Sony STR-DH520 A/V receiver

Sony STR-DH520 review: A surround sound amp that supports 3D playback

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Doesn't work very well
• • •

Audio is slightly out of sync with the tv speakers. Also, when I change cable channels, the screen goes dead -- no video or audio unless I power cycle the receiver. The troubleshooting page does not address this.




Some missing features
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For those looking for a budget receiver that's relatively easy to set up and sounds excellent for small to medium sized rooms the Sony DH520 is definitely worth a serious look. I have my receiver set up as a 5.1 using Paradigm speakers all round. So far, I've been very happy with the performance, especially compared to the aging, decade old Sony unit it's replaced (HDMI is definitely the way to go).

There is no onscreen TV menu and the remote is as basic as they come though. Hardly surprising at this price point. The sound at higher volumes reveals some minor, barely detectable distortion so audiophiles will probably want to look elsewhere. The North American model comes with the auto mic calibration feature disabled which is an inexplicable and strange omission to me. And as the reviewer mentioned this is a somewhat ugly unit but is nonetheless solidly built. The DH520 also does an excellent job at detecting and decoding virtually all audio formats. Movies sound especially good on the DH520.

This is the Honda Civic of home theatre receivers. An extremely serviceable unit that will get you where you want to go with a minimum of fuss and financial pain. However those of you who prefer BMWs will obviously be looking for something else.


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