Marantz Adds Entry-Level AVR - Twice

Marantz Adds Entry-Level AVR

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Mahwah, N.J. - Marantz shipped its newest opening-price A/V receiver (AVR), a $599 (street price) model that brings decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats down from a previous starting price of $799.

Marantz's $5,999 flagship UD9004 Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player will play DVD-Audio and multichannel-SACD music discs.

Shipments of the 7x50-watt NR 1501 follow the June and July shipment, respectively, of the $799 BD 7004 Blu-ray player and $549 BD 5004 Blu-ray player. The brand's first universal Blu-ray/DVD-Audio/SACD player, the previously announced $5,999 (street price) UD9004, will ship in August, said Kevin Zarow, marketing and product development VP, and will be followed in October by another universal player, the $2,199 UD8004. The four models are the brand's first Profile 2.0 players, which offer BD-Live capability.

The new AVR is slimmer than the $549 SR 4003 that it replaces at 4.2 inches in height, matching the height of the BD 7004 Blu-ray player, Zarow said. The new AVR features four HDMI 1.3 inputs and one 1.3 output, whereas its predecessor featured two HDMI inputs that lacked version 1.3 specs. The predecessor also lacked the full complement of Blu-ray surround decoders.

Other NR 1501 features include transcoding of all analog-video sources to HDMI, detachable power cord, onscreen display, preamp-level subwoofer output and 3.5mm mini jack to connect portable music players.

The four new Blu-ray players feature HDMI 1.3a outputs; support 24 fps 36-bit Deep Color content; include SD/SDHC memory-card slots; and play DivX HD, AVCHD, JPEG, Kodak Picture CD, WMA and MP3 files.

The flagship UD9004 Blu-ray player features dual user-selectable HDMI outputs, internal decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats, 7.1-channel analog outputs, balanced XLR outputs for the left and right channels, and a vertical stretch function for 2.35:1 movies. Other features include 1080p up-scaling, Silicon Optix Realta HQV video processor, RS-232 port, IR flasher in/out, copper-encased toroidal power transformer, short signal paths, extensive shielding as well as a dedicated audio section based on Marantz's SA-7S1 SACD player.

The UD8004 will include many of the performance features of the UD9004 player, including the Hyper Dynamic Amp Module, a dedicated audio board, 7.1 analog outputs, high quality scaling, internal HD audio decoding and the easy operation user interface.

The $799 BD 7004 features internal decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats, 7.1-analog outputs, 24 fps 36-bit Deep Color, Anchor Bay VRS video scaler, RS-232 port and IR flasher in/out. The $549 BD 5004 features stereo analog outputs, bitstream output over HDMI 1.3 and IR in/out.

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