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CEDIA Expo 2008: Cambridge Audio Joins Blu-ray Movement

9/05/2008 11:00:00 AM Eastern

Denver — High-end audio supplier Cambridge Audio came to the CEDIA Expo with its first Blu-ray player, first A/V receiver with decoders for all Blu-ray surround formats and first outboard two-channel DAC.

When its ships in February or March at a targeted $995, the Blu-ray player will be a Profile 2.0 model with BD Live capability. It will also feature HDMI 1.3 output, 7.1-channel analog output and decoders for all Blu-ray surround formats but DTS HD Master, which the company said requires more processing power than the player’s chipset offers. Despite that, the company noted that the player will send out a DTS HD Master bitstream through its HDMI output to an A/V receiver (AVR) with built-in DTS HD Master decoding.

One such AVR will be Cambridge’s Azur 640R, the company’s first with internal decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats. The 7x100-watt AVR, due in the United States in February or March at a suggested $1,895, features RS232 port, automatic speaker setup with microphone, and ability to serve as the hub of an A-BUS multiroom-audio system, which uses amplified keypads in remote rooms.

The new $399-suggested Dacmagic is a two-channel DAC with USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. Outboard DACs are making a comeback, the company said, because they can now be used to override poorer-quality DACs in PCs, laptops and networked digital media players (DMPs) that stream music from the Internet or from networked PCs. Cambridge’s model up-samples PCM to 192kHz/24-bit performance, and it eliminates almost all network jitter suffered by DMPs, the company said.

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