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Vizio Adds Width, Features To Soundbar

12/01/2013 07:00:00 PM Eastern

IRVINE, CALIF. – Vizio has begun offering its widest active soundbar to date, the 54-inch-wide $299-suggested S5430W.

The new model matches the width of Vizio TVs that measure 60 inches diagonally, but it’s also designed for use with any TV measuring 55 inches diagonally and larger.

A 42-inch-wide soundbar, which remains in the line, used to be the company’s widest soundbar.

The new model is also the company’s first three-channel soundbar and first to stream the AptX codec over Bluetooth. It also feature more processing power than other Vizio soundbars, with a dual-core CSR MAP X processor delivering almost 1,200 MIPS per core., essentially “putting a competent A/V receiver inside,” said Jason Wehner, audio product management director.

The 3.0 system lacks powered subwoofer but features dual passive radiators to deliver 70Hz bass. A subwoofer out is crossed over at 70Hz to add an outboard powered sub.

The soundbar, like other select Vizio models, features audio switching via optical and coaxial digital inputs and an HDMI 1.4a input. The soundbar is also equipped with HDMI output with audio return channel. It also supports full CEC control. The soundbar also incorporates Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoding, DTS’s dialog-enhancement technology, and DTS’s TruSurround virtualizer technology, which widens the soundstage and delivers ambient surround effects, Wehner said.

Because the soundbar decodes the original 5.1 soundtrack, the soundtrack is decoded as the artist intended to deliver a more accurate soundfield when TruSound post processing is engaged, he said.

The system up-mixes 2.0 content to 3.0, and it sends center-channel 200Hz-and-up content from a 5.1- or two-channel mix to the soundbar’s center driver. The soundbar also mixes a 5.1 soundtrack’s LFE channel into the soundbar’s left and right drivers with their companion bass radiators, and it directs center-driver bass at 200Hz and below to the left and right drivers to enhance the center driver’s dialog clarity. Bass below 70Hz is directed to the subwoofer output.

SPL is measured at 103dB with 1 percent amplifier distortion measures at 1 watt/1 meter.

The bar can be programmed to respond to volume, mute and turn-on commands from a user’s TV remote. The soundbar powers off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity. An included remote features a one-line display to let users make deep-menu adjustments.

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