Sony Introduces New ES Receivers And 3D Blu-ray Player

It's hard to say which company really sparked the 3D revolution, but it's safe to say that Sony will go down as one of the pioneers. They have been pushing the technology from the beginning, and they've been willing to spend serious bucks in order to make sure that 3D is available on their televisions, game consoles and even Blu-ray players.

Today, the company is taking another step in proving their dominance in the sector with the introduction of new Elevated Standard (ES) AV receivers including the STR-DA5600ES, STRA-DA4600ES, and STR-DA 3600ES and a Blu-ray 3D player, the BDP-S1700ES. Sony's ES line has long since been heralded as being among the best out there, but with these, it'll be even harder to get them. In what marks a significant shift in distribution, Sony has announced that their " ES products will no longer be offered for sale online or through telesales," so they'll only be for sale in specialty AV retailers and custom installers.

Sony’s 2010 ES AV receivers feature IR input jacks and two-way serial control, meaning that they'll integrate easily into home automation setups. There's also 3D pass-through and flexible multi-room features, and they can connect to a home broadband network through an Ethernet port offering easy access to digital photos, music and videos from Digital Life Network Alliance (DLNA) sources. Moreover, they function as an Ethernet hub featuring four ports that connect other network devices. Of course, that web connection also provides access to Shoutcast Internet Radio and Rhapsody Music Service, and all of the new ES receivers support iPhone/iPod touch control.

These new ones are clearly designed for serious enthusiasts, as the STR-DA5600ES and the STR-DA4600ES offer the ability to distribute audio and video to multiple rooms via the second HDMI output and video to a second zone via CAT5 output, and they can also up-scale all sources to 1080p in the main zone and 1080i in a second zone via the Faroudja chip. In other news, Sony's also shipping a $400 3D Blu-ray player next month, the BDP-S1700ES. This one will feature integrated Wi-Fi (802.11n). Full details on the new gear can be found below.