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Audio Gets Ready For Protected 4K Content

NEW YORK – The selection of audio/video receivers and preamp/surround processors with HDCP 2.2-equipped HDMI 2.0 outputs is small but growing.

Here’s what’s available:

Onkyo: Support for HDCP 2.2 in Onkyo AVRs starts with the TX-NR636 at $699.

Integra: The brand includes HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 in all of its 2014 components.

They include five AVRs and one preamp/processor. The AVRs are the $1,000-suggested DTR- 30.6, $1,300 DTR-40, $1,700 DTR-50.6, $2,300 DTR-60.6 and $2,800 DTR-70.6. The preamp/surround processor is the $3,200 DHC-80.6.

Krell: The high-end audio company plans October availability of an upgrade to its Foundation preamp/surround processor to add a variety of features, including four HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 inputs. They’ll replace four HDMI inputs and join six other HDMI inputs.

A running change will bring the price to $7,500 from $6,500. Consumers with existing Foundations will be able to send it to Krell for a $2,500 upgrade.

The four HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 inputs implement the 6Gbps version of HDMI 2.0 and supports support 4K video at 30fps with 4:4:4 color and 4K video at 60Hz with 4:2:0 color, the company said.

Other upgrades include stereo and multichannel DSD decoding (via all 10 HDMI inputs), dual HDMI outputs that send two independent HDMI sources to separate displays, onscreen display of status messages such as volume and source, and a planned firmware update to add onscreen setup.

Leaf Audio: The Australia-based company launched what it said is the world’s first series of HDCP 2.2-equipped 4K matrix switchers. They consist of four models shipping in January.

The new Leaf Ultra HD LU range includes HDBaseT Class A and Class B models with Power over HDBaseT (PoH). The LU1082 is promoted as the only 10×10 matrix on the market with 10 HDMI inputs, eight HDBaseT outputs, and two HDMI outputs for in-rack A/V receivers. The LU862 features eight HDMI inputs, six HDBaseT outputs, and two HDMI outputs. The LU642 features six HDMI inputs, four HDBaseT outputs and two HDMI outputs. The LU642NAP is an HDBaseT Class B system packaged with four HDBaseT receivers.

Using CAT-6a cable, 4K video can be extended up to 100 meters on the LU 1082, LU862 and LU642 models, and up to 40 meters on the LU- 642NAP packaged version.

The company has offices in Kaysville, Utah.

Sony: The company’s first three AVRs with HDCP 2.2 are in the new ES Z series. They are the STR-ZA3000ES and STR-ZA2000ES 7.2-channel receivers, arriving mid-September at respective retails of $1,699 and $1,399, and the 7.2-channel STR-ZA1000ES, arriving in January at $899.

All are install-focused and offer such install features as three-zone capability, sound modes for inceiling speakers, an onscreen UI and front-panel menu to offer faster integration setup, and the like. The top model adds 8-port gigabit Ethernet hub with power over Ethernet (PoE).

All 2014 Sony AVRs feature HDMI 2.0 and HDMI with full 18Gbps bandwidth.

For its part, Crestron said its modular HDMI matrix switchers can be upgraded with future cards that incorporate HDCP 2.2, but the company didn’t say when they would be available.