By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Sherwood is coming to CES with its first two 1,080p-upscaling A/V receivers and first two receivers with built-in decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround sound formats.
The company is also expanding its selection of XM-ready A/V receivers. Five of six new A/V receivers in the Sherwood and Newcastle series are XM-ready at prices down to a suggested $400. Only one SKU was XM-ready in 2006.
All but the entry-level $180 A/V receiver feature the latest version (1.3) of HDMI inputs and outputs.
Other new feature developments include the company's first two models with USB host, first two with XM-Neural Surround, first two to deliver Dolby Virtual Speaker through a zone-two output, and first three-zone A/V receiver.
Three new Sherwood Newcastle receivers start with the $400-suggested R-672, due in the first quarter with XM-ready capability, automatic room equalization, HDMI switching and 7x100-watt amplifier.
The other three models, due in the second quarter, start with the $600-suggested R772. It adds multisource/dual-zone capability, RS-232 port, analog-video up-conversion, and automatic switching from 7.1-channel mode to 5.1 channels plus two stereo channels when zone two is engaged. The $1,000 R872 adds decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround codecs, conversion of analog video to HDMI, 1,080p up-scaling via HDMI, Neural Surround to deliver Neural-encoded XM channels in surround sound, USB host input and zone-two output with Dolby Virtual Speaker.
At $1,500 suggested, the Newcastle R-972 adds decoding of all high-definition disc surround formats, 4x1 HDMI switching and Audyssey's version of room equalization.
In the Sherwood series, the $400 RD-7502 is XM-ready and features 7x100-watt amp, automatic room equalization and 2x1 HDMI switching. It's available. A 5.1-channel receiver, the $180-suggested RD-6200, ships in the first quarter.
Also in the Sherwood series, the company's first two-zone stereo receiver with 4x100-watt amplifier and ability to play two sources simultaneously. It's the $300-suggested RX-4501.
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.