Sony Announces Its First AVR with Immersive Audio (STR-ZA5000ES) - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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Sony Announces Its First AVR with Immersive Audio (STR-ZA5000ES)

This past week Sony Electronics finally joined the ranks of manufacturers offering AV Receivers with immersive sound codec compatibility. Earlier this year, the company released several new receiver models, none of which were capable of handling Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro-3D. That makes this recent announcement an important one for Sony and a good indication that immersive sound capabilities should ship with other new Sony models later next year. The new STR-ZA5000ES is now the company’s flagship ES branded receiver, and is specifically designed to be an anchor in a home system looking to integrate the “next generation” of home entertainment.



The new STR-ZA5000ES from Sony.


"The ZA5000ES has been designed to provide solutions for practically any system integration requirement," said YamatoTanikawa, Sony Electronics. "Additionally, its advanced audio and video performance make it the perfect complement for the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format, as well as other emerging 4K UHD platforms."

Sony has packed the ZA5000ES with enough amplification (130 Watt x 9 ch) to power 7.1.2 channels of Atmos or DTS:X sound, which is standard across industry flagship models. This means that a full 7.1.4 configuration will require some kind of external amplification. Of course, the inclusion of Atmos and DTS:X also means that the unit can handle legacy surround formats such as TrueHD and DTS-HD MA for backwards compatibility. Paired with the robust amp section is DSP technology that utilizes a high-speed clock and 32-bit floating point processing for operational efficiency. The company says it has incorporated shorter signal paths to reduce impedance and interference from digital noise, while mounting the processors on the receiver's power line ensures an ample supply of clean power (further optimizing performance).

The ZA5000ES has all of its bases covered on the video front, with six HDMI inputs (2 out) that meet full HDCP 2.2 compliance and 4K 60fps (4:4:4 color space) throughput. In addition, the receiver can distribute 4K video to two zones simultaneously.

Sony says the ZA5000ES has been outfitted with a range of other connectivity options including multi-zone pre-outs, and digital (optical, coaxial) and analog inputs. It’s worthy to note that the company did not include phono inputs, so vinyl lovers will need to take that into consideration. Wireless capabilities also are notably absent, which puts the ZA5000ES at a competitive disadvantage to its high-end AVR adversaries.

The STR-ZA5000ES is priced at $2,799 and will be available Spring 2016. DTS:X will be available via a firmware upgrade post-release.


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