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Marantz Sees The Networked Future

7/21/2010 02:30:00 PM Eastern
New York - Marantz is acknowledging audio's past and positioning itself for audio's future with the launch of 15 new products that include traditional two-channel components as well as a greater assortment of networked products.

The $799-suggested NA7004 Network Audio Player is Marantz's first stand-alone digital music player (DMP), which can be added to existing sound systems to add playback of nontraditional music sources.
The product launch is the brand's largest in more than 10 years.

The products include the brand's first stand-alone networked digital media player (DMP), a networked CD-receiver, and two networked Blu-ray/SACD/DVD-Audio universal players. All are DLNA 1.5-certified to stream content from a networked PC.

The two universal Blu-ray players, called universal media players by Marantz, are the brand's first BD players to stream music, video and photos from a networked PC as well as the first to stream on-demand video from Internet video services. The players, which are the brand's first 3D-capable Blu-ray players (via a third-quarter firmware update), connect to the NetFlix service and YouTube.

Four new A/V receivers (AVRs) and a new preamp processor, previously reported by TWICE, are the brand's first with 3D-capable HDMI 1.4a connections and Audio Return Channel. The new AVRs also expand the brand's selection of AVRs with embedded HD Radio, expand the use of various Audyssey post-processing audio technologies, and include the brand's first AVR and preamp surround processor with Audyssey Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) post-processing technology, which adds front-height channels as well as two left-right image-widening channels to a 5.1 system.

The lineup also includes the brand's first networked AVR, the $1,599-suggested SR7005. That model is also the brand's first AVR with embedded Internet radio.

Other new networked audio products include the brand's first CD-receiver, the M-CR603 Network CD Receiver at an unannounced price; the stand-alone NA7004 Network Audio Player at a suggested $799; and the $1,499 AV7005 preamp processor.

The DLNA-1.5-certified NA7004 Network Audio Player can be added to existing sound systems to add playback of nontraditional music sources. The component, for example, streams audio from a networked PC, incorporates embedded Internet Radio tuner, accesses Internet music services, and features iPod-compatible USB connection to play back music sent in PCM digital form from a docked iPod. The component also features a back-panel M-XPort to connect an optional Bluetooth stereo receiver.

 The NA7004, which lacks embedded music-storing memory, is promoted as a "digital-to-analog converter for people with large collections of downloaded high-resolution music on their computers or other external storage devices who want to listen through their home audio systems."

The M-CR603 Network CD Receiver offers all of the features of the Network Audio Player but adds embedded AM/FM tuner and CD player.

Other networked devices include two universal Blu-ray players, which expand the brand's selection of universal Blu-ray players to four. The new $499-suggested UD5005 and $899 UD7005 join a $2,999 universal model and a $5,999 universal model, but the two new models add 3D capability as well as networking to stream audio, video and photos from a networked PC. The two new models are also the brand's first Blu-ray players to connect to on-line video services, in this case NetFlix and YouTube.

The new $1,499 AV7005 preamp surround processor, like its predecessor streams audio and video from a networked PC, but the new model adds embedded Internet radio, HDMI 1.4a connections, and HDMI Audio Return Channel.

In more traditional products, the company added to its amplifier selection with the $1,199-suggested MM7055 multichannel amp, rated at 5x140 watts into 8 ohms, and the $799 two-channel MM7025 amp.

Four new products replacing previous models are the $449 PM5004 and $999 PM8004 integrated amps, the $999 SA8004 two-channel SACD player, and the $349 CD5004 CD player. The SACD player features MP3/WMA playback and a front-panel USB to connect to music sources such as PCs and iPods. The input captures iPod output in PCM digital form.
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