Sony’s STR-DA6400ES Receiver Captured in the Wild. Honest.
Every multi-room receiver I’ve used or reviewed has only been able to send standard definition video to a second zone. The Sony STR-DA6400ES is the first I’ve seen that can send high def audio and video to two zones. That’s because HDMI doesn’t easily support transmission over more than, say 50’, without some sort of inline booster, and once you get up in the walls and through the ceilings and down again, 50’ disappears real fast. But by using CAT5e wiring found in much mid-to-high level new construction, Sony has a found a much longer (at least 300’) path. for high def video and audio. Sony uses two Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipsets to support scaling up to 1080p in both the main and secondary zone.
Pegged as a “network receiver,” the 6400ES will accept audio streamed from any DLNA-compliant PC as well as hook in directly to Rhapsody and Shoutcast Internet Radio without a PC. Not only that, this receiver will decode Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio from Sony’s (ta-da!) new SACD player.
Now the rundown – 7.1 channels, with 120 wpc into 8 ohms @.09 THD, six HDMI ins (one is in the front) and two HDMI outs, in receiver decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, available in October for $2,500.