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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.
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