Pros: Many many features with a decently low cost. DTS, DD 5.1.
Cons: Needs second room (A/B) speaker option.
The STR-DE is a great starting point. HISTORY-Before this unit, I used (and still do) the Sony STR-D565. I liked the features it had considering the time it was made and it afforded me reliable listening enjoyment - and I bought it used.
From that point on, I swore by Sony, which brings me to this Sony component. I was looking for relatively entry level, Dobly Digital 5.1, had to be able to decode DTS. Compared systems like JVC, Yamaha and Denon. For the options vs. price, the Sony won out.
This unit has more features than I think I'll ever use, it certainly has more component hook ups than I have components. My chief complaint is the lack of second room speaker option (offered on the 975 however) for listening to music. A minor setback.
Sound levels are very adjustable on all levels, setup has a little learning curve, and the manual does cover most things. Sound itself comes through crisp and clear. I was worried when people mentioned hiss from the rear speakers. I have yet to encounter this and I've had this system for over a year now. There has been NO clipping at any volume level.
2 "sub-out" lines is a nice feature. Instead of having one huge sub, get 2 smaller ones for faster bass response that THUMPS.
The 6.1 is phantom but it's done quite well. Blending is seemless. The programmable remote actualy did fairly well. The only component that hasn't worked is for our seldom played RCA 5-disc cd-player.
If you have a DSS, DVD, VCR, CD and decent speaker/sub set-up, you can't go wrong. Seeing as how this is overdue by about a year, anyone looking at this unit as a discontinued or used model, grab it.
The price I mentioned was the price I paid over a year ago. and it's relatively similar to today's prices. I think that speaks for itself. Excellent quality on a budget.