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Integra Expands Connectivity, Decoding Options

Upper Saddle River, N.J. — Integra plans August shipments of the final two A/V receivers in a second-half model lineup that marks a series of Integra firsts, including the brand’s first four A/V receivers with HDMI 1.3a connections and first with internal decoding of all surround formats approved for use on Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.

The brand also launched its first preamp/processor with those features.

For now, announced models in the second-half lineup consist of five receivers from a suggested $600 to $2,400 plus a $1,600 preamp processor. Two more products will be announced in coming weeks.

Other firsts for the brand include Integra’s first AVR receiver and first preamp/processor with 1080p up-scaling, the brand’s first four A/V receivers and first preamp/processor that are both XM- and Sirius-ready, and Integra’s first PlaysForSure-certified A/V receiver, which streams audio from a networked PC. Also for the first time, the brand adopted Neural Surround and Neural THX Surround decoding as well as the CEC bidirectional communications protocol, called RIHD (remote Interactive over HDMI) by Integra.

With the receiver and preamp introductions, Integra also:

—expanded its selection of HD Radio-equipped components to two from one;

—added an Ethernet port to four of the components to give them the ability to connect to IP-based control systems from such companies as AMX and Crestron. RS-232 ports are also available for control-system connections;

—added dual HDMI outputs to an A/V receiver and a preamp/processor for the first time. They’re designed to support dual displays in a room: a plasma for daytime viewing and a projector for nighttime viewing;

—added a front-panel USB port to one model to play content stored on a USB drive or connected USB device such as an MP3 player;

All models connect to an already available iPod dock/charging station, which delivers iPod control through an Integra component’s supplied remote;

In A/V receivers, a suggested $800 is the starting price for HDMI 1.3a connectivity with1080p 36-bit deep-color capability, RIHD (CEC), internal decoding of all high-definition disc surround formats, dual XM- and Sirius-ready ports, 480i t 480p Faroudja deinterlacing, Audyssey 2EQ room-response correction, Neural Surround decoding, and access to either Sirius or XM in one zone while a second zone is playing terrestrial radio.

At a suggested $1,000 for the DTR-6.8 receiver, Integra adds THX Select2 certification, Neural THX decoding, DVD-Audio and SACD decoding, step-up Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction, phono input, three HDMI inputs vs. two, Ethernet port for integration with IP-based control systems, and access to one satellite radio in one zone while the second satellite-radio service or terrestrial radio is playing in another zone.

At a suggested $1,300 for the DTR-7.8 receiver, the brand adds THX Ultra2 certification, Burr Brown DACs, zone-two composite- and component-video output, and three-zone audio capability with ability to play AM /FM in one zone while XM plays in a second and Sirius plays in a third.

The DTR-8.8 receiver at $2,400 adds four HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs, HD Radio, analog-FM RDS (Radio Data System), upscaling of all video sources up to 1080p via HQV’s Reon-VX processing chip, and PlaysForSure capability to stream Internet radio, PC-based music and music stored a connected USB device.

With the receiver introductions, four of the five receivers in Integra’s second-half lineup feature HDMI 1.3a and decoding of all high-definition disc surround formats. The line is anchored by the $600 DTR-4.6 receiver, which is XM-ready, features component-video upconversion, and five-channel amp. The other receivers are seven-channel models.

The new $1,600 DTC-9.8 preamp processor features HDMI 1.3a, decoding of all high-def disc surround formats, THX Ultra2 certification, Neural THX decoding, SACD and DVD-Audio decoding, four HDMI inputs and two outputs, HQV Reon 1080p up-scaling, HD Radio, analog-FM RDS, Burr Brown DACs, XM- and Sirius-ready ports, Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction, three-zone capability and independent access to each of three tuners in each zone.

Among preamp processors, said product manager Brian Sandifer, “there’s nothing else close” at $1,600 with any one of the following features: HDMI 1.3a, all high-definition disc surround decoders, HD Radio or XM-Sirius capability.