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SACD/DVD-A Combinations Proliferate

More companies plan to unveil their first combination SACD/DVD-AV players during the CEDIA Expo, but others will remain firmly in one format camp or the other.

Combination models will be displayed for the first time under the Marantz, Onkyo, Integra and Yamaha brands. For its part, Pioneer’s Elite series will get its first home-theater-in-a-box system, which will feature a receiver with built-in SACD/DVD-AV player.

McIntosh and Adcom, on the other hand, will unveil their first DVD-AV players.

In the future, at least one mid- to high-end audio company said it might simultaneously pursue two product strategies. For the audio connoisseur, it might offer SACD players that lack DVD-Video and DVD-Audio capability. For everyone else, it might offer combination players.

For now, here’s what suppliers plan during the CEDIA Expo:

Adcom: The brand’s first DVD player, a single-disc model, will feature DVD-Audio playback. Details were unavailable.

JVC: A DVD-receiver with DVD-Audio playback ships in September at a $499 suggested retail. The RXDV5 features progressive output.

Marantz: The company’s first combination player is the THX-Select-certified DV8300, which shipped in July at a suggested $1,499. It also plays CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW and MP3 discs. It requires the use of a DD/DTS-equipped receiver to deliver 5.1-channel movie soundtracks. Features include built-in SACD and DVD-A bass management and progressive output with 3:2 pulldown detection.

The company continues to offer one DVD-AV player and three SACD players, two of which incorporate DVD-V. The company said it hasn’t decided whether it will offer only combination models in the future.

McIntosh: The $3,500-suggested MVP-851 DVD-AV player, the company’s first, features progressive output. It’s available now. The product does not incorporate DVD-A bass management, in part because “all McIntosh speakers will produce bass down to 40Hz,” said product manager Ron Cornelius.

Onkyo and Integra: The sister brands plan to unveil their first comination models. Details were unavailable.

Pioneer: The company’s first Elite-series HTiB incorporates receiver with built-in SACD/DVD-AV player. It features detached OEL display. It also plays MP3 CDs, CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW.

Pricing and ship date weren’t available.

Yamaha: Having earlier this year said it had no plans to launch SACD in 2002, the company plans October shipments of its first multichannel-SACD/DVD-AV player, the flagship single-disc DVD-S2300, at a suggested $999. It’s also the company’s first with built-in bass management for DVD-Audio (and SACD). It features MP3-CD playback, progressive scan output with Faroudja’s DCDi processing, 3:2 pulldown, and digital outputs for Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks. Custom-oriented features include RS-232 port, extended IR commands and one S-video and two composite outputs for multiroom operation.

The S2300 will also play DVD+R/RW discs made on the new $1,299-suggested DRX-1 DVD+RW recorder, which is also due in October.