As we lead up to CEDIA Expo 2023, taking place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver (Sept. 7-9), here’s a look at what some leading companies tell CE Pro they are planning for their booths. One of the most anticipated booths each year is that of Sony Electronics (booth #2501).
Ahead of this month’s tradeshow in Denver, we caught up with Jeff Goldsein, Head of Sales – Custom Installation Channel at Sony, to hear about the Sony ES Series debuts and latest AV trends they’ll address at CEDIA Expo.
CE Pro: Recently Sony introduced its latest-generation AV receivers. Can you talk about the amount of R&D that went into the products to make them stand out in a competitive category?
Goldsein: A tremendous amount of R&D was expended to ensure the highest quality audio and video performance as well as deep integration capability with all the key control and monitoring platforms.
Everything from a new, more rigid chassis design to custom designed high performance audio components, heat management, as well as a new Digital Cinema Calibration IX and our proprietary 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology have been incorporated to deliver the best possible immersive Audio experience for the end user.
CE Pro: Can you explain Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping feature that it offers in the receivers and how it fits into today’s growing immersive audio world?
Goldsein: This exciting technology as applied in our new ES receiver line takes input from our Digital Cinema Calibration IX with extensive room measurement data, and applies a unique Sony-developed algorithm to deliver a perfect immersive audio experience. It’s a great tool to correct for less than perfect speaker placement and can create “Phantom” speaker locations to expand the soundstage beyond the limitations of the physical speaker setup.
360SSM delivers precise placement of sounds within the soundstage to deliver even more detailed and smooth tracking of sounds as they move within the Immersive sound bubble. This is great for the home theater experience and also enhances directional audio for gaming.
CE Pro: The receivers also include Sony’s Center Speaker Lift Up, Acoustic Center Sync, and Dual Center Speaker technologies. What are the strengths of these technologies, and how can an installer implement them?
Goldsein: The center-channel features have been enhanced for this generation of ES receivers. There are multiple ways to apply these dependent on the specific application. If paired with certain Sony TVs the Acoustic center synch has been upgraded to only utilize a portion of the center-channel frequencies. This results in the impression of the sound coming directly from the center of the screen without creating a mismatch between the TV speakers’ sound and the rest of the system.
Center Channel Lift Up utilizes Front Height speakers, if present, to audibly lift the center channel sound to the center of the screen. Finally in our higher end models, unused amplifier channels can be re-assigned to power a second center channel that can be placed above the screen and balanced with one below to position center-channel audio to the center of the screen. This is especially useful for applications where a large projection screen or LCD walls are being used.
CE Pro: How does a flagship product like the VPL-XW7000ES projector complement Sony’s AV systems to enable integrators to specify and install state-of-the-art home entertainment rooms?
Goldsein: The VPLXW7000ES offers spectacular brightness and color reproduction at it’s price. It incorporates upgraded Wide Dynamic Range Optics, all-new Advanced Crisp-Focused (ACF) Lens, Sony’s latest generation Native 4K SXRD (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display), Flagship-level X1 Ultimate processor for projector, and all the control system compatibility and remote monitoring functionality an installer could dream of.
The VPLXW7000ES is also very quiet with only 26dB of noise – so it can be installed in the room with the client and not detract from the cinematic experience. Sony ES projectors are a great tool for integrators to deliver unmatched video performance in a home theater or multipurpose entertainment space.
CE Pro: Can dealers scale the size of their system installations using the Sony AVRs and projectors starting with the STR-AZ1000ES receiver and VPL-XW5000ES projector and moving up through the aforementioned 7000ES projector and AZ7000ES receiver? What’s the value for the dealer and the homeowner?
Goldsein: Absolutely, we offer our ES AVRs and ES Projectors at various price points so integrators have the flexibility to work with all budget ranges. This ensures that great entertainment experiences for the homeowner can be achieved at a variety of price ranges.
CE Pro: Are there best practices that Sony can offer to help dealers to effectively sell and install complete Sony ES Series AV systems?
Goldsein: Of course! Sony has a Sales Support team, a nationwide network of manufacturer’s reps, and a dedicated CI support line that can assist in project specification, technical support, and aftercare. We also offer industry-leading warranties on our ES products so integrators can specify Sony ES Series with confidence.
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