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CNET First Look
Sony STR-DN1000The Sony STR-DN1000 offers solid sound and basic AV receiver features at a bargain price, but it's not nearly as good as last year's STR-DG920.
[ Music ] >> Hi I'm Matthew Moskovciak, Senior Associate Editor from cnet.com and this is the Sony STR-DN1000. Now this is the follow up to the popular DG920 from last year and it's actually a pretty different product than its predecessor. The first big change you'll notice is up front. It has a glossy black front panel. That's different than all the other receivers in Sony's line, and while it looks pretty good when you take it out of the box, we will note that when you go to change the volume and stuff there's going to be some fingerprint smudges that show so you'll have to have a cloth to keep it looking nice. Also on the bottom half there's a flip down tray and underneath there are some additional buttons as well as an additional AV input. Now when you turn the Sony on, you'll notice that it has a graphical user interface unlike the text-based interface that you'll see on a lot of other AV receivers. This makes it a little bit easier to set up your speaker configuration visually rather than having to rely on the tiny display on the front of the receiver. The Sony has most of the functionality that you'd expect on a mid-range AV receiver. There's onboard decoding for Dolby true HD and DTS HD master audio; it's Sirius ready and it has analog video up conversion up to 1080I over its HDMI output. However, we will note that when we took it in the lab and we did some testing, we weren't that pleased with the video quality of up-converted analog signals, so if you're planning to use it with some older analog devices or say the Nintendo WI, this may not be the best pick. If you flip it around back you'll see that there are four HDMI inputs and there's a lot of other analog video connectivity as well. There are a couple of missing features that you usually see on a midrange AV receiver. One of which is there is no multichannel analog input. So if you have an older device that say has 7.1 analog outputs, you won't be able to use it with this receiver. The Sony is S-Air so it has some multi-room functionality but you're going to be limited to Sony S-Air products unlike a traditional receiver where you'll generally be able to use say extra bookshelf speakers that you have lying around. The Sony costs a lot less than some other AV midrange receivers but it held up on both movies and music for audio quality even when we put it against say the Denon AVR 1910 [assumed spelling]. Altogether the Sony STR-DN1000 isn't quite as good as last year's STR DG 920 but it does cost substantially less so if you can live with the shortcomings it is a good value. I'm Matthew Moskovciak, Senior Associate Editor from cnet.com and this is the Sony STR-DN1000.