iPodNN: Sony on Wednesday revamped its AV receivers for 2011 with four seven-channel models that lean heavily on the purely digital side of media. Aside from the entry DH520, the DH720, DH820 and DN1020 all take in iPhone or iPod audio through at least USB and, with the DH820 and DN1020, through a bundled dock. The DN1020 as the flagship is also designed for Internet radio from the start and will pipe Slacker or vTunes when linked up over Ethernet.
The Internet connection gives the range leader support for Sony’s iOS and Android remote control apps.
Features scale rapidly between models and spread from basic home theater support. The DH520 puts out 100W of power per channel through its 7.1-channel output and will take in 3D and standby mode delivery through any of its four HDMI inputs; two component inputs are also available. Along with iPhone and iPod USB support, moving to the DH720 ups the power per channel to 105W and adds upgraded sound processing, auto calibration, as well as a Faroudja DCDi Edge that upscales analog video to 1080i.
The DH820 increases power again to 110W per channel and can support a second subwoofer. It bundles the expected dock and adds a third component input. Output is improved a second time with a Digital Legato Linear audio component, automatic phase matching and support for a second zone of audio with synchronized output for parties.
At the top, the DN1020 has the same power as the DH820 but brings in the networking and a sound optimizer.
All but the DN1020 will be available in March at prices of $230, $300 and $400 starting from the low end. Sony is anticipating shipping its best model a month later for $500.