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Bose Adds HDMI, Hideaway Design

Framingham, Mass. – Two new Lifestyle home theater systems are Bose’s first with HDMI connections, built-in video transcoding and upscaling, and a hideaway media console, which connects with other-brand source components.

The hideaway console makes it possible to hide connected source components because the sources can be controlled from the systems’ supplied RF remote, which also controls a connected TV. As a result, the only visible components in one of the Lifestyle-based home theater system is the TV, small speakers, and a small standalone Bose display with a handful of control buttons.

The two new Lifestyle systems are the V20 and V30 at minimum reselling prices of $1,999 and $2,999, respectively. They are the first Lifestyle systems without integrated music and video sources such as CD player or DVD player, and they give consumers the ability to add any source component they want, including HDMI-connected HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc players. Both systems, however, incorporate an AM/FM tuner.

To control a TV and hidden source components, the supplied RF remote accesses the media console, which contains a database of IR remote commands for multiple brands of A/V equipment. Supplied IR flashers deliver the IR commands to the source components and the TV. The standalone display features buttons to control source selection, volume, mute, and on/off.

The main difference between the two systems is the V30’s use of Bose’s smallest Lifestyle-system speakers, the Jewel Cubes. Both 5.1-channel systems feature two HDMI 1.2a inputs and one HDMI 1.2a output to transport audio and video over the same HDMI cable. They also feature the ability to transcode video from connected composite-, S-, and component-video sources to HDMI and upscale connected video sources up to 1080p.

Other features common to both systems, and available on existing Bose systems, include ADAPTiQ digital room correction and Videostage 5 decoding, which delivers surround sound from stereo and mono sources. Both systems also feature Bose Link, which can be can be used to create a wired two-source, 14-room multiroom-audio network. Audio can be played in remote rooms through Bose Link-equipped systems, including the company’s two-speaker virtual-surround systems, the Wave Music System table radio/CD, radio-only Wave Radio 2, and Roomate one-chassis amplified speaker system sold with RF remote. A $399 wireless transmitter and receiver kit can cut the cord to eight rooms.

The new systems are available in all of the company’s 115 Bose-branded stores, Bose’s web site and toll-free number, and authorized Bose dealers.

In the spring, Bose began offering the VS-2 video-switching accessory to deliver HDMI connectivity and video transcoding/upscaling capabilities to home theater systems built around the company’s current Lifestyle systems.