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CNET First Look
Sony receiver with built-in Wi-FiThe Sony STR-DN1030 is the only midrange AV receiver with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making it one of best receiver values this year.
-- I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we're gonna take a look at the Sony ST RDN 1030. This is a seven point two AV receiver and it's selling for 500 dollars. From the front this looks like a pretty standard AV receiver. It's not quite as sleek looking as Denon and -- is miles in the front panel has a few more buttons and knobs and are really needed. The remote is also kind of a mess with too many buttons and many of those buttons have multiple functions activated by -- K. It's all confusing and really unnecessary especially compared to -- is much simpler mode but gets the job done just as well. The ground to the back and you'll see what makes the SE RD -- 1030 really stand out. You almost never see an antenna on the back of a receiver but the Sony has won because it has built in Wi-Fi and built in Bluetooth. That's not something you're gonna find on any other receiver in this price range although onkyo at least offers an inexpensive dongle to add Wi-Fi functionality. There's also an ethernet port on the back and all these networking features allow the Sony to support a variety of features including built in airplay. DL -- pandora slacker and Sony music -- -- -- works great but the rest of the services are a little hamstrung by Sony's really basic user interface. That's cramped in the center of the screen and only offers a few lines of text. Luckily you usually won't see the user face on a receiver that frequently especially if you're gonna use your phone or tablet to listen to music through air player Bluetooth. But it's still disappointing that it looks -- and it. The rest of the back panel is adequate but not quite as good as some competing receivers. There are five HDMI inputs free digital audio and puts us quite a few analog ports -- prepare. That's a big enough to cover most home -- a leading a lot more flexibility from onkyo TX NR 616. Which offers -- HDMI inputs for just 410 dollars. We have cnet's resident golden years Steve Guttenberg take a listen to the -- and -- found sound quality to be surprisingly good especially since Sony has been lagging in previous years. It's sounding great with dynamic action scenes from movies and also really natural with music from both blu rays and CDs. We had a compared directly to -- sound quality Chan the Denon EVR 1912. And the two receivers were pretty much neck and back. So altogether -- Sony is really an excellent value at 500 dollars especially since it's the only model with built in Wi-Fi Bluetooth. -- -- TX NR 616 is a slightly better value overall with the Sony is a very close second and it's also a slicker option since so much of this functionality is built into the receiver. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is this only ASCII -- hand.