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What Suppliers Say About Their Products’ 3D Repeater Capabilities

NEW YORK — Here’s what individual suppliers are saying
about their plans to support all of the 3D video formats
specified in the HDMI 1.4a specification:

Denon: The company just announced a lineup of new
A/V receivers (AVRs), all with HDMI 1.4a inputs and

Onkyo: Recently announced AVRs and home-theater
AVR/speaker packages feature HDMI 1.4a inputs
and outputs.

Panasonic: Two recently announced active sound
bars and the SC-ZT2 two-speaker Wireless Home Theater
System feature 1.4 inputs and outputs that the company’s
engineering department believe “are already
compatible with the HDMI 1.4a format because they
will all pass 1080p/24 fps (3D),” said product manager
Troy Livingston.

Both surround bars feature built-in decoding of all
Blu-ray surround formats, Dolby Virtual Speaker technology,
single HDMI 1.4 input, and single HDMI 1.4 output
with audio return channel (ARC) capability. One
surround bar, the SC-HTB10, is scheduled to ship in
June at a tentative suggested retail of anywhere from
$199 to $249. The step-up SC-HTB500 is due in the fall
at a price not yet disclosed.

The SC-ZT2, at a tentative suggested $999, features
two HDMI 1.4 inputs. It consists of a preamp/decoder
control unit with virtual surround processing, two wireless
floorstanding speakers with built-in amps, and
subwoofers mounted in the speakers’ pedestals.

Pioneer: Five recently unveiled AVRs priced from
$229 to $749 feature HDMI 1.4 inputs, and the company
confirmed they will pass through the 3D broadcast
formats specified in the 1.4a spec without a firmware

Samsung: The company’s first three AVRs, fi rst two
home-theater AVR/speaker packages, and first home
theater in a box (HTiB) system with integrated 3D Bluray
player feature HDMI 1.4 inputs and outputs. The
company confi rmed the units will repeat the 3D broadcast

The AVRs are priced at an everyday $299 to $499. The
HTiB is the $899 7.1-channel HT-C6930W with integrated
3D Blu-ray player and two HDMI 1.4 inputs.

Sherwood: Two AVRs unveiled earlier this year and
possibly due in the late third quarter feature 1.4 ins/outs
compatible with all 3D formats outlined in the 1.4a spec,
said Jeff Hipps, marketing and product development senior
VP. The company also plans 1.4a firmware upgrades
to most if its AVRs equipped with HDMI 1.3, he said.

“Per our factory, all HDMI 1.3 units are electrically
compatible with HDMI 1.4a, and most of them can be
updated to 1.4a via new firmware,” he said. “Of the upgradeable
HDMI 1.3 receivers, there are actually two
classes: those that the consumer/end user can update
and those that can only we can update here in

Sony: Two active sound bars and a home-theater
AVR/speaker package announced this month feature
1.4 inputs that repeat all of the 3D formats outlined in the
1.4a spec. They join a previously announced AVR and a
previously announced Blu-ray-equipped HTiB whose
1.4 inputs also repeat all 3D broadcast formats.

The previously announced AVR is the 7.1-channel
STR-DN1010, shipping in June at an everyday retail of
about $500. The Blu-ray HTiB is the BDV-HZ970W, due
in the summer at a price that hasn’t been revealed.

The new sound bars are the 400-watt HT-CT350, expected
to retail for about $400, and the 340-watt HTCT150,
expected to retail for about $300. Both are due
in May with proprietary virtual surround processing,
three HDMI 1.4 inputs, one HDMI 1.4 output, Dolby Digital
and DTS 5.1 decoding, seven-channel PCM playback,
HDMI 1.4’s audio return channel (ARC) function,
and passthrough of audio and video from HDMI-connected
devices to a TV when the sound bars are off but
in standby mode.

The new AVR/speaker package is the 5.1-channel HTSF470,
due in June at about $550. The system features
three HDMI 1.4 inputs and one HDMI 1.4 output with ARC.
It also features A/V passthrough in standby mode.

Yamaha: The company announced its first five hometheater
receiver/speaker packages and first three AVRs
with HDMI 1.4 inputs and outputs, but the products
need a firmware upgrade to support 3D video, the company
said. The upgrade will enable all of the products,
even the opening-priced $249-suggested receiver and
$399 receiver/speaker package, to pass through all
3D content specified in the 1.4a spec. To accomplish
that, the firmware upgrade will be downloaded to a PC
and burned to a CD. The CD must then be played back
through a CD or DVD player connected to the S/PDIF
digital input of the Yamaha products.