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Marantz To Upgrade AVR, BD Features

7/19/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

MAHWAH, N.J. – New audio
and video products planned
by Marantz include the brand’s
first Blu-ray player to stream Internet
movies, its first A/V receivers
(AVRs) and first Blu-ray
player with HDMI 1.4a connections,
and a greater selection
of DLNA-certified products.

Marantz plans a July 21
press event to unveil the products
to the public. The company
has already unveiled the
products to its dealers through
a series of road shows. Select
product details were revealed
by Audyssey, whose technology
is featured in the line, and
most details have been posted
on Marantz’s website.

With the planned launch of
four new AVRs, one new universal
Blu-ray/SACD/DVDAudio
player, and one new
A/V preamp processor, Marantz
will also expand its selection
of AVRs with embedded
HD Radio and expand its
use of various Audyssey postprocessing
audio technologies.
It will also offer its first audio
components with Audyssey
Dynamic Surround Expansion
(DSX) technology. DSX adds
two front-height speakers and
two image-widening left-right speakers to 5.1-speaker setups.

Marantz will also offer more AVR
with a special port to connect an optional
Bluetooth stereo receiver, expand
its selection of AVRs with iPod/
iPhone-compatible USB inputs, expand
its selection of AVRs with HD
Radio, and offer its first AVR with embedded
Internet radio.

The four new AVRs, according to
Audyssey, are the slimline $599-suggested
NR1601, due in stores in July;
the $799 SR5005, due in August; the
$999 SR6005, due in September; and
the $1,599 SR7005, due in August. A
preamp/processor, the $1,499-suggested
AV7005, is due in October.

The new universal Blu-ray player,
according to Marantz’s website, is
the $499-suggested UD5005, which
joins the $2,299 UD8004 and flagship
$5,999 UD9004 universal players.
Marantz’s website didn’t specify a
ship date.

The new UD5005 adds 3D-capable
HDMI 1.4a outputs, Internet streaming
of NetFlix movies and, via a firmware
upgrade due in the fall, YouTube
video streaming, Marantz’s web site
shows. The UD5005, which is DLNA
1.5-certified, is also Marantz’s first
BD player to stream music, video and
photos from a networked PC. Other
features of the Profile 2.0 player include
embedded 1GB memory plus a
USB memory option for storing BDLive
content.

The player appears to lack Dolby
True HD and DTS HD Master decoders, outputting the soundtracks as
bitstreams over HDMI to decoders in
A/V receivers.

For its part, the $1,499-suggested
AV7005 preamp processor ships
in October, Audyssey said. It and the
$1,599 SR7005 AVR are the first Marantz
audio components to offer Audyssey
MultEQ Pro, the flagship version
of Audyssey’s room-correction
technology intended for setup by installers,
according to Audyssey and
Marantz’s website. Both models are
also the first Marantz components
with Audyssey DSX.

Last year, the company launched
two AVRs at $849 and $1,249 with
Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which adds
front-height channels but not DSX’s
two left-right image-widening channels.
Additional details about the preamp
processor were not available on
Marantz’s website.

In AVRs, the $1,599 SR7005 and
$999 SR6006 get embedded HD Radio,
joining the $1,999 SR8002 AVR
and the current $2,599 AV8003 networked
A/V preamp processor, which
is DLNA-certified.

The $1,599 SR7005 is the company’s
first DLNA-certified AVR and first
AVR with embedded Internet radio.
The current AV8003 preamp/processor
is also DLNA-certified but requires
a networked PC to play back Internet
radio streams.

All four new AVRs and the new
pre-pro also feature Audyssey Dynamic
EQ and Audyssey Dynamic
Volume, both technologies having appeared
in Marantz AVRs for the first
time last year in the $849 SR5004
and $1,249 SR6004. Both AVRs are
still available.

The iPod/iPhone-compatible USB
ports appear on all four new AVRs,
joining the current $1,249-suggested
SR6004. All four new AVRs also
feature proprietary M-XPort (Marantz
eXpansion Port) to connect
to an optional RX101 Bluetooth
receiver to play back stereo music
streamed from Bluetooth-equipped
devices. The port already appears
in the current $849 SR5004 and
$1,249 SR6004.