Sony Unveils Adaptive Speaker System Solution To Simplify Multi-Channel Surround Sound Experience

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Responding to consumer enthusiasm for multi-channel surround sound home entertainment, Sony today announced its 2004 audio/video receivers and an adaptable modular speaker package that accommodates the variety of surround sound formats.

Packed with advanced audio and video performance features, Sony’s new receivers are designed to address virtually all of the requirements in today’s highly demanding home audio market.

“More than ever, home theater enthusiasts are looking to simplify yet maximize the surround sound experience,” said Tim Baxter, senior vice president for the Home Products Division at Sony Electronics Inc. “As consumers continue to expand their home entertainment systems, our new receivers and versatile modular speaker package meet those needs by integrating the latest technology with simplicity and unsurpassed performance.”

2004 Audio Video Receiver Lineup

Leading the new lineup is the STR-DE997 7.1 channel audio/video receiver, which incorporates advanced audio technology and an enhanced user interface for dynamic and comprehensive operation. Integrating Dolby® Digital EX, Dolby® Digital, Dolby Pro Logic® IIx, DTS-ES® and up to 2 zone/2 room audio features, the new receiver offers 120 watts of power and seven channel amplification. It also includes high-definition capable component video switching, as well as component video up-conversion, assignable digital inputs and is equipped with a pre-programmed LCD remote with learning and MACRO capabilities. The STR-DE997 will be available this July for about $500.


Modular multi-channel speaker package
SA-VS300H


Modular multi-channel speaker package
SA-VS300H

The rest of Sony’s 2004 audio video receiver lineup includes:

STR-DE897 – A 7.1 channel A/V receiver with 110 watts of power and seven channel amplifier, this versatile model incorporates many of the step-up features, including Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, S-video up conversion, 2 zone/2 room audio, 32-bit digital signal processor and Digital Cinema Sound™ (Cinema Studio EX) processing for dazzling audio and video performance. Available in silver or black cabinets, it will sell for about $400 in April;

STR-DE697 – Providing 7.1 channel surround sound with 100 watts of power, this new model features Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, Digital Cinema Sound processor and a 32-bit Digital Signal processor, as well as HD component switching. Available in a classic black cabinet, it will sell for about $300 in April; and

STR-DE597 – An entry level multi-channel receiver, the STR-DE597 delivers 100 watts of power, 6.1 channel surround sound, and also includes step-up audio features, such as the Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES and Digital Cinema Sound processor. It will be available in March for about $200 in a black cabinet.

For the two-channel audiophiles, Sony’s new A/V receiver line also includes the STR-DE197 receiver with 100 watts total power. It is available this month for about $150.

Seamless Integration for Evolving Multi-Channel Formats

To help ease the confusion created by surround sound formats evolving from 5.1 to 6.1 to 7.1 channels, Sony is introducing the SA-VS300H, an adaptable, modular multi-channel speaker package designed to simplify and match the formats.

“Consumers are facing speaker configuration challenges,” Baxter said. “Not everyone has a room that can accommodate seven speakers and a subwoofer, or even six speakers with a subwoofer. Our new speaker system offers a unique twist in the world of multi-channel speaker packages by morphing into 7.1, 6.1 or even 5.1 channels of audio, all by using simple, joint bracket system. It’s an ingenious concept that is sure to resolve some of these surround speaker challenges.”

The speaker package includes a slim center speaker, two sleek floor standing front speakers, four satellite rear speakers and an active 150 watt subwoofer. The system uses unique joint bracket stands that allow the speakers to be configured into 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 multi-channel surround sound. To create a 5.1 system, users simply combine the four satellite speakers into two units using the jointing brackets and for a 6.1 system, two satellite speakers merge to form one channel, handling up to 120 watts of power while providing format flexibility that is unmatched.

The SA-VS300H will be available in July for about $600.

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