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The stylish Marantz booth has always been interesting to look at, but for the past few shows disappointing in terms of remote controls. So it was a pleasure this year to spot two brand new models, the RC1400 and RC5400.
The $169 RC1400 is essentially a merging of the former RC1200 and RC2000 remote controls. It features an ergonomic design, LCD-labelled buttons, infrared learning and a code database, macros, and “many additional advanced features to enhance user convenience” that are left unsaid in the press release. The little specifications card below the remote, however, was more informative. The RC1400 will also include 512kb of memory, blue LCD and button backlighting, contrast control, 20 macros with up to 20 steps each, plus timers.
The new RC5400 appears nearly identical to the current RC5200 remote. Basically a deluxe version of the Philips Pronto TSU3000 in Marantz clothing, the RC5400 features everything the Philips version does, such as a 16-greyshade 240x320 LCD display and electroluminescent LCD backlighting. But it also comes with 8 megabytes of memory (double the TSU3000) and a pickup sensor. A total of 15 hard buttons are included. The $649 MSRP remote ships with a docking station and rechargeable battery pack, while the optional RX-77 RF receiver will sell for $159.
The RC5400 will also use new PC editing package called Wizz.it 5.0. First RC5000 Setup, then RCEdit, then Touch Screen Setup, now “Wizz.it”?!
New in home theater receivers is the SR-7400, featuring 105 watts for each of 7 channels. It sports new Dolby Pro Logic IIx decoding, a full complement of Dolby Digital and DTS modes, HT-EQ equalization circuit and 24-bit/192kHz D/A converters. It also includes dual HDTV-compatible component video inputs with time base correction, composite and S-Video upconversion, RS-232 control and an RC1400 remote control. The SR-7400 will retail for $999. It joins the new SR-6400 ($749, 100 watts into 6 channels), SR-5400 ($599, 90w x 6) and SR-4400 ($449, 80w x 6).
Marantz continued their announcements with three new DVD players. First up was the $599 progressive scan DV6400, a combination DVD-Audio and SACD player that also supports MP3, SVCD and WMA files. It also includes high-end features such as 3:2 and 2:2 pull-down, 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converters, Video Off feature and a full complement of handy front-panel buttons. The other two models are the $549 5-disc VC5400, which supports the DVD-Audio format, and the $429 5-disc VC4400, a standard progressive scan DVD-Video player.
Finally, in the display corner, Marantz was showing off a pair of new projectors. First is the $12,999 VP-12S3, a DLP model sporting the latest Texas Instruments HD2+ 16x9 chip with 1280x720 resolution. This remarkable chip helps the VP-12SE generate 700 ANSI lumens with a 3800:1 contrast ratio! Other features include a new 200 watt DC bulb, a 5X color wheel, color correction filter, Faroudja DCDi processing, DVI/HDCP input, lens shift capability and backlit remote control.
For those of you with a bit more money, Marantz also has the currently unpriced but obviously much more expensive VP-10S1, their first 3-chip DLP projector. This model also uses HD2+ chips but has a 250 watt lamp and motorized lens for focus, zoom and lens shift. Faroudja’s three-chip DCDi processing is included, as is a wealth of inputs including DVI/HDCP, component, S-Video, composite and RGB. 12 video memories, 4 picture modes and 5 color temperature settings allow for ultimate customization. If only...