It's not worth the MSRP. I expected better sound with the 5000ES compared to my 3000ES that I also still currently have. I am using the same speakers and same external amplifier that I did on the 3000ES and so I was expecting better results. I am getting worse results than the 3000ES and it has to be due to the new DCAC EX compared to the regular DCAC. I will say I think it is a good receiver on some levels. At least you can adjust bass and treble unlike the Denon. I also like the GUI but it has some things on there that just don't work or serve any purpose. FOR EXAMPLE. Under speaker settings there is a whole section devoted to speaker connections. It will show you what speakers you have and will show you where on the receiver they are connected. It shows my Front L and Front R speakers as being plugged into the back on the receiver in the "FRONT" terminals. They are NOT. They are connected into my external amplifier's back. If Sony went through the process to make this graphic, they should at least make it correct. And, they should allow you, right on that graphic, to SELECT that you are NOT using the Front speaker terminals so that the front speaker amp can then be used on the HEIGHT 2 setting, like Denon easily has done.

After multiple attempts of running the DCAC EX and many many settings corrections and tweaks. I finally got it to sound good enough, though far from perfect, for MUSIC. But then I put on a movie and it handles BASS so much more different. So I had to change tons of settings just to get it to sound average for MOVIES. My Denon receiver sounded far better on movies but just not as well on the high frequencies on music. I am HOPING that I can setup custom presets and have one for music and one for movies. I know that is possible, but I don't know if you are limited on what you can change. For example, to get my 5000ES to sound decent on movies, I have to change tone settings, I have to change levels on multiple speakers and especially subwoofers, and change audio settings as well. I don't know if the custom presets can be set with all of those settings yet. I still have that to try.

Right now I am dealing with another issue. This particular issue that I am having has to do with A.F.D. This made my remember the one thing I hated about my Sony 3000ES. The receiver is supposed to be able to automatically determine the surround sound format and play it automatically. I have a Sony 4K HDTV and I have a 4K media server and a FireStick running on the TV. Even though I am watching 5.1channel formats, the receiver's A.F.D. only detects it as 2 channel for some reason. Under "Input Settings", under TV it says OPT2. But I am using ARC. Under inputs, TV, I turned off OPT2, which then turned turned off ARC with HDMI. And when OPT2 for TV input is turned off, ANALOG turns on by default. So, I've tried running an optical cable from the TV to the receiver just to get basic 5.1 sound but it doesn't work. And with no optical cable and ARC HDMI turned on, I get audio but it's only 2 channel. I thought it could be the TV settings but it's not. So, I haven't had time yet to find another expensive external amplifier, or two of them since I now own 2 of the 5000ES. I'm sure I'll figure things out one at a time.

All in all, I am not sure exactly at this early time, what I think of the receiver. It's definitely lacking in some major ways for a flagship receiver. I see no benefit over the 3000ES, now 3100ES. Since it doesn't actually have assignable speaker inputs, if you want to use an external amp for your main expensive speakers, you'll be stuck with a 7 channel receiver. I noticed no better quality in the 5000ES vs 3000ES. The door flap is worse and the mic calibration setup IMO isn't as good. And therefore the sound on the 5000ES isn't any better than the 3000ES and in fact, I still can't get it to sound as good. There are a few more options in the GUI, and that isn't good. Most of them aren't needed or can't be used anyways. For a 2000 or 3000 priced receiver I just don't see the value. For a three digit price, then maybe it's worth that. I'm thinking now of comparing it with my Denon X4300H, due to my Denon being a three digit priced receiver before taxes. But the 5000ES should be in a different league, shouldn't it? If I could get some high frequency sound into my Denon, I'd stick with that I think. But I've tried everything to make the Denon sound good with both bass and treble and it's either one way or the other. I even paid for a $20 app that let's you tweak the Audyssey results to curve up the high frequency, but it locks up and doesn't transfer, as most users said it wouldn't work.

In this particular part of the times, our choices are becoming more limited I feel. Remember when Best Buy, not Magnolia, but all Best Buy stores had a speaker department with tons of speaker options? And they had tons of receivers and components. Now my local Best Buy has no preview room at all. They sell Polk and Klipsch speakers that aren't even hooked up. They only sell the most basic cheap receivers. What happened to all the competition? Why isn't there a perfect receiver solution?

I've owned and tested Pioneer Elite and they sounded good but were just so buggy. But now they sound terrible. When I reviewed a Pioneer Elite and it just didn't sound right, I was then told it was made and now owned by Onkyo. And Onkyo went down the drain and just recently have been trying to get back. Harmon Kardon went down the drain. They used to make an amazing receiver. Denon and Marantz are basically the same and you either love them or hate them. I can't stand the tiny display on the Marantz receivers. Honestly the 5000ES display screen isn't that nice either. Denon receivers have a nice display but their feature packed receivers have features that have many issues. Now Sony ES seems to be going up in price and down in quality. My favorite "sounding" receiver has been sold and now are terrible and that is NAD. They are having HUGE firmware issues right now and they are having Dirac mic calibration issues as well. We can blame whatever we want to. I blame Audyssey and once Audyssey was out there, all the other companies either adopted Audyssey or made their own version, be it YPAO or MCACC or AccuPhase or Dirac or DCAC/DCAC EX. My best receivers all had a bass knob and treble knob. No fancy mic calibration. Think that mic calibration is better? McIntosh doesn't think so. I want my old Harman Kardon Flagship to have HDMI but obviously it doesn't. I want my old NAD receiver and miss that pure sound. What has happened to receivers? So honestly, even though I am disappointed in the 5000ES, I can't think of anything better, in a receiver anyways. And I don't want to get a pre/pro setup even though I have an external amp. I don't want to have to buy individual amps for 11 channels! And I want ATMOS and DTS:X and all of that in one package. But I am getting frustrated with the options. I hope Sony improves, especially with the DCAC EX. Sometimes if it isn't broken, don't fix it!
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post #83 of 257 Old 09-04-2018, 07:44 PM
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I talked to Sony ES today. The site says the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals used for 11 channel ATMOS can be used by assigning it to any unused internal amp. I had done just this on my Denon 4300. I have very power hungry speakers and therefore the 130W that this receiver offers isn't near enough power for my front main speakers, so I have an external amplifier for the front mains. This means the front internal amp on the 5000ES isn't being used by me and I should therefore go into the setup and assign HEIGHT 2 to use the front main internal amp. This is exactly what I did on my Denon and it worked like a piece of cake. The 5000ES receiver on the back of the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals even says the word (assignable). After calling Sony ES, it's sort of an OOPSY and sort of a lie as well! Technically if you aren't using surround back speakers, you can somehow assign that section of the amp to HEIGHT 2. Though if you want an ATMOS setup, you'll need the surround back speakers, so of course you won't be able to use the surround back's internal amp for the HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals. Therefore the HEIGHT 2 is therefore NOT assignable and those speaker terminals are worthless as you'll need an external amp to plug into the HEIGHT 2 pre-out and you'll plug the speakers into the external amp, not the flagship 5000ES. So, unlike the advertising of this receiver, if you want ATMOS and you use an external amp to drive your main speakers, you'll need TWO external amplifiers!! So a feature in my Denon that was half the cost, doesn't work on the flagship Sony ES. VERY DISAPPOINTED as far as that goes.

Next, the sound on my two year old STR-ZA3000ES was very impressive and the DCAC calibration system was a breeze. When I unboxed the 5000ES I was expecting better than the 3000ES, but it's just the same. The magnetic door has pegs in addition to the magnets. It makes installing and removing the front door panel almost impossible. I put the door flap on and I had to use a butter knife to pry it back off! What was wrong with just leaving it be a magnetic door? Remote is the same cheap remote that the overpriced 3000ES had. I complained to Sony about the 3000ES remote being so cheap, but the flagship model using the SAME remote is even more embarrassing. Running the DCAC EX gave wild results. I had to run it as a 7 channel system while I search for another external 2 channel amp just to run a pair of small ATMOS speakers. But I ran DCAC EX and it sounded terrible. I did A LOT of tweaking, only where it let me (frustrating) and it still sounded terrible. I have FOUR powered subwoofers. My Denon calibration system controlled TWO subs. The Sony ES flagship has two inputs for subwoofers but it only controls ONE. Another disappointment for a flagship receiver. Now how would I expect DCAC EX to calibrate four subwoofers? I don't. I powered off the back two subwoofers and then ran DCAC EX. After the setup was complete, I turned on all four of my subwoofers and tried some music and there just was hardly any bass at all! I have four Power Sound Audio V1801 subwoofers with 18" woofers each and I had the gains set on the subs to 90% and they had next to no bass! To achieve decent bass, I had to turn the gain up to +10 MAX and even that wasn't enough bass. So, I ran the DCAC EX again! This time I had the calibration ask me that famous last question that everyone says to say no to, and I said YES to the question. And with that, I had more bass. Still, I have my subs turned to 90% gain which is dangerous in my opinion and the gain set to +5. Now I have bass, but it's sloppy. When listening to MUSIC on A.F.D. Auto Format Direct mode, two channel plus subs, this is what I needed to set my settings at to achieve acceptable bass. But in certain frequencies of bass, the sounds were very sloppy and overemphasized. In other words, some bass notes needed more volume and some bass notes needed less volume. So, IMO the DCAC EX did a terrible job. And this receiver boasts having a 31 band equalizer but you can't see those results on the screen and you can't adjust them. You can adjust bass and treble, but not individual bands. I had to add treble into my front mains, and so I have great highs, but midrange is lacking. My reason that I gave up on Denon was because there was no way to add in high frequencies and now I had that challenge fixed, but the Denon had better midrange with Audyssey and Audyssey DEFINITELY manages bass in regards to subwoofer management, MUCH better.

So, overall, my opinion of the 5000ES is not as high as I would've liked it to be. Now full disclosure.....I bought TWO of these 5000ES receivers. One was new in the box and one was refurbished. I got the brand new unit in box for a three digit price beginning in 9. I then forgot about a low ball bid that I left on a refurbished unit. I won the refurbished unit also at a three digit price beginning with a 6. I've setup the brand new unit. I've tested the refurbished unit and it works fine and looks perfect. I got my last receiver, a Denon X4300H, for a three digit price beginning in 9. So, I'm not comparing the receiver to a 3000 price range receiver. It's not worth the MSRP. I expected better sound with the 5000ES compared to my 3000ES that I also still currently have. I am using the same speakers and same external amplifier that I did on the 3000ES and so I was expecting better results. I am getting worse results than the 3000ES and it has to be due to the new DCAC EX compared to the regular DCAC. I will say I think it is a good receiver on some levels. At least you can adjust bass and treble unlike the Denon. I also like the GUI but it has some things on there that just don't work or serve any purpose. FOR EXAMPLE. Under speaker settings there is a whole section devoted to speaker connections. It will show you what speakers you have and will show you where on the receiver they are connected. It shows my Front L and Front R speakers as being plugged into the back on the receiver in the "FRONT" terminals. They are NOT. They are connected into my external amplifier's back. If Sony went through the process to make this graphic, they should at least make it correct. And, they should allow you, right on that graphic, to SELECT that you are NOT using the Front speaker terminals so that the front speaker amp can then be used on the HEIGHT 2 setting, like Denon easily has done.

After multiple attempts of running the DCAC EX and many many settings corrections and tweaks. I finally got it to sound good enough, though far from perfect, for MUSIC. But then I put on a movie and it handles BASS so much more different. So I had to change tons of settings just to get it to sound average for MOVIES. My Denon receiver sounded far better on movies but just not as well on the high frequencies on music. I am HOPING that I can setup custom presets and have one for music and one for movies. I know that is possible, but I don't know if you are limited on what you can change. For example, to get my 5000ES to sound decent on movies, I have to change tone settings, I have to change levels on multiple speakers and especially subwoofers, and change audio settings as well. I don't know if the custom presets can be set with all of those settings yet. I still have that to try.

Right now I am dealing with another issue. This particular issue that I am having has to do with A.F.D. This made my remember the one thing I hated about my Sony 3000ES. The receiver is supposed to be able to automatically determine the surround sound format and play it automatically. I have a Sony 4K HDTV and I have a 4K media server and a FireStick running on the TV. Even though I am watching 5.1channel formats, the receiver's A.F.D. only detects it as 2 channel for some reason. Under "Input Settings", under TV it says OPT2. But I am using ARC. Under inputs, TV, I turned off OPT2, which then turned turned off ARC with HDMI. And when OPT2 for TV input is turned off, ANALOG turns on by default. So, I've tried running an optical cable from the TV to the receiver just to get basic 5.1 sound but it doesn't work. And with no optical cable and ARC HDMI turned on, I get audio but it's only 2 channel. I thought it could be the TV settings but it's not. So, I haven't had time yet to find another expensive external amplifier, or two of them since I now own 2 of the 5000ES. I'm sure I'll figure things out one at a time.

All in all, I am not sure exactly at this early time, what I think of the receiver. It's definitely lacking in some major ways for a flagship receiver. I see no benefit over the 3000ES, now 3100ES. Since it doesn't actually have assignable speaker inputs, if you want to use an external amp for your main expensive speakers, you'll be stuck with a 7 channel receiver. I noticed no better quality in the 5000ES vs 3000ES. The door flap is worse and the mic calibration setup IMO isn't as good. And therefore the sound on the 5000ES isn't any better than the 3000ES and in fact, I still can't get it to sound as good. There are a few more options in the GUI, and that isn't good. Most of them aren't needed or can't be used anyways. For a 2000 or 3000 priced receiver I just don't see the value. For a three digit price, then maybe it's worth that. I'm thinking now of comparing it with my Denon X4300H, due to my Denon being a three digit priced receiver before taxes. But the 5000ES should be in a different league, shouldn't it? If I could get some high frequency sound into my Denon, I'd stick with that I think. But I've tried everything to make the Denon sound good with both bass and treble and it's either one way or the other. I even paid for a $20 app that let's you tweak the Audyssey results to curve up the high frequency, but it locks up and doesn't transfer, as most users said it wouldn't work.

In this particular part of the times, our choices are becoming more limited I feel. Remember when Best Buy, not Magnolia, but all Best Buy stores had a speaker department with tons of speaker options? And they had tons of receivers and components. Now my local Best Buy has no preview room at all. They sell Polk and Klipsch speakers that aren't even hooked up. They only sell the most basic cheap receivers. What happened to all the competition? Why isn't there a perfect receiver solution?

I've owned and tested Pioneer Elite and they sounded good but were just so buggy. But now they sound terrible. When I reviewed a Pioneer Elite and it just didn't sound right, I was then told it was made and now owned by Onkyo. And Onkyo went down the drain and just recently have been trying to get back. Harmon Kardon went down the drain. They used to make an amazing receiver. Denon and Marantz are basically the same and you either love them or hate them. I can't stand the tiny display on the Marantz receivers. Honestly the 5000ES display screen isn't that nice either. Denon receivers have a nice display but their feature packed receivers have features that have many issues. Now Sony ES seems to be going up in price and down in quality. My favorite "sounding" receiver has been sold and now are terrible and that is NAD. They are having HUGE firmware issues right now and they are having Dirac mic calibration issues as well. We can blame whatever we want to. I blame Audyssey and once Audyssey was out there, all the other companies either adopted Audyssey or made their own version, be it YPAO or MCACC or AccuPhase or Dirac or DCAC/DCAC EX. My best receivers all had a bass knob and treble knob. No fancy mic calibration. Think that mic calibration is better? McIntosh doesn't think so. I want my old Harman Kardon Flagship to have HDMI but obviously it doesn't. I want my old NAD receiver and miss that pure sound. What has happened to receivers? So honestly, even though I am disappointed in the 5000ES, I can't think of anything better, in a receiver anyways. And I don't want to get a pre/pro setup even though I have an external amp. I don't want to have to buy individual amps for 11 channels! And I want ATMOS and DTS:X and all of that in one package. But I am getting frustrated with the options. I hope Sony improves, especially with the DCAC EX. Sometimes if it isn't broken, don't fix it!
What are you trying to achieve? Confused 7.2.4 Atmos this is the receiver capability?
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post #84 of 257 Old 09-04-2018, 08:40 PM
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What are you trying to achieve? Confused 7.2.4 Atmos this is the receiver capability?
Yes I am trying to achieve 7.2.4 ATMOS. Technically 7.1.4 since this receiver only measures one subwoofer. This receiver is advertised as being a 9.2 channel receiver and being upgradable to an 11 channel receiver using one external amp. I have an external amp that I use for my front main speakers which then opens the internal front channel amp to be used, since it isn't being used by my front speakers. On my Denon 4300, I achieved 11 channel ATMOS using one external amp and then assigning the front internal amp to be used to power the HEIGHT 2 speakers. With the Sony 5000ES, it is not smart enough to assign the front internal amp to the HEIGHT 2. I just purchased a NILE 2 channel amp, used, on eBay which will plug into the HEIGHT 2 pre-out and my HEIGHT 2 ATMOS speakers will plug into the external amp instead of the 5000ES receiver. And my internal front amp will remain unused and completely worthless since it can't be assigned to any other channel due to poor design and implementation of Sony on their flagship receiver. So, it's a 7 channel receiver for me and I have to use 2 separate two channels external amplifiers to get 11 channel ATMOS.
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Yes I am trying to achieve 7.2.4 ATMOS. Technically 7.1.4 since this receiver only measures one subwoofer. This receiver is advertised as being a 9.2 channel receiver and being upgradable to an 11 channel receiver using one external amp. I have an external amp that I use for my front main speakers which then opens the internal front channel amp to be used, since it isn't being used by my front speakers. On my Denon 4300, I achieved 11 channel ATMOS using one external amp and then assigning the front internal amp to be used to power the HEIGHT 2 speakers. With the Sony 5000ES, it is not smart enough to assign the front internal amp to the HEIGHT 2. I just purchased a NILE 2 channel amp, used, on eBay which will plug into the HEIGHT 2 pre-out and my HEIGHT 2 ATMOS speakers will plug into the external amp instead of the 5000ES receiver. And my internal front amp will remain unused and completely worthless since it can't be assigned to any other channel due to poor design and implementation of Sony on their flagship receiver. So, it's a 7 channel receiver for me and I have to use 2 separate two channels external amplifiers to get 11 channel ATMOS.
Sounds like allot of work. At the end of the day does it sound that much better than the Denon

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post #86 of 257 Old 09-04-2018, 10:18 PM
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Sounds like allot of work. At the end of the day does it sound that much better than the Denon

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If I watched more movies VS listening to music, I would IMMEDIATELY go back to Denon. The Denon has a better display screen. It has assignable internal amps which is a big deal to users who have an external amplifier for their main speakers. And if you have good main speakers, you shoudn't be pushing them with a receiver. Denon's GUI isn't quite as pretty as the Sony, BUT it works better in my opinion. The Audyssey works better than the DCAC EX. The remote on the Denon is better. The Denon has more HDMI inputs VS flagship Sony ES. This list goes on........

BUT, I listen to music about 85% of the time, and the Sony ES does sound better on music, though it's not perfect. I'm not sure that perfect exists anymore in receivers. The Sony ES does sound better on music though it doesn't sound as good as I expected it to. I still am open to try something else but I'm not sure what is available that would be better than the Sony ES.
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If I watched more movies VS listening to music, I would IMMEDIATELY go back to Denon. The Denon has a better display screen. It has assignable internal amps which is a big deal to users who have an external amplifier for their main speakers. And if you have good main speakers, you shoudn't be pushing them with a receiver. Denon's GUI isn't quite as pretty as the Sony, BUT it works better in my opinion. The Audyssey works better than the DCAC EX. The remote on the Denon is better. The Denon has more HDMI inputs VS flagship Sony ES. This list goes on........

BUT, I listen to music about 85% of the time, and the Sony ES does sound better on music, though it's not perfect. I'm not sure that perfect exists anymore in receivers. The Sony ES does sound better on music though it doesn't sound as good as I expected it to. I still am open to try something else but I'm not sure what is available that would be better than the Sony ES.
I do not understand because I have not had a problem! All Atmos receivers have problems with speaker positioning! I’ve people with very high end speaker that are power hungry use the receiver without at hitch! Unless you go component system, you will never achieve your goal at the receivers on the market price! We been around you know! LOL
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I do not understand because I have not had a problem! All Atmos receivers have problems with speaker positioning! I’ve people with very high end speaker that are power hungry use the receiver without at hitch! Unless you go component system, you will never achieve your goal at the receivers on the market price! We been around you know! LOL

I don't think you understand the problem. I have no speaker positioning problem. The receiver has HEIGHT 2 speaker terminals but no HEIGHT 2 amp in the receiver. Since I'm not using the internal FRONT amp on the receiver, I should be able to assign the front internal amp to the HEIGHT 2, as the HEIGHT 2 terminals on the back of the receiver say "ASSIGNABLE". But they are not assignable and so my front internal amp is unable to be used. So, I'm not having problems with speaker positioning. I'm having a problem with this receiver's online literature saying it can be an 11 channel receiver by using one external 2 channel amp. This is not true. Since the front channel is not assignable, I need TWO two channel external amps. I only needed one, two channel amp to achieve 11 channels on my Denon because the internal amps were truly assignable. So this is a big minus for the Sony.

On using the receiver to run my speakers, no way. I have a 250 watt per channel RMS amplifier and I still could benefit from an even larger external amp. And I agree, going component system is better, but with running an 11 channel system for ATMOS, I'd have to get a lot of external amplifiers and then invest in a really nice pre processor. Since a processor costs more than a flagship receiver and offers no amps at all, I can make do with a receiver and just use my external amp for my main speakers and everything works well. But I couldn't do this on the 5000ES. I have experienced a lot of shortcomings for a flagship receiver. But I have it sounding good right now for music and that is my main objective.
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Help? Sony STR-ZA1100ES with Samsung 9000 Series and ARC

I have a Sony STR-ZA1100ES hooked up to my 9000 series Samsung TV. I currently have it set up where the video source (Tivo Bolt+) connects to the TV and then ARC from the TV to the Sony receiver. This works fine and when I turn the TV off, the receiver turns off. Great. The only thing that I don't like is when I turn the volume up or down, the TV only displays "Volume +" or "Volume -". I'd like to see the absolute values 0-100. When I pull up the "On screen display" (OSD), and turn the volume up or down, I see the absolute values (0-100), but as soon as I return to the Tivo video, I no longer do.

If I connect my source (the Tivo) to the Receiver and then ARC to the TV, the receiver goes into the OSD. If I select the source again (Tivo), it will momentarily show the Tivo video on the screen before being kicked back to the OSD. Is this expected behavior?

When I call up Sony support, they tell me its a Samsung issue and to call them. When I call up Samsung support, they tell me its a Sony issue and to call them.

Its obviously not the end of the world, but I was hoping to be able to use ARC to power down my receiver when the TV is turned off (or the other way around would be fine too). I find that regardless of what remote I use, sometimes the IR signal doesn't get both the TV and receiver and then they get out of sync, which is a little bit of a pain (particularly for the wife). And, I'd like to be able to see the absolute volume levels (not just on the face of the receiver).

Does anyone know if there is a way to accomplish this? Thanks!

Last edited by Maxxodd; 09-11-2018 at 08:57 AM.
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post #90 of 257 Old 09-11-2018, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxxodd View Post
I have a Sony STR-ZA1100ES hooked up to my 9000 series Samsung TV. I currently have it set up where the video source (Tivo Bolt+) connects to the TV and then ARC from the TV to the Sony receiver. This works fine and when I turn the TV off, the receiver turns off. Great. The only thing that I don't like is when I turn the volume up or down, the TV only displays "Volume +" or "Volume -". I'd like to see the absolute values 0-100. When I pull up the "On screen display" (OSD), and turn the volume up or down, I see the absolute values (0-100), but as soon as I return to the Tivo video, I no longer do.

If I connect my source (the Tivo) to the Receiver and then ARC to the TV, the receiver goes into the OSD. If I select the source again (Tivo), it will momentarily show the Tivo video on the screen before being kicked back to the OSD. Is this expected behavior?

When I call up Sony support, they tell me its a Samsung issue and to call them. When I call up Samsung support, they tell me its a Sony issue and to call them.

Its obviously not the end of the world, but I was hoping to be able to use ARC to power down my receiver when the TV is turned off (or the other way around would be fine too). I find that regardless of what remote I use, sometimes the IR signal doesn't get both the TV and receiver and then they get out of sync, which is a little bit of a pain (particularly for the wife). And, I'd like to be able to see the absolute volume levels (not just on the face of the receiver).

Does anyone know if there is a way to accomplish this? Thanks!
How do you like the 1100 otherwise?

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