September 05, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
CEDIA attendees are getting accustomed to hearing some big news from Sony’s annual press conference the day before the expo officially starts. Last year it was the launch of the company’s first 4K home theater projector. This year, 4K also shows up, but it’s the Sony ES receivers that stand out. The company announced two home theater receivers with complete Control4 home automation systems integrated into them.
The concept is a sort of Trojan horse—get consumers into home automation by slipping it into a product they already need for their home media systems. Both systems, a 100 watt per channel 7.1 receiver and a 130 watt per channel 9.2 receiver, offer powerful audio video processing, 4K compatibility, and a variety of networking and streaming options. The integrated Control4 feature, which comes in between Control4’s HC250 and HC800, will allow the user to move beyond basic home theater control and into lighting, temperature and multiroom entertainment without needing to purchase an additional control processor.
To take advantage of the Control4 feature, the system will need to be activated by a Custom Electronics Pro (including a $300 license fee) who will also integrate the user’s connected devices and program the remotes, smart phones or tablets that will be the interface for the new system. The receivers also use Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol which allows compatible devices to be quickly recognized by the Control4 software, making programing faster and easier for the integrator.
Both of the new models, STR-DA5800ES ($2,099) and the STR-DA2800ES ($999) will be available in November.
The Control4 interface shown on a Sony XBR-HX950 TV and an iPad.
For a lot more on the Sony/Control4 systems, go here.
Read a review of Sony’s STR-DA5700ES receiver here.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.