For those who have long dreamt of having a Cinema like system at home, need dream no more. You don’t have to have something like the Cinema, now you can have a Cinema. How?
It’s easy, because the true masters of Cinema and Movie sound - DTS - have produced their own high end Cinema Processor.
DTS parent company Datasat have made the de-facto Cinema audio processor - The AP20 - for some time, and it’s established itself as the only Cinema processor for the Worlds most serious Cinema Theatres. Datasat started in 1991 as Digital Theatre Systems (DTS) and introduced millions of movie goers to Digital 5.1 Surround Sound with the June 1993 release of Juarrasic Park. The digital playback systems were delivered to over 30,000 screens across the World over the next 15 years. These products are still considered to be the premium audio offering in digital sound for film releases. But, this pro-machine is just that, a Pro machine. It simply doesn’t work for the home environment.
However, the new RS20i will not only work at home, it has been designed from the floor up with the finest Audio and Cinema reproduction in mind. As you might expect from a company responsible for the invention and continuing R&D of the DTS sound format system, it’s a no holes barred unit with only the very highest specification components and build. State of the art digital signal processing, Dirac Live Room Optimisation, 3rd Octave, Parametric & Shelving EQ’s on all channels. Individual Channel & Global Delays. Low, High or Bandpass on all channels. Virtual Network Control from Smart Phones, Tablets & Laptops. Full Bass Management. HDMI v1.4a
So, as you’ve probably guessed by now, this is not an Onkyo/Yamaha/Arcam/Harman/Pioneer competitor. That’s roughly the equivalent of thinking that the latest Mclaren has been brought out to take on a Skoda Fabia. Nothing wrong with a Skoda, but the McLaren is simply on a different level of existence.
Likewise the Datasat RS20i. It’s not going to be for everyone, as you’d expect, it’s not cheap. But for those few lucky enough to be able to afford it, it will be a level of Home Theatre and Audio performance hitherto unobtainable.
In what will all most certainly be one of the most long awaited arrivals in Home Cinema history, the new Lexicon MP20 (Media Processor 20) looks set to become a legend even by its own release date, which is hoped to be around January 2012.
First off, lets just say, it looks incredible. For those very sad people amongst us (like me), the looks alone are enough to make me drool in my bath chair.
At the moment, specifications are sparse, but things we do know are it contains are a rather incredible 12.4 channel surround sound handling. So that’s twelve full range channels as well as four subwoofer dedicated channels. This will mean apart from the standard seven channels, there will be two rear height channels, a centre hight channel and two front hight channels, which will double as front wide channels.
What is already the finest surround sound mode Logic7 will receive an update and become QLS 3D - QuantumLogic Surround with 3 Dimensional Steering. Unlike other up-mixing technologies, QLS 3D works in the frequency domain rather than in the time domain, enabling it to up-mix stereo to multiple channels without interfering with the artist's original intent, Lexicon marketing manager Jim Garrett said. "We don't add to the original signal," Garrett explained. "We deconstruct the signal by spatial slice and reverb extraction processing to obtain the direct and reverberant components. Then using only those original components, QLS is able to reconstruct a previously unachievable surround experience that remains true to the original recording."
The MP-20 also features the latest Sigma Designs VXP GF9452 video processing in a dual channel configuration with independent signal paths, transcoding and 1080p scaling. The device also supports 3D and 4K video pass-through on all inputs and outputs.
Four independent subwoofer outputs deliver accurate bass response in a wide hot spot for Home Cinemas with multiple seats.
For the rest of the frequency range, QLS 3D will also widen the hot spot to cover multiple seating locations, but it can also optimise the hot spot for specific seating locations, digitally compensate for less-than-ideal speaker locations, and move listeners from an audience location to an on-stage location and back.
The technology's centre-focus control anchors dialog to the centre channel for listeners who are sitting off-axis to one side of the room or the other.
The MP-20 also includes multiple other features and technologies not available in its predecessor, including native Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master decoding, Dolby Pro Logic IIz front-height-channel post processing, and 1080p video up-scaling of analog and digital video sources.
Other features include 12x2 video matrix switcher with eight HDMI 1.4a inputs with 3D pass-through, two composite-video inputs, and two component-video inputs. In a nod to Blu-ray players' analog-output sunset, the pre-pro features second-zone HDMI with stereo audio and second-zone on-screen display.
The MP-20 also splits HDMI audio from video so users can listen to an audio source instead of a video source's soundtrack while watching the video.
For its user interface, the component features a front-panel video display surrounded by 12 hard keys whose functions change when the displayed menu changes. The only other front-panel buttons are power and a volume knob.
If that wasn’t enough, as a big plus you will get what would be the equivalent of the technology based around the JBL Synthesis ultra high end SDEC.
This kind of spec is obviously leading up to something that is not going to be available to all, as the projected price could be around the fifteen thousand mark. However, as it is certain to be at the very top of the shopping list for those who want the very best there is for their Cinemas, you can expect the initial batch will go quite quickly. Add to this Lexicons near legendary factory part exchange loyalty discounts for people looking to p/x in the MC12’s, then I don’t believe that there will be true availability for several months after launch.
We’ve sold our first, even before all of the details are in, and anyone who wishes to speak to us regarding early stock, or indeed about registering their older unit for the part exchange deal is welcome to give us a call.
We are more excited about this product than we have been about any Home Cinema product in many years.
The MC12 ruled for many years, but the time is near for it moving over for the new Emperor to take the crown.
Suffering from that itching feeling, well don’t worry because Onkyo is along with an updated line of fantastic home cinema receivers.
Once again Onkyo is pushing the boundaries of the impossible when it come to a list of features on their receivers, while keeping that ever so important sound quality we have all come accustomed to.
From the entry TX-SR309 to the freshly available TX-NR809 we are all excited. Features including 4K video processing, network audio streaming a silly amount of HDMI inputs, Audyssy room correction and THX certification to name just a few options will leave other manufactures once again trembling in their boots!
Starting from a give away £250 for the Onkyo TX-SR309, get your orders in now.
Anthem, award winning manufacturers of extreme high end Home Cinema processors and amplifiers, who also happen to make one of our favourite Blu-Ray machines (if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out - here), have launched an equally stunning range on Home Cinema AV Receivers.
Their starting model - The MRX 300, boasts a beefy 7 X 80 watts. Remember, this is real wattage, no limp wristed Japanese figures here. You get Anthem award winning room correction (ARC), Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and EX, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-ES and 96/24 plus all of the usual surround format suspects.
You also get four 1.4 3D capable HDMI inputs with OSD support, Video up conversion to 1080P60 and to top it all off, a Three year warranty.
But above all, you get Anthem sound quality, and this is way above the par for this level of kit.
And remember, this is the baby model, there are three above this!
Primare has long been a desirable name, particularly in the two channel audio field. However, increasingly Primare is becoming known for its class leading AV technology.
To further this reputation they have introduced the SPA22
This Home Cinema amplifier boasts a meaty 5 x 120w and with its pure audio circuitry will be sure to sound considerably more audiophile than any Japanese competitor. HDMI 1.3 switching as well as a host of other features completes a great package.
However, what makes this unit even more excellent is the future availability of add on modules. Due in just the next few weeks is the upgrade for the new formats of sound including DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital True HD. Further to this will be the add in module to add a scaler unit especially designed for Primare by DVDO which will feature a quality of upscaling not previously available in amplifiers for home cinema use at this level.
As long time dealers in Harman Kardon, and at one time the ONLY UK Harman Dealer, we are very excited to announce that our first batch of HK AVR255 and AVR355's are in, and quite frankly they're bloody amazing.
As described around a month ago, the new models feature all the new sound formats as well as Harmans proprietary high current delivery and Wow, does it ever work!
They easily eclipse our Onkyo demo amp and as always blow the rest of the Japanese competition out of the water.
Come in and listen as soon as you can and join us in the jaw dropping department. They are that good.
The only problem will be that we will probably take the first ones home for ourselves!!
Here's the spec's for you guys to peruse. Just press the link.
Harman have long been our favourite home cinema brand. Their adherence to real world sound values instead of crazy un-usable DSP sound modes as well as their incredible current delivery and ultra-high bandwidth have always put them at the head of the pack for sound quality above all else.
Now, those who want the very best for their money in an AV amplifier, but also want the very latest in HD sound modes have reason to be excited. The new range of HK's (except AVR155) will be coming with DTS-HD Mastersound and Dolby True HD modes. So you can really take advantage of your new stock of Blu-Ray movies.
The new range starts with the AVR155, AVR255 and AVR355 models and will be followed later in the year by an AVR455 and AVR655. This will be finalised at the end of the year by an awesome range topping AVR755
The 155 features HDMI switching, but the 255 and 355 both have upscaling, support HDMI 1.3A and feature three in and one out.
Last, but by no means least, the whole range comes in a gorgeous new look with a very classy stature indeed.
They are due in early April and we have already sold some of our first allocation. Rest assured we will have one on demonstration as soon as they arrive.
In a serious coup' for the industry Onkyo have beat everybody of the starting blocks with the TX-SR605 Home Cinema receiver. So why do I hear you ask is this such a coup? (I do hear you ask don't I?) Well, it's because this seriously affordable little amp is the first to feature the new High Definition sound formats - Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. What this amp doesn't have isn't worth thinking about. The spec is massive. Follow the link to check it out. It's in stock now and it won't be hanging about so call us now.
Lexicon have always been known for their high end processors and the latest MC-12 is a tour de-force of high end home cinema processing. The separation and steering of effects is nothing short of astonishing. Containing the processing power of a good computer it is able to decode Dolby Digital and DTS using its own Logic7 algorithm with staggering results.
Harman Kardon have introduced up-scaling on their new AVR347 model. Details coming soon