By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
U.K.-based Arcam is now selling in the U.S. what it calls a "DVD/universal audio player" with advanced video upscaling for "near 1,080p resolution."
The high-end player, model FMJ DV139, carries a $2,999 suggested retail price and is marketing through "specially trained local dealers who will be able to both recommend and demonstrate the right Arcam product for a customer's system," according to a company spokesman.
Arcam's U.S. sales and marketing agent is Audiophile Systems, based in Indianapolis, Ind.
Arcam, which is said to work at a "chip-maker level on its product designs," calls the player "one of the world's most advanced universal audio players." In addition to producing pro-level video signals, the player is said to be "the first DVD player to really match a high-end CD player," in music performance.
This will enable high-performance system owners to have one playback device for their audio and video needs.
The unit incorporates the latest generation Zoran Vaddis 888S core processing engine, broadcast-quality ABT1010 1080p video upscaling technology from Anchor Bay, a broadcast-quality ABT102 video deinterlacer, bad edit detection and "any format" cadence processing, twin audiophile-grade toroidal transformers, and Arcam's "Mask of Silence" electro-magnetic damping technology.
Also added is Arcam's FMJ tri-laminate anti-vibration "Sound Dead Steel" (SDS) chassis "to mechanically separate the electronic circuits from internal or airborne vibration."
The ABT1010 10-bit video scaler upconverts video to the 576p, 720p, 768p, 1,080i, and 1,080p formats. The player will also support 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, through HDMI, and 525p and 625p video through SCART.
The player is compatible with DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, CD audio, SACD audio, DiVX, MP3, WMA, JPEG and Photo CD files.
Advanced outputs include HDMI digital A/V, component video, SCART video, and stereo audio for a second zone.
Also added is built-in video display calibration to maximize the performance from any video display. The display wizard directs the user through four steps to correctly calibrate a TV display for brightness, contrast, color and sharpness. Simple test patterns embedded in the player are used in conjunction with a supplied blue filter.
Arcam's spokesman told TWICE that it opted not to add support for either the new HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc formats to the player because "Arcam has always believed in delivering performance and value for their customers and never to deliver a product which supports new formats before they are fit for market.
"It is clear that both Blu-ray and HD DVD are potentially excellent formats, [but] they are not yet fit for market," he continued. "Available platforms for both these formats currently fall short on content, ease of operation and in some cases performance. Customers should not be asked to be beta testers for buggy players [that are] missing features and have little software."
"We believe that the DV139 represents one of the most satisfying movie and music players currently on offer and is the way to go for enthusiasts at this time."
Arcam will be showing its products from a dedicated suite at the Mirage Hotel during International CES in January. For further information see www.arcam.co.uk.
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