Multichannel SACD, DVD-A/V Begin To Hit Mainstream Price Points

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LAS VEGAS -Multichannel-SACD players and DVD-A/V players are going mainstream.

During CES, Sony unexpectedly unveiled its first two multichannel Super Audio CD (SACD) players, both of which are the industry's first five-disc multichannel SACD changers.

The SCD-CE775 SACD/ CD player is due in July at an everyday "go" retail of $399. The step-up piece, in the company's ES series, will retail for a suggested $1,700 and is due in April, said Tim Baxter, senior VP of home audio marketing.

Neither Sony model features DVD-Video playback, positioning the products firmly as audio products.

As previously reported, Philips announced plans for July deliveries of a $699-suggested multichannel-SACD/ DVD-Video player to complement a $2,000 model due in January. Marantz plans its first multichannel-SACD/ DVD-Video player sometime in mid-2001 at an unannounced price.

In DVD-A/V players, Panasonic unveiled three models, including one priced at less than $499 on an everyday basis. The trio includes the brand's first five-disc DVD-A/V changer and a $799-suggested model also capable of playing DVD-RAM discs.

The model with DVD-RAM playback is due in April; the other two are due toward the end of the first half. Exact prices on those models have not been announced.

Panasonic's current DVD-A/V players start at an everyday $499, following a recent reduction in the suggested retail of the DVD A7 to a suggested $599 from a suggested $999. A Technics-brand model was reduced in suggested retail price to $799 from $1,199. Both are single-play models.

As previously reported, Samsung showed a mock-up of the DVD-A901 single-play DVD-A/V model due in August with a suggested $399 price and an expected everyday street price of $299.

Also, Toshiba unveiled its entry-level DVD-A/V player due in June at a suggested $399.

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