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Anthem's 1st AVRs Offer 1.4, Internet And HD Radio

6/22/2010 09:00:00 AM Eastern

New York - 3D-compatible
HDMI 1.4 connections, Internet radio, HD Radio, and USB connections to hard
drives and memory sticks are among the key features appearing in Anthem's inaugural
A/V receiver (AVR) lineup.

Anthem

The
Toronto-based company, which markets component-audio separates and a Blu-ray
player, is also launching its first iPod dock, which connects to the four
receivers.

The four
receivers are the $999-suggested MRX 300, $1,499 MRX 500, $1,999 MRX 700, and
$3,999 MRX 900, all with built-in decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats,
Anthem Room Correction (ARC) technology and Dolby Pro Logic IIz post-processing
technology. Pro Logic IIz derives two front-height channels from soundtracks.
All four models also feature second-zone audio output and 1080p up-conversion
with Deep Color support.

On all
four models, the HDMI 1.4 inputs and output pass through 3D video from Blu-ray
players and games, but in November, the company plans a firmware update to
upgrade them to 1.4a to add support for the side-by-side (Half) and top-and-bottom
formats that broadcasters are adopting. The AVRs' HDMI outputs do not support
HDMI 1.4's audio return channel functions.

All but
the opening-price MRX 300 add:

  • Internet radio access using the vTuner portal
    through wired Ethernet connection to a broadband modem.

  • front and rear USB inputs to play music from
    a connected hard drive or from USB memory sticks in the MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV
    formats.

The top
two models, the 700 and 900, also add embedded HD Radio.

The top model features nine channels of
amplification, biamping capability, seven HDMI 1.4a inputs and one HDMI 1.4a
output. The other three models feature seven amplifier channels and four HDMI
1.4a inputs.

The
company's planned iPod dock, the $129-suggested MDX 1, captures
iPod/iPhone-stored audio in digital PCM form for playback through Anthem's
connected AVRs. The AVRs' remotes will access the iPod's menu to enable song
selection. The dock supports onscreen iPod menu display.

MDX 1
availability wasn't announced at press time. The MRX 500 and 700 AVRs ship in
late summer. The opening-price and top-end AVRs are due late in the year.

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