Blu-ray Surround Bar Tops JVC Audio Line

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 19 2009 - 8:00am




A Blu-ray-equipped surround-bar system, home theater in a box (HTiB) with HDMI repeater functionality, and iPod docks that display iPod-stored video are among the key selling points in JVC's 2009 home-audio lineup.

The company also launched its first audio products that will be certified as Works with iPhone, including iPhone 3G models, and it said it might reenter the A/V receiver market late this year or next with a line of HDMI-equipped models. JVC dropped out of the A/V receiver market about a year ago when its line featured only one model with HDMI.

JVC's first Blu-ray-equipped HTiB, due in April at $699, is a 3.1-channel surround-bar system with proprietary 5.1 virtual surround technology, wireless 8-inch 100-watt subwoofer, and outboard Blu-ray 2.0 player with BD-Live capability when used with USB memory stick. It decodes AVC HD home-video files. The amplified surround bar incorporates Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel decoding. Audio connections to a set-top box can be made via S/P DIF inputs.

The internal amp is rated at 3x30 watts. The left and right channels are each delivered by 3-inch woofer and 0.5-inch tweeter, and a single 3-inch speakers handles the center channel. The 8-inch wireless subwoofer is driven by 100 watts. In addition, the system offers Dolby Digital and DTS decoding.

Of three new 5.1-speaker HTiBs, two are the company's first HTiBs with HDMI repeater capability. One is the $329 TH-G41 with iPod dock, which is iPhone-compatible but not certified as Works with iPhone.

The G41's dock and all other docks in the 2009 line are compatible with the new pin configuration in sixth-generation iPods, enabling the docks to charge the iPods as well as play back their audio through the connected sound system. Some docks sold by other companies won't charge sixth-generation iPods.

The other HTiB with HDMI repeating is the $429 TH-G51 with included wireless surround speakers and iPhone-compatible iPod dock. It's the company's first HTiB with wireless speakers.

In 2.1-speaker virtual surround systems equipped with DVD, the company will replace its current TH-F3 with the $599 NX-T10. Unlike its predecessor, the new model features a flat-profile chassis that can be table-mounted or wall-mounted. It comes with wall-mountable LR speakers, subwoofer and iPod dock.

Three new microsystems include the $199 UX-GN6 2.1-channel unit with iPod dock, touch-panel controls, laser-touch operation panel and motion sensor, which lets users wake up the product from standby mode by waving their hand in front. The unit's display and controls then light up. The laser-touch controls are touch-sensitive illuminated control strips. Users run their finger up and down one of two strips, one to control volume and one to control the CD player's forward/skip and reverse/skip functions.

The $149 UX-LP5 microsystem features a front-panel damped door that opens to reveal an iPod dock. The docks in both microsystems are iPhone-compatible but not certified as Works with iPhone.

The company is expanding its iPod speaker selection to three with the launch of the AC/DC RAP-51 and second-generation dual-dock speaker, the NX-PN10, both to be certified as Works with iPhone.

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