270 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2013
I purchased the 1040 directly from Sony but I felt obligated to pen a review of this receiver based on my experience and reading other reviews here as well. I should have read the reviews here before I bought. For those that want the cliff notes version, here it is: Do not buy this receiver. I, too, had incredible amount of video issues that centered around the receiver's inability to process correctly the HDMI signal between my cable box and my TV. This was self evident to at least me as the only way to restore "normal" TV viewing...even for a short time...was to hard reset the receiver. Unplugging cables, cable boxes, TVs all did not solve the issue. To top it all off, Sony did everything they could to blame anything they could on anything else except their product. First it was HDMI cable. Nope...I changed out the cable and still had issues. I used those cables on another set up upstairs and it works fine. Next it was the cable box. Nope. I switched out the cable box 3 times. Using the one upstairs as well as asking the cable company to switch. Still had problems. Next it was the firmware. Nope, mine's up to date. Then it was the TV's turn. Sorry, TV works fine and I brought down another TV from upstairs and the problem persisted. I would then connect the cable box directly into the TV and bypass this receiver and all would be fine with no issues. You know what Sony blamed next? the HDMI cables touching the power cables. This was the last straw really...an asinine reason for the problem. Now in *theory* is there interference? Sure but by this logic, ALL receivers should be having video issues not just this model and we all know that this is not widespread to every receiver owner regardless of the brand that they own.
Are you sensing what the culprit of the issue is? Yep...its the Sony STR-DN1040.
I got to a point where I purchased an Onkyo TX-NR727 here on Amazon because I couldn't take it anymore. (Yes, I will review the Onkyo) I took the Sony out and set up the Onkyo...guess what...the problems disappeared. This is now, in my eyes, the fault of this Sony receiver...100%...not a doubt in my mind. So if I were the only one to have this issue, one can chalk it up to me drawing the short straw and getting an inevitable rare lemon. The problem is I'm not alone. Sure there are happy owners of this receiver as well but there are enough owners here and on Sony's owner's boards with the same exact issue to know that this is no one off. So the question is are you willing to risk rolling the dice and buy this receiver? My advice is don't. There are plenty of good receivers out there with similar features at similar prices...save your money and your time...
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
If I could have rated this a ZERO, I would have.
I also purchased this receiver direct from SONY expecting great things. I researched and thought the negative reviews were most likely people that either didn't know how to use it, or received a LEMON of a unit. Anxiously looked forward to setting the unit up and listening / watching. Got it set-up and used it for about 6 hours. Turned the unit off and went to dinner. Came back after a few hours and no picture displayed while using the unit in pass thru mode (the receiver) was not turned on. Before contacting SONY, I double checked my connections and didn't find the problem. After contacting SONY using live chat, and the next day using their on-line forum, (there are 38 pages of complaints concerning this very problem on the forum under 2 topics). Their recommendations to me were to first turn the receiver off, unplug the power cord to reset the device and low and behold it worked. However, I never got an answer to my on-line chat question , "What caused this to happen?" The next day I went to the forum where you can receive some timely assistance from SONY Tech's. I was advised that the problem sounded like a loose or bad HDMI cable...not the culprit. I was then advised change out the cable box (sorry, but no), change the HDMI cables (I did), complete a firmware update (I did), re-route the HDMI cable (I did), turn the Samsung TV on and let it warm up first (10 minutes)..(pretty hard to do with the HDMI cable running as pass thru) then turn the unit on. SONY Techs say the problem is only with SAMSUNG Smart TV's. I was then advised to turn off the ANYTIME function on the TV. I did, and they also recommend turning off the Smart TV feature. I spent over $60 changing out the HDMI cables hoping the 1040 would work. It didn't. Then SONY said they had purchased a Samsung 8000 series TV and they were able to duplicate the same problem. They insisted it was the SAMSUNG TV that caused the malfunction.
After a while speaking to SONY, they almost have you convinced that it isn't the receiver, but it sure works fine with the new ONKYO 626 I purchased. I've had the ONKYO 2 weeks and have not had any of the problems I had with the SONY. Sony's response to this problem is that it only occurs with SAMSUNG TV's and if I had purchased a Bravia TV, there wouldn't be a problem. Strange though on their forum people with Panasonic, Sharp and LG tv's were also having the same problem.
So SONY has you try every conceivable alternative other than the culprit being their receiver. I began to feel that I had to turn my head to the left, jump up and down on one leg 3 times, stick my tongue out twice then push the power button on while closing my right eye.
I consider myself as a 50+ yr old audio/videophile and the garbage coming out of the mouths of SONY reps is amusing. After having to reset the 1040 3 times in 2 weeks, I returned the item to SONY (which is where I purchased it from). You know what it said as the reason for the return??? BUYERS REMORSE!!
So it appears that SONY is aware of the problem, but to make their numbers (sales) look better they manipulate the return reason code to make it appear that it is the consumer's choice and not a faulty HDMI system...There are 38 pages on the SONY Community Forum filled with this same problem impacting consumers that have purchased this product. I think that speaks volumes that SONY has not addressed this issue in over a year of complaints from their customers.
Good luck if you purchase the receiver, I like it's GUI and other features, but when I turn the TV on, I expect to watch it. Not climb behind the entertainment center and unplug it for 30 seconds just to get it to work.
117 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2013
Updated 6/16/2013 original post 6/3/2013
Great news first you can stream your music files on Android Phone over wifi(like Airplay though not as good) using AirTwist(from DoubleTwist for 5$). More on this below in the File Steaming section.
I am a first time buyer of A/V receiver. I researched a lot about the receivers for about a few weeks i was actually looking at the DN1030 and I had the following wishlist of features in the order of priorities.
1. Builtin/Cheap Wifi(~20$)
2. Stream Audio from Android/Airplay
3. USB In front for FlashDrive with Charge Power >500ma
4. 2 HDMI OUT
5. 2 Digital Audio In
6. MHL in front(powered HDMI in other words)
7. ARC(Audio Return Channel)
8. Passthrough Input Change while in Standby
9. Preout (totally optional as I know it adds to price significantly. NOT available on DN1040)
10. High HDMI Count
Due to price and desired features limitation my research was focused mostly on Sony, Onkyo and Yamaha. The top contenders were Onkyo and Sony with Onkyo leading with its TX-NR616 ($349 + 25$ Wifi Dongle) and Sony DN1030 was next.
DN1040 sounded good but it was too expensive that I did not even consider it in the features matrix. Luckily last week I saw a deal on Rakuten.com (formerly Buy.com) that was only 449 for DN1040. I checked my feature list and all the top 8 parameters as well as number 10 were a go on this one and added Bluetooth which was not even in my feature list. So I pulled the trigger immediately. And boy am I glad that I did!
(Add 6/10) One other important reason why i bought this is because the STR-DN1030 came out on the top in the mid range receivers in the CNET Review last yr and many other websites recommend it.
Speakers: Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) (i paid 299$)
Speaker Wire: RCA AH16100SR 100 Ft. 16-Gauge Speaker Wire
Banana Plugs: Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs, 12-Pair(26$ NOTE: Cannot use banana plugs on the speaker side without Speaker mounts)
Speaker Mounts: Videosecu 6 Black Satellite Studio Speaker Mounts / Brackets for Walls and Ceilings 1UP (needed some grinding to fit the speaker but works great for the price)
My Amazon Reviews:
Speakers : http://www.amazon.com/review/R25L9POODXC2X8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Mounts : http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GPNDBZ7HSVSV/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Was a breeze just power up the system and it asked you about the setup of the speakers and network, And does a quick 2min speaker audio configuration using the bundled mic and you are ready to use it. Most of the features like Airplay, DLNA just work out of the box without any changes to the system settings. Looks great too especially compared to the 1030 this one has much better looks and works great the two big dials looks nice and the buttons are kind of invisible as they almost the same color as the front panel. The UI is pretty simple almost too simple i would have preferred a little more control especially with the HDMI options etc.
I got the remote to work with my LG 42LH90 TV using the code 503 and Also by LG Bluray Player with code 337. Though a little confusing the remote works okay once you get a hang of it. One major drawbacks i see of the remote is that it cant be used in a truly universal mode i.e you cant control the BD player without having the receiver wakeup. However you can control the TV with out waking the receiver. I have a feeling that it is probably me that is not able to use the remote correctly. Will revise my review as soon as i figure that out.
I have used Doubletwist/Airtwist for a few days works pretty well and reliably each time from 2 different Android Devices. But couple of issues to use this you have to enable AirTwist which is heavy on WIFI, depending on how much wifi drains your device battery the runtime of the phone can be less than halved. The worst part is that double twist does not have an option where it only enables airtwist when playing music to External Speakers it has to be switched on/off manually and you know how that goes.
There is another app to use the Airplay Feature of the receiver but primarily for people who are ready to root their devices it is AirAudio on Google Play Store i only tried the free version without rooting and works like charm. Still considering rooting for this. If you want to try it please read the complete play store description of the app beware some devices can get temporarily bricked because of the app. The advantage here (i.e if you root) is you can use any music player or video player and it works. Also appears this following app works similar to the above AirAudio App it is called Airplay on Android AOA Service.
On a personal note first time in 2 yrs i am unhappy about being on android the reason is Airplay. Google seems to be working on an Airplay like protocol and system level support for external playback thing but it is probably a few months and a couple of updates away for all current devices.
To conclude its seems the best way(power and functionality efficient) is to have the tunes stream from a home media server using sony network media app.
Apple iOS Remote Apps: Media Remote App + Network Audio Remote App (compatible with iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad; requires iOS 4.3 or later)
Android Remote Apps: Media Remote App + Network Audio Remote App (compatible with Android 2.2-up)
The blue tooth does work very well too. The pairing is real easy and audio quality seems to be good as well. One thing I liked about their implementation of BT is that you can skip track from the remote. But i personally prefer file streaming compared to bluetooth as the audio quality is better that way and also your phone doesnt need to stay in the range radius for the bluetooth to work.
Music on USB:
I used a USB flash drive and this feature works fine with it. Though i think it could be a little better like faster UI and remember where it was previously on the directory. Also if you hook up your iphone or android it has a 1A at 5V rating for charging.
To wrap up:
The setup was easy everything just works. Looks great and works great. The UI is pretty simple almost too simple if you ask me. The Android Remote App works fine. Streaming from android works flawlessly with double twist (DLNA). I paired it with Energy Take Classic 5.1 the audio is great (I am not qualified to do a comparative study here) and the connectivity option are amazing this is something I can certify Sony has basically thrown in the kitchen sink (well in the world of AV Receivers don't compare it with sonos) with Wifi/Bluetooth/Airplay/DLNA and combine that with Net Streaming Option (Pandora, Slacker Sony Unlimited Music etc)
The only complains I have so far is too few options/granularity when controlling connectivity, more Audio Streaming Options, Video streaming (netflix et all but 59$ roku can fix it). All in all I think it is an amazing receiver (especially for what I paid) will add more details as I explore them.
All in all i am very happy with my purchase especially give the deal that i got.
If you are shopping for a receiver you should also check out Sony STR-DN840 the network features are same.
CNET, whathifi, and crutchfield already have professional reviews of 1040. And crutchfield has a ton of tech spec.
Features yet to be evaluated
Sony Network Media Remote App(this is different from the remote control app)
Standby Switching of Inputs
MHL (BTW it has 1A at 5V rating like the USB)
Note: if any one has suggestions/questions please put it in comments will respond as soon as i can.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
Sound is great powering my repackaged Paradigm Speakers. Everything worked wonderfully, great on screen UI, calibration was ok and had quite a bunch of power. One thing though was after 2 1/2 weeks my HDMI would not work. I had to pull the plug of the machine and then plug it back in. If this was something I had to do for a few times it was fine but I had to do this everyday for the past week. Since it's still within the return period I'm just going to return it and look for something else from Onkyo, Yamaha or Denon.
EDIT: When I mentioned the HDMI issue I was unclear about that. It wasn't the audio but rather the Video signal. After 2 weeks it would not display my cable box, PS3, Bluray player that were connected thru the receiver. It would flicker or sometimes but a distorted screen. The only remedy was to unplug the machine and replug it. This was even after updating to the latest firmware. Luckily I was able to return it within the return period form amazon.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2013
I should have paid more attention to the reviews. This receiver worked perfectly for about a week, then it developed HDMI issues just as others have described. At first I would get picture but no sound, then sound but no picture. I got it to work again for a few minutes by unplugging the unit and turning it back on, but the picture went after a couple of minutes. I was happy with the unit until it developed these issues. I have read on the internet that this is a known problem for this receiver and many people have had the problem with a replacement receiver - I am returning mine for a refund and am purchasing an Onkyo. No more Sony receivers for me!
74 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2013
My Marantz AV1504 receiver "up and died" on me about a month ago so I was in the market for a decent mid-range audio receiver. Sound is most important to me -- I have a pair of Newform Research Ribbon speakers which are phenomenal so wanted something that could do them justice. However, I didn't have a ton of money to spend. In addition, I wanted something that was relatively straightforward in terms of interface. I read the reviews on the Yamaha and have a vintage Yamaha receiver so went with it based on reputation and hoping that the new generation receiver was up to the standards of its 35-year old ancestor.
I got the Yamaha and have been using it for about 3 weeks... as I said in my review, it has great sound and a user-friendly interface -- however the remote is atrocious!
So the Sony came today and I was eager to try it out compared to the Yamaha. I eagerly unboxed it, pulled the plugs on the Yamaha and hooked it up to the network and started going through the setup... it had a firmware update so without thinking about it, went ahead and started the update.... and then it shut down and just saw this blinking green light as it it was hung... and the light just continued to blink at me -- taunting me. I unplugged it, tried to do a hard reset... Then I started googling and learned from an AV forum that the update process can take up to 45 MINUTES -- that's a LONG TIME!! I was skeptical because I had gotten a Sony BluRay where network updates were basically the kiss of death. But eventually my patience was rewarded!
There are several "features" that make this preferable over the Yamaha:
1. With the Yamaha, if you were running HDMI, it would not play the sound from the TV natively -- you either had to use a special optical cable or RCA cables for the audio. Kind of defeats the purpose of the simplicity of HDMI.
2. When you turned on the TV, it automatically powers up the AV receiver. On the Yamaha, it automatically switched to the BluRay and you had to go through the exercise of shutting that down and switching back to Cable. With the Sony, it remembers the last setting you were on so if you don't switch back and forth, it is easy to just leave it on Cable and keep watching Cable.
3. The SOUND! The sound with the Yamaha was no slouch... however, this has an even more detailed sound and all around fuller sound through my Newforms than the Yamaha.
4. Pairing and streaming via Bluetooth is so straightforward that now I can access my entire music collection streamed directly from my iPad... I know that the Yamaha has this capability but it is not nearly as straightforward to figure out.
With the Sony, I didn't have to read the manual (in retrospect, I should have to learned more about the time it takes to update the firmware). I just was able to "plug and play".
Regarding Banana Plugs -- both receivers will work with them. However one thing I discovered tonight -- while both receivers will accept banana plugs and I had dutifully purchased some gold-tipped Monster plugs, I have found that the sound quality is MUCH MUCH cleaner if you take the raw speaker wire and loop directly through and around the post. It is a little more effort but it that is how the manufacturer engineered it and it honestly made a difference in my setup.
And a word about the remote. My ex keeps saying "The remote is the key" -- I disagree to a certain extent but the Sony remote is SOOOOO much better than the Yamaha (of course, that isn't difficult). To me, the lay out is much like a Harmony universal remote with distinct sections which are visually different and have a reasonable sized font (you still will need your readers if you are old enough to remember what life was like before remotes -- but you won't need a magnifying glass or a seeing-eye child!
Footprint wise -- the Sony is a smidge taller than the Yamaha but a bit narrower. I prefer the simple look of the Yamaha a little better but in terms of functionality, the Sony wins hands down.
AV receivers can be so complex -- it is nice when you find one that is fairly intuitive AND sounds great. Sony has achieved that balance. I'm just very happy with it so far and would not hesitate to recommend it over the Yamaha or the Marantz.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2013
After reading the reviews I was really pumped about getting my new STR-DN1040 receiver. It appears you will get a great product or a lemon. I got the lemon. After 2 days it started loosing the picture on the TV. "Signal Lost". Then the it would come back and then go out aprox every 3 seconds. It would continually do this until I would unplug and plug it back in. Then it would be good for the rest of the day. It took just seconds on the internet to learn I was not the only one having this issue. Sony refuses to admit it could be the receiver. Stated it has to be my Direct TV DVR. Replaced, No help. Replace your HDMI cables. Did that, No help. It must be your TV. Sorry, I am not replacing my $1700 TV. I took it back and purchased the Yamaha RX-V675. Everything is working great. One thing I was not expecting with the Yamaha, but the picture is amazing compared to the Sony. Because I could not find one fix for this issue on the net, I did not even think of swapping for a new Sony receiver. So if you do decide to get the Sony, make sure you can return it if you get the lemon. There is no fix for the ones that have the HDMI output issue. Just do a quick search on internet and you will quickly see what I am talking about.
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2013
Bought the Receiver through Amazon in July, it suddenly died in October. HDMI problems, like other reviewers. One day all video output, from Blu-Ray disc, cable box, etc. just stopped working.
Went on Sony site, found many complaints of the same thing. Now I've shipped it back to Texas for repair, it's cost me $78 to ship insured from my home in Hawaii. Not to mention the pain of uncabling, boxing, hauling the unit to the UPS store, and now waiting for it's return.
You can read on Sony's support site that to the waves of similar complaints, Sony representatives are suggesting fixes like "check your software revision levels", "replace your HDMI cables and space them correctly", "try outputting to a different TV", nonsense recommendations like that for a sudden failure when customers have changed nothing in their systems. It's obvious Sony has a problem with these units.
When the 1040 worked, it worked beautifully. The DLNA feature, sending iPhone music through the 7-channel speakers, was delightful. The easy setup of speakers, using the supplied microphone, was a joy. Just a shame about the early failure. If this receiver were an automobile, I feel there would be a recall. If you buy it, I wish you luck.
Just received the STRDN 1040 back from Sony repair after a couple of weeks. Guess what? Still fails in the same way. Now I'm talking to Sony representatives at the repair facility, trying to find out where I can have a useful engineering dialogue (not community.sony.com, which is like shouting down a deep, dark well). I really want to let Sony engineers know what a widespread problem they have. My aim is to correct the problems with this product, not just bitch somebody out, but I would have had more entertainment from throwing my $500 out the window than buying this Sony receiver.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
The first thing you'll probably notice about this receiver is the price tag. At nearly $600 there's no question that it's expensive equipment. Sony's price is actually quite competitive, however. I would compare this A/V receiver to Marantz's SR5008 and while the Marantz machine is probably a splash better, it's also significantly pricier. The Sony STR-DN1040 is about as high tech as you will need for the next 15-20 years and includes more than enough amenities. You probably won't even use most of them.
Here are some questions you may have right off the bat:
What is 4K resolution pass-through and upscaling?
In case you haven't heard, 1080p is already out of date - or at least it may be soon. 4K resolution is the latest upgrade in picture quality and is nearly 4x that of 1080p. 35mm films will benefit from 4K transfers, so it's actually a reasonable upgrade although some argue that it will be very difficult for the naked eye to discern the difference between 1080p and 4k. Sony has released its own 4K TV and a few competitors out there are also on board. A new disc is being developed to actually house 4K movies, but for now you'll only be able to watch 4K content via enormous digital files. Still, it's exciting to know that this receiver will not be out of date when the disc comes out and we have our very own 4K Disc players. 4K pass-through means you can connect such devices as Sony's FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player or future players and your 4K video will be displayed. 4K upscaling means that if you have a 4K TV but just a regular Blu Ray player, the receiver will try its best to improve the video quality.
What does "7.2 channels" mean?
The 7 is the number of surround sound speakers (channels) and the 2 is for the number of subwoofers. Being 7.2 compatible is very latest-greatest and it's unlikely that you'll need to upgrade this for a long time. As a slight warning, there are some 9.2 surround sound systems out there, however, and if you're an extreme audiophile you may wish to have a receiver which supports 9.2 surround sound.
Okay. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the quality of this system.
As far as the sound quality goes, it's great - however, I am one of the people who believe that a receiver rarely if ever alters the quality of the sound. The sound quality is based on the surround sound system you're using and/or the sound quality of what you're watching / listening to. In other words, if you plug crap speakers into this receiver, you'll get crap audio. It's not the receiver's fault. With that being said, some of the receiver audio settings can either be blessings or curses and thankfully Sony's system is practically perfect. I have absolutely no complaints about the sound quality and even found the user interface to be extremely easy.
As far as amenities are concerned, I'm very happy with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, as both are must-haves in our digital world. Likewise the easy access to iTunes, iHeartRadio and Pandora is very awesome. The 8 HDMI inputs is a techie's dream come true. The remote is a mess of buttons controlling all these fancy features, which may freak out the average Joe, but Techies won't mind. If you're like me, you'll appreciate that all the wonder features are available with the touch of a button.
OVERALL: So long as you anticipate using the many special features, such as WiFi and Bluetooth, that this receiver has to offer I would not be turned off by the price tag. In fact, I think it's a great deal. With all the latest bells and whistles, it is highly unlikely you will need a new receiver for many many years. The only thing that may come our way will be 9.2 surround sound, but who knows if/when that will ever become mainstream. I'm very happy about the 4K pass through, because whether we like it or not, 4K video will be the next new thang and after seeing Sony's 4K TV on display, I have to say that I'm excited for the next upgrade. The future has arrived and Sony once again proves that they're ready to embrace it with this great product.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2014
I bought this from Best Buy after reading several glowing reviews on multiple sites such as Cnet. At first I was really happy with it. I hadn't had the chance to use features like the zone 2 support, but I had several HDMI devices plugged in such as my Samsung TV, Chromecast, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The sound was good, setup was easy, and the on screen display was nice. Everything worked great.
For two days.
After that, I started to see the video signals cycle quickly from normal to static, and there was no sound. I hadn't made any changes to the system since initial setup. When I plugged the source device directly into the TV, it worked fine. Plugged back into the receiver, same problem. Tried swapping HDMI cables, no effect. Unplugging the power and plugging it back in fixed the problem, but only for an hour or two. Then I Googled it and found messages on Amazon and several message boards from people who had the same problem, with no permanent solution. So maybe I got a lemon, I thought. Still believing the glowing tech site reviews, I exchanged it for the same model. Everything worked great again...
For five days this time.
Fool me twice, blah blah blah. Took it back and got an Onkyo TX-NR626 three weeks ago and it works great.
If you do get this receiver, I strongly recommend that the store has a liberal return policy, or that you get an extended warranty.