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Christmas Gift Guide
Sony's STR-DG920 is a standout midrange AV receiver, with a basic graphical user interface, four HDMI inputs, and solid video processing.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
We liked the minimalist look of the STR-DG920. It's easy to fill the front of an AV receiver with tons of buttons, but the Sony is relatively sparse, except four large knobs that control functions like volume and input selection.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
Like other receivers in this price range, the STR-DG920 has onboard decoding for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
Like the Onkyo TX-SR606, the STR-DG920 features four HDMI inputs, which is the most you're going to see at this price point. It does a good job covering analog-video signals too, with three component-video inputs and five AV inputs. Do note that the STR-DG920 completely lacks S-Video inputs.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
Unlike every other receiver we've tested at this price range, the STR-DG920 comes with a GUI, rather than the unsightly text-based menus that are standard. We've been fans of Sony's GUI on receivers since it was first seen on the STR-DG5200ES, but it's worth pointing out that the STR-DG920's interface is a step-down from the slick menus on the ES-series.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
All of the inputs are also renameable, which means you'll have no problem assigning your inputs to something easy to remember like "TiVo" or "Xbox 360."
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
We actually botched the very first step of the auto calibration--plugging in the included microphone. We thought it was plugged in, but since the plug wasn't fully inserted, the auto setup aborted after running test tones through all the speakers and subwoofer. The onscreen display indicated "Error Code 33" had occurred, but didn't offer any advice about how to correct the error. Turned out the problem was we hadn't fully inserted the mic plug into the jack. It's a bit of a tight fit.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
With that snag out of the way the auto setup proceeded without a hitch. Auto calibration takes just a couple of minutes; it's quicker and easier than what we've seen from Onkyo's and Denon's auto-calibration systems.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
The included remote is one of the better ones we've seen, with big, easily-readable buttons for selecting inputs, and button rockers at the bottom for volume.
Caption by / Photo by CBS Interactive/Sarah Tew
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