San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Denon focused on high-performance video, connectivity and custom installation in launching new receivers, DVD players and other products here during its dealer show.
The new THX Ultra2 performance standard, devised by Lucasfilm's THX Consumer Division, includes processors that deliver 7.1-channel playback of any 5.1-channel source and, for the first time, a THX mode intended expressly for multichannel music playback.
The spec, which replaces the Ultra spec, also changes LCR speakers' vertical directivity requirements, which some speaker engineers said made it difficult to build Ultra-certified home theater speakers that were also musical.
Component audio suppliers will launch A/V receivers that connect to satellite radio tuners, control MP3 portables and iPods, link up with HDTVs via digital HDMI outputs, connect to PCs via USB ports and integrate more easily with custom-installed distributed audio systems and home control systems.
Here's a sampling of what dealers will find:
Harman Kardon will offers its first A/V receivers (AVRs) with HDMI 1.3a connections, internal decoding of all Blu-ray surround-sound formats, 1080p upscaling, and a new graphical onscreen menu system when it ships three new models in late spring.
The brand also plans May shipments of two new stereo receivers, one of which will be its first stereo receiver with Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone to simulate 5.1 surround sound through two speakers and through headphones.
Onkyo is aggressively targeting the DVD market with the launch of an expanded five-SKU selection that includes one of the industry's few DVD megachangers, a 301-disc model that began shipping at the end of April at a $999 MAP.
The five Onkyo-branded DVDs also include a DVD-Audio/Video player that will supplement a planned DVD-A/V model due as part of the company's new top-end Integra Research brand.
Pioneer unveiled a second wave of 1999 A/V products highlighted by the first Dolby Digital/DTS receivers in its Elite series, the company's second Elite CD-recorder, and a new entry-level Pioneer-series CD-recorder.
The company also introduced the first HDTV-ready rear projector in its Pioneer series (see page 58).
Also in the Pioneer series, the company unveiled the first U.S.-designed, U.S.-made speakers, which complement U.S.-pedigree Elite-series models.
JVC's first component DVD-receiver, wall-mountable audio systems, and microsystem with CD-recorder will join an expanded selection of DVD-equipped HTiB systems in the 2002 model year.
One of the DVD-equipped HTiBs is the company's first with DVD-Audio, and one of the two single-disc DVD-receivers also features DVD-Audio.
San Francisco - U.K.-based Pure, the supplier of tabletop Internet radios and docking speaker systems, is launching its second docking speaker and plans later this year to further expand its selection.
The $189-suggested Contour100i docking speaker features an FM tuner and Apple certification for docking with iPods and iPhones. It also plays music from a docked iPad. It is available at Brookstone.com and Pure.com, but more retailers are in the works.