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Virtual CEDIA Expo 2001 Report
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2001 CEDIA Expo Report

Marantz America

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Trio of new remotes
As first revealed earlier this month, Marantz will be releasing three brand new remote controls in short order. First is a full-color touchscreen model, the RC9200, which is intended to compete with the advanced Philips ProntoPro. Second is a new black & white model, the RC5200, an upgrade of the existing Marantz RC5000i. Finally, Marantz will also be releasing the RC3200, an economical touchscreen that appears to have little in common with the current "Pronto-esque" architecture.

The RC9200 will have a list price of $1299 which, along with the remote itself, includes a desktop charger and RF-to-IR receiver (erroneously reported earlier as optional). Similar to the ProntoPro, the RC9200 will feature 8 megabytes of memory, a 256-color passive matrix screen, RS232 serial port interface and pickup sensor. In addition, the RC9200 will feature a 4-way menu control plus a total of 11 other hard buttons, including a "Home" button. The unit's interface has also been revamped, providing 25% more usable screen real estate. Instead of the RC5000's editable screen area of 240x219 pixels, the RC9200 will be capable of using approximately 240x270 pixels - 25% more. No database of infrared codes will be included. Although the press release describes the screen as being "larger and brighter", the specifications provided match up perfectly with the current ProntoPro's display.

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Positioned squarely in the middle of the new Marantz lineup is the RC5200, essentially a black and white RC5000i packaged in the improved RC9200 shell. Like the RC9200, the RC5200 will include a 4-way menu control and 11 other hard buttons and will also include an RF transmitter. However, unlike the RC9200 which includes the RF receiver, the RX-77 will be an optional $159 accessory, bringing the total cost of a fully loaded RC5200 to $758. This model will include 2 megabytes of memory and a 4-color black and white LCD touchscreen. The RC5200 will also include the RC9200's larger editable screen space.

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Finally, the $329 RC3200 is a new economical remote control designed for ease of use. Featuring a half-resolution touchscreen capable of displaying 4 grayshades, the 1mb remote also includes a large complement of hard buttons. Its RS232 serial port will allow basic PC customization, though it will use a new "NCF" file format, rather than the Pronto's "CCF". From what I've been able to obtain, these two formats are not compatible in any way.

New flagship receiver
The new $3199 Marantz SR9200 receiver is the company's latest flagship model, featuring THX Ultra certification, DTS-ES, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding. Packing an impressive 140 watts into each of 7 channels via a zero-feedback amplification system, the SR9200 will be able to drive the back surrounds of a 6.1 or 7.1 system. It also includes an AM/FM radio with 50 presets, four component video inputs with on-screen menu display, numerous S-Video and digital audio inputs, 6.1-channel stereo mode, multi-room support, HDCD decoding, 6.1-channel inputs and preouts, plus an RS232 serial port for upgradeablility. Confusingly, the SR9200 will not include an RC9200 remote, but rather the RC3200, which will sport two-way communications with the receiver.

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Other new receivers in the new Marantz series include the $849 SR7200, which features 105 watts of power into each of six channels, DTS-ES, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, four S-Video inputs, 6.1 channel inputs plus a 30-preset tuner; the $749 SR6200 with 105 watts by six amplification, DTS-ES, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding for $749; the $599 SR5200, identical to the SR6200 except for lower power handling of 85 watts by 6; and finally the $429 SR4200 5-channel receiver with 70 watts of power to each channel, DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic deciding, 5.1 channel preouts and S-Video switching.

New DLP projector
Marantz also debuted their $12,499 VP-12S1 DLP projector, their most advanced model ever. It features Faroudja digital image processing circuitry, 1280x720 pixel resolution and double-sealed Minolta optics. It delivers a 1200:1 contrast ratio, 700 ANSI lumens brightness, progressive scan output with 3:2 pulldown detection and ultra quiet operation. The projector can display native 480p or 720p, or upconvert any NTSC source such as 480i or 1080i. It includes HD component video, S-Video and composite video inputs, as well as computer RGB and an IEEE 1394 input for DV camera playback.

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