By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
D&M Holdings will be introducing its new lineup of premium audio and networking products this summer and let TWICE glimpse its "strategic product direction" for 2007 and going forward.
While not providing specific product details and pricing, Jeff Talmadge, product development and systems integration director for Denon, outlined the goal to "create a centralized component that allows users to do whatever they want with whatever they want and move the content to wherever they want to go."
The target of D&M's new products will be for custom installers but also for typical consumers. Its "strategic product direction" deals with advanced connectivity, networking applications and ease of installation, set up and use; HD Surround; and custom integration and value-added services.
Talmadge said that it is D&M's view that the A/V receiver will become the "central, essential component of the connected home." He admits that "this is the CE world's view of the connected home" and that the PC world will still have its say. But as Bob Weissburg, D&M's sales and marketing president for North America noted, "There won't be one way to do this, but several to manage your system and your content."
D&M's second-generation servers will take audio and video from the Web, PC/DLNA servers, set-top boxes, cable and satellite TV, satellite radio, HD Radio and content from new and old formats and distribute them throughout the house.
The as-yet-unnamed receivers will support a plethora of formats including Windows Media, XM, HDMI, Simplay HD, FLAC, Wi-Fi, CI (Custom Integration), DLNA, iPod, HD Radio, Audyssey in several forms, as well as "legacy equipment," according to Kevin Zarow, marketing VP for Marantz, Escient and Snell.
Talmadge said that the Denon receiver will be "the first, or one of the first" to introduce Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD Master Audio later this year. And Zarow added, "Marantz will follow soon after. Eventually all D&M brands will support it."
D&M A/V receivers will have expanded multisource, multizone or whole-house audio/video capabilities, with enhanced Ethernet connectivity and Wi-Fi/USB connectivity.
The company's A/V receivers, preamp-processor and system solutions for this year will feature HDMI 1.3 inputs and outputs. All will support 36-bit deep color, 1,080p pass-through, and most will support eight-channel 24-bit/96kHz uncompressed PCM audio and some will support HD Surround formats.
The A/V receiver model range will be expanded to feature onboard 1,080p scaling and analog to HDMI conversion, while all of D&M's DVD players will feature 1,080p up-scaling this year.
And finally for custom installers and their customers, D&M will improve its custom integration features enabling remote maintenance or provide software upgrades via the Internet by installers.
"Installers won't have to go on site. They can test and upgrade remotely, which will save them money," Talmadge said. The improved program will also be introduced this summer with multiple models, he noted.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.