Along with amazing image quality, the currently available HD-DVD and upcoming Blu-ray players come with a high level of uncertainty regarding receiver compatibility. Running two HDMI cables between one device and its HDTV destination is akin to setting up a tightrope over a sea of copy-protection sharks. At today's Home Entertainment Show in Los Angeles, Sony revealed plans for an A/V receiver optimized to play fair with the Blu-ray format. The STR-DG1000 will be available in August (a few months before the company's October-dueBlu-ray player) for $800.
The STR-DG1000 promises to pass the full bandwidth of 1080p signals via HDMI, as well as upconvert images from composite-, S-Video, and component-video sources to HDMI. On the audio end, the receiver can output 7.1-channel surround sound, which can be split to a multiroom 5.1/2.0 setup. According to Sony, the connectivity suite will be composed of "HDMI, component, and optical inputs, as well as five inputs and two outputs for A/V, and three inputs and one output for audio." The receiver is also compatible with portable audio devices--the STR-DG1000 touts a Portable Audio Enhancer feature that should process and clear up compressed audio--and XM via a Connect and Play antenna.