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Sherwood To Add Blu-ray, LCD TVs

Cerritos, Calif. — Audio supplier Sherwood plans a CEDIA Expo launch next week of its first two Blu-ray players and, under its high-end Newcastle series, a return to the TV market with two LCD TVs.

The players are the $499-suggested BDP-6003, due in September, and the $299-suggested BDP-5003, to follow in October. The 6003 is intended for “sheltered distribution,” and the 5003 is targeted to the mass market, said Jeffrey Hipps, marketing and product development senior VP.

In providing a feature update, Hipps said Sherwood has upgraded the BDP-6003 to Blu-ray Profile 2.0 status to offer BD Live capability. The BDP-5003 is a Profile 1.1 player with BonusView capability.

Both models, however, feature 1080p up-scaling of DVD; front-panel USB Host port; and composite-, S- and component-video outputs to go with its HDMI 1.3 output. Both feature decoding of all authorized Blu-ray surround formats. The 6003 adds 5.1-channel analog output for connection to early A/V receivers, while the 5003 features two-channel analog output. Both players also play discs encoded with DivX, JPEG and MP3 files, and both feature coaxial and Toslink digital audio outputs, 192kHz/24-bit audio DACs and Ethernet port for firmware upgrades.

“Decoding TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio and sending the results through the multichannel analog pipeline is still rare and expensive,” Hipps noted. “Denon is at $1,000, and Panasonic and Sony are at $500 or above. It [5.1 analog output] opens up lossless audio to users who don’t have HDMI receivers. That’s still a pretty sizable market.”

In the past, Sherwood offered DVD players in the Sherwood and Sherwood Newcastle series.

Few details of the LCD TVs were available, but the company will display a 32-inch and 42-inch model under its Sherwood Newcastle brand. The 32-inch model has a native resolution of 1,366 by 768, while the 42-inch model features 1080p display. They ship in December at prices that haven’t been announced.

The company launched its first TVs in 2004. They were also LCD models.