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Multidisc DVD-Audio Changers, Multichannel SACD Get Out Front

Multidisc DVD-Audio/Video changers and multichannel SACD players drew attention at the CEDIA Expo, where the selection of DVD-A/V changers and multichannel SACD players grew.

Denon, JVC and Yamaha showed their first DVD-A/V changers, and Sharp showed its first multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video player, a high-end model due in June at a targeted $12,000. Philips showed two more multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video players targeted for January availability at a suggested $599 and $299.

DVD-Audio bass management appeared in the Denon changer, and basic bass management appeared in Philips’ two SACD players.

Also at the show, audio suppliers continued to pour sophisticated audio features into their DVD-Video players.

Here’s what dealers and installers found:

Denon: In its newest five-disc DVD-A/V changer, Denon adds built-in analog-domain bass management for DVD-Audio playback. The DVM-4800 is also one of the few DVD-A/V players with HDCD decoding. Other features include MP3-CD playback, and progressive-scan 3:2 pulldown output. It shipped in August at a suggested $1,199.

Integra: The Onkyo division’s second DVD-A/V player, the DPS 72, is THX Ultra-certified and ships in September at a suggested $800. It does not feature DVD-Audio bass management as the company earlier anticipated.

JVC: The company showed its first DVD-AV changer, a seven-disc model at a suggested $479, accompanying a slim-line single-disc model already available in black or champagne at a suggested $399. Both feature built-in DD/DTS 5.1-channel decoders. The carousel changer ships in September and is said to fit in a five-disc footprint.

Meridian: The company is making a running change to add DVD-Audio capability to the 800 DVD player, which was at the show and was to be available after the show with DVD-Audio capability. By CES, the 596 DVD player will be available with a DVD-A upgrade, and the 598 DVD-A/V player is expected to ship around CES after a delay.

Myriad: The company’s first DVD-Video player is the $1,595-suggested MDV200, whose features include HDCD decoding, playback of MP3 CD-R/RW discs, component and RGB outputs, switchable NTSC/PAL output, but no progressive output.

NAD: The company’s first two DVD-Video players with MP3 CD playback include the company’s first DVD changer, a five-disc model. They’re priced at a suggested $499 and $799, with the latter including HDCD.

Philips: The company’s second and third multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video players add basic-level SACD bass management and are targeted to ship in January. Users can turn bass management on or off for all satellite speakers simultaneously but don’t have the flexibility of choosing a large-speaker setting for the front channels and a small-speaker setting for the surround channels.

The $599-suggested silver-finish DVD9625A features Faroudja progressive-output chip and built-in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel decoders. The $299-suggested black-finish SACD 900 lacks progressive output and built-in 5.1 decoders. They’ll complement the $1,999 audiophile-grade SACD1000.

Sharp: The company’s first multichannel-SACD/DVD-Video player was previewed but won’t ship until June. The high-end model is expected to retail for a suggested $12,100 with built-in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel decoders. It’s targeted for high-end SharpVision dealers and will be accompanied by complementary high-end electronics: two-channel integrated and two-channel component amp, each targeted to hit a suggested $19,000. Additional details were unavailable.

Yamaha: Two new DVD-A/V players are the company’s first five-disc models, which will be priced at a suggested $599 and $1,599. The company’s current DVD-A/V player, a single-disc model, retails at $499 MAP. Tentative shipping is December.

The top-end DVD-C920 plays MP3 discs and features progressive-scan 3:2 pulldown, built-in DD/DTS decoding, 10-bit 54MHz video DACs. The DVD-C920 adds a second progressive output, additional other video outputs, 24-bit DACs for all channels, copper shielding and RS-232C port.

The company’s first DVD-Video player to play MP3 CDs is the $299-suggested DVD-S520, due October with NTSC/PAL format conversion.