Marantz To Upgrade AVR, BD Features

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Mahway, N.J. - New audio and video products planned by Marantz include the brand's first Blu-ray player to stream Internet movies, its first AV receivers and first Blu-ray player with HDMI 1.4a connections, and a greater selection of DLNA-certified products.


Marantz plans a July 21 press event to unveil the products to the public. The company has already unveiled the products to its dealers through a series of road shows. Select product details were revealed by Audyssey, whose technology is featured in the line, and most details have been posted on

Marantz's web site

.

With the planned launch of four new AV receivers (AVRs), one new universal Blu-ray/SACD/DVD-Audio player, and one new AV preamp processor, Marantz will also expand its selection of AVRs with embedded HD Radio, expand its use of various Audyssey post-processing audio technologies, and offer its first audio components with Audyssey Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) technology. DSX adds two front-height speakers and two image-widening left-right speakers to traditional 5.1-speaker setups.

 The company will also offer more AV receivers with a special port to connect an optional Bluetooth stereo receiver, expand its selection of AVRs with iPod/iPhone-compatible USB inputs, expand its selection of AVRs with HD Radio, and offer its first AVR with embedded Internet radio.

The four new AVRs, according to Audyssey, are the slimline $599-suggested NR1601, due in stores in July; the $799 SR5005, due in August; the $999 SR6005, due in September; and the $1,599 SR7005, due in August. A preamp/processor, the $1,499-suggested AV7005, is due in October.

 The new universal Blu-ray player, according to Marantz's web site, is the $499.99-suggested UD5005, which joins the $2,299.99 UD8004 and flagship $5,999.99 UD9004 universal players. Marantz's web site didn't specify a ship date.

 The new UD5005 adds 3D-capable HDMI 1.4a outputs, Internet streaming of NetFlix movies and, via a firmware upgrade due in the fall, YouTube video streaming, MNarantz's web site shows. The UD5005, which is DLNA 1.5-certified, is also Marantz's first BD player to stream music, video and photos from a networked PC. Other features of the Profile 2.0 player include embedded 1GB memory and a USB memory option for storing BD-Live content. Audio and video codecs playable from a disc, USB memory stick, or networked PC include MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, DivX Plus HD, AVCHD, and jpeg. MPEG and H.264 video are also playable through USB memory and networked PC. The player also plays Kodak Picture CDs. The player appears to lack Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master decoders, outputting the soundtracks as bitstreams over HDMI to decoders in AV receivers.

   For its part, the $1,499-suggested AV7005 preamp processor ships in October, Audyssey said. It and the $1,599 SR7005 AVR are the first Marantz audio components to offer Audyssey MultEQ Pro, the flagship version of Audyssey's room-correction technology intended for set-up by installers, according to Audyssey and Marantz's web site. Both models are also the first Marantz components with Audyssey DSX. Last year, the company launched two AVRs at $849 and $1,249 with Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which adds front-height channels but not DSX's two left-right image-widening channels. Additional details about the preamp processor were not available on Marantz's web site.

 In AV receivers, the $1,599 SR7005 and $999 SR6006 get embedded HD Radio, joining the $1,999 SR8002 AVR and the current $2,599 AV8003 networked AV preamp processor, which is DLNA-certified.

 The $1,599 SR7005 is the company's first DLNA-certified AVR and first AVR with embedded Internet radio. The current AV8003 preamp/processor is also DLNA-certified but requires a networked PC to play back Internet radio streams.

All four new AVRs and the new pre-pro also feature Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume, both technologies having appeared in Marantz AVRs for the first time last year in the $849 SR5004 and $1,249 SR6004. Both of those AVRs are still available. Audyssey Dynamic EQ automatically adjusts frequency response and surround-volume levels to maintain balanced response and an enveloping surround-sound stage when consumers turn down a home theater's volume. Audyssey Dynamic Volume maintains a consistent volume level when video sources are switched, TV channels are changed, TV programs switch to commercials, and programs transition to softer or louder passages. Dynamic Volume also equalizes audio to maintain a flat frequency response when volume is leveled.

 All four AVRs also feature Audyssey MultEQ room correction, previously available in Marantz audio components.

The iPod/iPhone-compatible USB ports appear on all four new AVRs, joining the current $1,249-suggested SR6004. A dedicated input for an optional stereo Bluetooth receiver is featured.

  All four new AVRs also feature proprietary M-XPort (Marantz eXpansion Port)to connect to an optional RX101 Bluetooth receiver via a to play back stereo music streamed from Bluetooth-equipped devices, including cellphones and PCs. The port already appears in the current $849 SR5004 and $1,249 SR6004.

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