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Showing 1-10 of 150 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 172 reviews
on November 2, 2013
* I've had this receiver for about six months now and after a few aggravations (most of them having to do with the clunky graphic user interface), I'm finally comfortable with what I have. The learning curve on this unit is pretty steep because the manual is NOT customer-friendly.

* However, there's something you need to know about one of the most touted features on this receiver. The Auto Standby option, which allows you to run sound and picture to your TV - even when this receiver is OFF - generates so much heat that you might want to consider disabling it.

* The way Auto Standby works in my case is I have a standard DVD player and a separate Blu-ray player. I take the HDMI outputs from each unit and plug them into the HDMI inputs on this receiver. I then run a third HDMI cord from the receiver - and plug it into my TV.

* This "pass through" ability is often confused with the HDMI Control "pass through" feature, which is key to all of this but it is NOT the same as keeping the receiver "ready" and "on" around-the-clock, which is what Auto Standby is all about. You access HDMI Control and Auto Standby via System Settings through the clunky graphic user interface (GUI Mode) with your TV on. You can also access GUI Mode without a TV - but it's a real pain, requiring you to have the manual nearby to guide you while using this receiver's remote control.

* The Auto Standby Mode is "supposed" to save power. But I've had two of these receivers and the FACT is - it doesn't. Since heat is the best subjective indicator of how much power is being used, this receiver should come with a warning label. When you turn your receiver off - and if you have Auto Standby ON or in the AUTO position - you'll see an indicator on the front panel that remains dimly lit around the clock, day and night. This by itself is NOT a big deal.

* What is a big deal is when Auto Standby is activated, this receiver will run HOT. I'm talking about more than 130 degrees HOT. Just run your hands over the top, bottom and side panels of this receiver and you'll discover - that while the receiver is "off" and while Auto Standby is on AUTO or ON - the left side of the metal casing is as warm as it normally is when you're listening to anything "live" while you're in the room. The temperature won't burn your hands, but it's definitely higher than the most aggravating summer day in Death Valley, California.

* Because of the high temperatures generated by this unit when it's "off" and in Auto Standby mode - any electronic gadget you stack above or below it WILL ALSO suffer. (I had to dump my vintage Sony audio cassette deck that worked like a dream for years - because the heat from this receiver, which was stacked below it - dried out the cassette deck's rubber pulleys and springs.)

* I've since disabled Auto Standby, even though whenever I want to play a DVD or a Blu-ray disc - I have to turn the receiver ON to take advantage of the "pass through" feature that runs sound and picture from the receiver into my TV.

* I know my "workaround" is a REAL PAIN, i.e., I can't get picture and sound from video components running into this stereo and out to my TV - unless this stereo is ON. And I also know disabling Auto Standby removes one of the most attractive features of this Sony line of stereo receivers.

* But while I love that I can STILL use fewer HDMI cords to run video into this receiver to get "big sound" - while using a single HDMI cord out from this receiver into my TV - I think you should weigh the cost vs. benefit of having Auto Standby in the "auto" or "on" position, night and day. For me, the hassle to turn this receiver on when I want to watch a DVD or a Blu-ray disc - is nothing compared to worries I have about how much heat is being put out when Auto Standby is on while I'm asleep at night in another room. Sorry.
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on December 1, 2014
My cousin had this receiver, and really liked it; so I bought one. Pretty easy to set up and ran like a champ for about 3 months; one of the HDMI ports went bad, I couldn't get digital signal through the SA / CATV port; I could run the satellite receiver through another port and it worked fine; but since it was under warranty, I was able to take to a local repair shop; they fixed it but took them about 2 + months. Now, about 11 months later, 2 ports are bad - any audio that comes through them is very muffled. I have had a lot of good Sony products over the years, and likely will chalk this up to a bad machine. Waiting to get in touch with customer service still; I fear it is no longer under warranty. So beware of this model.

UPDATE - Kudos to Sony; took 30 minutes on hold but got to a live person on their help line; the second agent worked with me 15, 20 minutes and fixed problem: power off, then hold power / standby button 5 seconds until you see 'CLEARING' then CLEARED, unplug AC power, leave for a minute, then replug and power up. This fixed the problem with the HDMI ports. YAY Sony !
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on June 13, 2011
I just got this receiver to replace an old Sony receiver that didn't have any HDMI inputs. This receiver works perfectly with my LG 47LW5700 3D TV.

Pluses:

*Easy setup
*Great sound
*Auto-volume keeps loud movies from being too loud. Our old Sony receiver we had to constantly adjust the volume during movies.
*Lots of inputs, easy to reassign other inputs if the pre-combined ones don't meet your equipment needs.

Cons:

I got this so I could put my older game systems through and have their video unconverted from 480p to 1080i. The picture looks amazing, but due to the video processing it creates too much latency to make the games playable. On my Wii I could hear Mario jumping (in Super Mario Brother Wii) at least 1 second before he jumped on the TV screen. I ended up running everything through the inputs on my TV (without the 1080i upscaling) and using the Audio Return Channel to just route all sound to the receiver. This made all of my games playable with synced sound. If I had known the upconverting would have created so much latency I would have just gone with the STR-DH520 and saved a few bucks.

Bottom line:

Great for everything except gaming. Run games through your TV and then the audio to your receiver.
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on February 28, 2013
It's been 16 yrs since we bought a receiver. We elected to get a Pioneer because you could play IPod/IPad and get Pandora (if you want to make it wireless but, quite frankly, my plan was to use my IPad to play Pandora so I don't have to go to the extra work to go wireless w/the unit) but after a month of pain and frustration, we sent it back and we got this because you can still plug in your IPod. BUT NOT YOUR IPAD, come to find out (one guy in one of these comments said it did). Coincidently enough, it was the same brand as the receiver we were replacing. That's one of the main reasons I chose Sony. Figured our last Sony is 16 years old and still working so why not. Best thing about it: ease of set up. All I had to do was plug everything in and give it a whirl and everything worked. No having to program anything, no having to convince the receiver that you plugged something in (like the Pioneer), no having to go to college just to read the manual and get everything to work. I love it. Good ol' Sony pulls through again (unless it breaks a year and a day after the warranty expires, knock on wood).
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on January 11, 2015
I've had this receiver for a few years now and I have absolutely loved it since. It seems to be able to do everything I want it to and I am still figuring out new features (probably because I never read the manual). I have had several different configurations with devices using this receiver over the years. I have used it simply for audio (doing video straight through the TV) and for audio/video. I've had my computer, laptop, playstation, xbox, ipod, auxiliary devices and just about everything hooked up to this receiver and I have never had any issues, everything works as I expect it to.

Now a major complaint I've heard about this one is the up scaling, I haven't actually done any of this since I don't have any old game systems (I use emulators on my computer) or DVD players to utilize it so I can't comment on that.

I'm a college student and have set this receiver up probably 6 times now, in different dorms, apartments, etc. It has also survived the moves and what not. All in all it is a great receiver with a lot of features and works in every way I would like it to. At the time I bought it for around $186 used off of Amazon here in 2012 and for the combination of price/features/wattage/7.1 it absolutely killed everything else out at the time. It looks like it is discontinued now so the price isn't quite as attractive as it once was. I just hope that Sony's newer receivers are just as good as this has been.
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on September 26, 2013
For starters I want to point out what I would consider the 2 most important features for something at this price level.

It converts all sources to HDMI so that you can plug in a VCR, non HD cable box, old game system, video camera or whatever else and it will output that source to the HDMI out directly to your TV. This simplifies the installation of a HD TV and reduces the amount of controllers you need. IF your TV can turn on and off automatically for HDMI sources (most can) and you are not using the cable/air tuner built into the TV you can completely stop using the TV remote control.

This was the single most important reason I purchased the unit for my father.

The other feature that is nice to have is the on screen display so you can see the volume level on the TV itself.

Most of the good things stop there.

You should not be expecting this to be a high quality receiver with adequate power output for more than the smallest lowest quality speakers.

It is simply a decent AV source switch that will give you the ability to connect speakers that will at least sound better than a TV but do not expect a true theater experience. As long as you have the right expectations this device will not let you down.

Rating breakdown given price:
Features: 9/10
Surround: 7/10
Stereo: 3/10
Power: 7/10

Ratings compared to units up to $800
Features: 5/10
Surround: 5/10
Stereo: 2/10
Power 3/10
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on July 2, 2012
Maybe the best receiver under $300. Its not perfect but it has a load of features, including upscaling which is only available on very expensive receivers. I cant think of a feature its missing that the expensive models have, its the only full featured budget receiver Ive seen.

An interesting feature that I cant use but look forward to using eventually is the Sony HDMI control feature. This allows you to use a remote to control a slim PS3 via the receiver instead of having to buy an expensive IR adapter or remote. This ONLY works for the slim PS3 though, but it should definitely work with the PS4, I have an old PS3 so I cant use it yet. The PS3 is my primary Netflix device so I expect to use it a lot when the PS4 comes out.

The upscaling is completely lag-free. It makes the Wii look much better but its not perfect, it has an overscan issue where there is a black border around the screen, but you stop noticing it after awhile and the better graphics are worth the trade off. I was worried there would be lag (and a review said it did) but it is absolutely lag free. There is no upscaling setting, it is always on when using the analog inputs (and yes analog input goes through your HDMI output, other receivers in this price range dont do that).

The sound is pretty good, supports all the latest codecs, its not as bassy as my old Onkyo but I cant say its "worse," just "different," you trade bass for clarity. The surround sound does sound more realistic though. Ive never used Audessey so I dont know how it compares to Sony's auto speaker setup but it seems pretty accurate, it got the distances pretty spot on, I just had to increase the levels of one speaker that was far away, my Onkyo's mic setup was terrible. My biggest gripe is that it doesnt change sound modes based on the signal, if you always want 2.1 sound to be set to PLIIz and 5.1+ sound to be set to native you cant do that, my old Onkyo did but this you have to manually change each time you want PLII or native surround. Its also difficult to tell if its using Dolby or LPCM since the LCD icons are too small and it tells you the source once when it first detects it, my Onkyo had a red Dolby icon which made it easy to know if everything was working right.

The "onscreen GUI" is really dumb and slow, it also disables the sound when you use it since it behaves like a separate input, so you cant hear the difference between settings until you exit. You can disable it though and use the old fashioned LCD method which doesnt disable sound and is faster.

Beware, some of its HDMI features dont play nice with other brand's HDMI control features, I had to disable my Panasonic TV's HDMI control setting because it kept muting the receiver and doing weird things.

It also had a serious issue with my computer, after waking from sleep the audio wouldnt work because the PC couldnt detect an audio device. I dont know if its a video card issue or the receiver's issue, but I fixed it by disabling "pin 19" on the HDMI cable to prevent the PC from knowing a device has been disconnected. I think its the video card/Windows since it happens to people of varying brands of receivers.
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on July 5, 2013
I bought it because it was the lowest-priced receiver I could find that does video upconversion (highly desired since we have a Wii and a non-HDMI DVD player that I didn't want to pay to replace). I was looking at Denon and Pioneer initially, but to get that feature in those brands you'd have to pay much more. It replaces an 8-year-old Yamaha that finally broke. It is perfect for my simple living room setup with two Klipsch bookshelf speakers. Input assigning made setup easy, and input renaming makes it family-friendly. I've had it for a week and so far it operates just fine with all my components, including the Wii. Overall a great value as a simple source-switching receiver. It's nowhere near as capable as the Integra in my dedicated home theater room, but it costs a third as much so a direct comparison isn't fair. Five stars for what you get for the price.
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2013
The STR-DH720 seems like a transitional product that hasn't quite become a full AV receiver rather than an audio-only device. It sounds good, especially for the price, and the plentiful HDMI inputs are appreciated (especially given how short of optical audio inputs it is). But switching between those HDMI inputs takes a ridiculous amount of time -- measured in seconds, not fractions of seconds. You'll want to go get a drink or check email rather than waiting for the selected video source to come up. And the on-screen menus are ugly, rudimentary, very poorly documented, and require another time-wasting mode switch to go full-screen from your TV rather than being overlaid on the input source's image. This receiver's UI is obtuse enough that I'd seek another device, either one without on-screen menus or one with good, verbose, self-explanatory ones. The sound is great, but between the Sony quality (I don't expect it to last more than a few years) and the poor UI it's not a very competitive product if you want to run a whole home theater setup.
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on August 27, 2013
Bought this DH-720 for a very good friend as he was confused on what to get. This is a great unit for digital devices. It definitely embraces the end of analog in a fairly big way as it have very few analog device inputs (at least it has more than the newer Sony availableSony STR-DH740 7.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver (Black)). We were able to connect the Sony TV, 2 DVD players, VHS player, iPhone, and a tape deck and the existing 5 speakers. Now he is talking about wanting to connect their turntable but the unit is out of analog inputs. So that sucks.

Pluses:
- pass-thru when the unit is off. It allows the TV speakers to work when the unit is off. This is done automatically (at least with the Sony TV). That is a nice surprise.
- fairly easy to use.
- apps to control the unit.
- multiple HDMI inputs.
- 3D capable (not sure if that is ever going to be use but again nice to have)
- 4K ready (very good for looking towards the future).
- 7.1 sound (AWESOME)
- mic to auto calibrate
- integrated user interface on-screen (with Sony monitors)

Overall a nice unit. I may get one myself once I upgrade my current receiver.

Minuses:
- very little analog inputs
- what is worst many analog inputs are for multiple uses.
- does not support 2 ohm speakers
- no HD Radio support
- no blue tooth support
- no network support
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