Secaucus, N.J. - Suppliers keep piling on the HTiB features, with Panasonic becoming the first supplier to announce plans for a model equipped with a DVD-recorder.
Panasonic plans September shipments, but it won't be alone for too long. Philips said it would probably offer such a system next year, though with the DVD+R/RW format, not the DVD-R/RAM format championed by Panasonic.
Other features appearing for the first time in HTiBs this year include HDD music recorder (Thomson) and Dolby Digital EX/DTS ES decoding (Kenwood). A growing selection also features DVD-VCR combos, DVD-Audio playback, and SACD playback.
Panasonic's $999-suggested SC-HT1000 is built around a DVD-receiver that plays DVD-Audio discs in multichannel mode. It also features Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding.
Two narrow front speakers sit on stands whose height can be raised or lowered to match TV-screen height. The tweeter and woofer in the two speakers are positioned upwards in the cabinet with a diffusion board directly in front of the tweeter to achieve the necessary reflection and dispersion of sound in a broad and uniform way.
The front, center, and surround speakers reproduce frequencies reaching up to 50 kHz, and the subwoofer operates from from 45Hz to 120 Hz.Power output is 430 watts from 120Hz-20kHz at 6 ohms with 1 percent THD.
Other DVD features include dialogue enhancer, progressive-scan output, and universal remote.