CNET First Look
Sony STR-DH700Sony's STR-DH700 is an inexpensive 7.1 AV receiver, but its lackluster sound and dearth of features make it tough to recommend.
[ Background Music ] >> Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak, senior associate editor at CNET.com and we're here with the Sony STR-DH700. This is one of the least expensive full 7.1 AV receivers on the market and it offers a lot of functionality for the price. If you look around back there are three HDMI inputs for high definition video and also high resolution audio and PCM format. And you also see there are three component video inputs if you have older high def devices. The Sony also includes automatic speaker calibration at this price point and all you have to do is plug in the included microphone to get that started. Now at this price level there are some compromises. This receiver doesn't have all the features that you'll see in the step up model. For example there's no on board decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Now that's not as big of a deal as it used to be because most Blu-ray players have onboard decoding, but it's still a step down from some of the other models that you might see. This receiver also doesn't have an on screen display so instead of being able to navigate the menus on your T.V. you're stuck using the small little LCD display on the unit which can be a little intimidating you're not used to using AV receivers. Now we could have overlooked a lot of these missing features if the Sony delivered excellent sound, but instead we found that the sound quality was a little bit below average. On movies it lacked some of the impact that you'll get on a higher end AV receivers and music just didn't sound as detailed as we're used to. Altogether while the Sony is one of the least expensive 7.1 AV receivers on the market it's difficult to recommend with some of the missing features and it's subpar sound quality. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET.com and this is the Sony STR-DH700. [ Music ] ^M00:01:46