By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Three new 7.1-channel A/V receivers (AVRs), a networked A/V preamp processor, an eight-channel amplifier, four integrated amps and other devices accompanied Marantz's second Blu-ray player here at the CEDIA Expo.
With the introduction of three new AVRs — the $1,199-suggested SR6003, $799 SR5003 and $549 SR4003 AVRs — Marantz is bringing AVRs with embedded decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats to $799 from $1,399, 1080p up-scaling of all video sources to $799 from $2,600, and video transcoding of all video inputs to HDMI to $799 from $2,600.
Last year, the company introduced its first two AVRs with embedded decoding of all authorized Blu-ray surround formats at a suggested $1,399 (SR7002) and $1,999 (SR8002). The latter was the brand's first AVR with HD Radio.
The new $799 and $1,199 AVRs are also the company's first with dual XM/Sirius-ready capability. The company previously offered XM-ready products.
All three AVRs are replacement models with a shallower chassis at about 16 inches deep for rack mounting. All also feature a cursor-controlled menu system.
The $549 AVR features three-in/one-out HDMI 1.3 repeater capability with Deep Color support and proprietary room-acoustic-correction technology. It was scheduled to ship in August. The $799 model was also due in August, and the $1,199 model ships this month.
Besides embedded Blu-ray surround decoding, 1080p up-scaling, HDMI up-conversion and XM/Sirius capability, the step-up $799 model adds multizone, multisource capability and Audyssey's room-acoustic correction technology. To that, the $1,199 model adds three-in/two-out HDMI repeater capability; a new GUI; and a front-panel USB input to play back MP3, WMA and WAV music files with playback control via the AVR's included remote.
In Blu-ray, Marantz launched the BD7003, a $799-suggested Profile 1.1 model due in November to join an existing $1,999 BD8002, also a Profile 1.1 model. The latter incorporates HDMI 1.3 output, 7.1-channel analog outputs and embedded decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats. The new $799 model feature built-in decoding of only Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks and playback of multichannel-PCM soundtracks up to 7.1 channels. The player, however, spits out Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS HD High Resolution, and DTS HD Master soundtracks in bitstream form over its HDMI 1.3 output for decoding by AVR receivers with built-in decoders. Both players feature 1080p up-scaling of DVD Video and Deep Color support.
In other audio components, Marantz launched the $2,599-suggested AV8003 preamp processor, a THX-certified, 1080p up-scaling, multisource/multizone processor that distributes audio and video entertainment to three zones. The AV8003 lets users in each zone stream audio and HD video from a networked PC or NAS and Interet radio through a networked PC. It also features HD Radio, four-in/two-out HDMI 1.3 repeater connections, XM/Sirius-ready capability and decoding off all Blu-ray surround formats.
To go with the A/V processor, Marantz launched the $2,399-suggested MM8003 8x140-watt amplifier, which is designed for 7.1- and 5.1-channel home theater systems In 5.1-channel mode, it enables biamping of the front left and right channels.
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