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First Home-Component HD Radio Due June

Yamaha will become the first supplier to offer an HD-Radio home-audio component in June when it ships the $1,899-suggested RX-V4600 A/V receiver with embedded HD-Radio tuner.

Other dedicated home HD-Radio products are in the works from Rotel, Audio Design Associates (ADA) and Day Sequerra, all of which plan home HD-Radio tuners. In addition, Boston Acoustics plans the industry’s first tabletop radio equipped with HD-Radio tuner.

The tabletop radio is due in the next couple of months, said HD-Radio’s inventor iBiquity Digital. ADA said its tuner, due by year’s end, is a module that drops into a modular four-zone TuneSuite distributed-audio tuner. The module was originally targeted for first-half shipment at around $600. TuneSuite retails for $2,800 with included analog AM/FM module and XM Satellite Radio module.

Day Sequerra’s M1 tuner ships in June with included HD Radio module at a suggested $2,995, with additional HD-Radio modules due in July at $699. The M1 accepts up to 10 modules, including planned NTSC and HDTV modules. Rotel plans a dedicated tuner due around the fall, iBiquity said.

Onkyo USA had been considering HD-Radio cards for its card-based $5,000 flagship receiver, Integra-brand card-based receiver, and Integra Research-brand card-based preamp/processor, but the company said it has no plans for an introduction in 2005.

For its part, Yamaha will embed an HD-Radio tuner in its A/V receiver, which will receive digital AM and digital FM stations’ primary programs as well as digital FM stations’ multicast programs. The receiver offers Circle Surround II decoding of future HD-Radio programs encoded in Circle Surround II and current cable/satellite TV programs encoded in the format.

About 275 U.S. radio stations are HD-Radio broadcasters today, and almost 2,500 have committed to deploying the technology within the next few years, iBiquity said.

The three-zone RX-V4600 also features component-video up-conversion, a two-in-one out HDMI switching interface, dual i.Link inputs for DVD-Audio and SACD player connection, and automatic room acoustic compensation.

The RX-V4600 is compatible with the latest sound formats, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS Neo:6 and DTS 96/24. It also delivers THX Select2 processing.