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Marantz Plans 61-Inch HD Plasma, Expands 6.1 Line

Marantz America will diversify its audio and video portfolio with what it claims is the industry’s largest HD plasma display at 61 inches, its first LCD TV/monitor, its first multichannel SACD player, and an expanded selection of receivers that decode 6.1-channel DVD soundtracks.

The company also announced plans for:

  • its first DVD changer with progressive output.
  • its first DVD players and CD-recorder to play MP3 CDs.
  • and the first Mordaunt-Short branded home theater speaker package, consisting of small satellites and a powered sub.

More new products will be introduced at the CEDIA Expo.

In charting its longer term strategy, the company stressed its ability to move in new directions now that Marantz America is no longer 100-percent owned by Philips and Philips decreased its stake in Marantz Japan to 49 percent from 51 percent. “We have more opportunities to go our own way,” said marketing director Erwin van der Putten. In the future, he added, the industry will “see more product differentiation between Marantz and Philips,” but he also pointed out that “in some areas,” the two companies “might talk to each other if we can [both] benefit.”

Van der Putten said he also sees opportunities, probably next year, to package Mordaunt-Short bookshelf speakers with Marantz’s new compact Duetto receiver and separate CD player.

In becoming the first company to announce consumer-channel distribution plans for a 61W-inch HD plasma monitor, Marantz said the $29,000-suggested device will ship in August with 480p/720p native display and complement of inputs, which include DVI but not IEEE 1394. Van der Putten said the 1365×769-pixel display, only 4.5-inches deep and brighter than the company’s other plasma monitors, also displays 4:3 programming at 50 inches.

In its first foray into LCD display technology, the company unveiled a $2,099-suggested 15.1-inch swivel-base active-matrix 4:3 display with built-in 125-channel TV tuner, 1024×768-pixel XGA resolution, digital comb filter, progressive-scan 480p component input and PC/DTV input. See for Marantz product details.