New A/V receivers
Kenwood introduced its first THX Select-certified receiver in three years, and their first receiver equipped with Dolby Pro Logic II. The VR-510 is a 5.1 channel THX Select receiver offering Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby 3, and includes component video and S-Video switching, optical and coaxial digital connections, five DSP modes thanks to its 24-bit crystal semiconductor DSP, plus much more. The new $600 VR-510 delivers 110 watts per channel and includes six-channel analog inputs. Other audio inputs include two coaxial and two optical digital input, one optical digital output, eight stereo audio inputs, two stereo audio outputs, 6-channel preouts and outputs for a second zone. The VR-510 also includes Kenwood's "Pointless" RF/IR remote control with LCD screen.
Other receiver models include the VR-509, which is a full 5.1 channel receiver with Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS decoding along with component video switching. The $400 VR-509 also includes Kenwood's IR/RF learning remote control with LCD display, multiple DSP modes, 6-channel analog input and 100 watts to each channel, Cinema EQ, 40-preset AM/FM tuner, IR repeater outputs, plus digital inputs and outputs. The VR-509 will be available this April.
Additional models in the new lineup include the $300 VR-507, which is identical to the VR-509, save for component video connectors, digital optical output or IR repeater outputs. It will also be available this April. The $250 VR-506, available this February, drops Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby 3 Stereo and Circle Surround 5.1 and includes a pre-programmed IR remote control and fewer inputs and outputs. Finally, the $200 VR-505 drops 6-channel analog inputs and offers only composite video connections.
Kenwood also announced plans to release a full range of THX products later this spring, including Ultra and Surround EX models, which may be part of their new high-end label - Kenwood Sovereign.