Sony has updated to its line-up of DNLA-certified AV receivers and added a network audio server to the range. Replete with dull-sounding codenames, the new devices let you bring together more than the usual array of home entertainment components.
The Sony STR-DA6400ES and its DH-labelled cohorts will supersede the existing DG range. The top-of-the-line Sony STR-DA6400ES is the first device in the range to act as a network server. It is compatible with the ShoutCast internet radio service and is also able to shunt music from any connected audio source, whether that be a vinyl record, cassette tape or CD on a home hi-fi, or a digital source such as an MP3 album or an internet radio station.
Sony says the AV receiver supports 7.1 digital audio and has a remarkably generous six HDMI (high-definition media interconnect) ports. One of the HDMI ports is front-mounted to make it easy to connect an HD device such as a camcorder.
HD video codecs and Dolby Digital Surround Sound are also included. The device is intended to "bridge the divide between your analogue content and digital devices".
As with similar music-streaming setups from Sonos and a planned network music system from Cisco, the Sony STR-DA6400ES works with remote control devices that can be used in other rooms to launch and play back audio from several connected sources, including internet radio and any locally-stored music available to other network devices.
Both 1,080p and 24P HD video are supported, as is Sony's X.v extended colour range for home displays such as HDTVs playing Blu-ray movies. The AV network audio server is set to go onsale in the UK in May, while the complementary STR-DH500, STR-DH700 and STR-DH800 receivers will launch at intervals from April to July.
Pricing for the devices has yet to be announced.