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Virtual CEDIA Expo 2003 Report
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2003 CEDIA Expo Report

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Harmon/Kardon released a complete family of new audio/video receivers at this year’s show. The five new models, starting with the $1299 AVR-630 and working down to the $449 AVR-130, all feature a full selection of Dolby and DTS decoding capabilities. The 7.1 channel AVR-630 (75 watts x 7) and AVR-430 ($999, 65 watts x 7) both offer adjustable quadruple bass crossover frequencies for each of four speaker groups, include RS232 connectivity (which can also be used to upgrade the firmware), have Dolby Virtual Speaker and Headphone processing, HDTV-compatible component inputs, and more.

The 7.1-channel AVR-330 ($799, 55 watts x 7) and 6.1-channel AVR-230 ($549, 50 watts x 6) include Logic 7 and VMAx surround sound processing, triple crossover bass management, multichannel analog inputs, component video switching and more. The introductory AVR-130 offers 45 watts x 5 power. The top three models support multiroom operation with a supplied Zone 2 remote and 7.1 or 5.1 Stereo.

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At the higher end of the scale, H/K’s $1,499 DPR-1001 claims to be the first receiver to offer a fully digital signal path, from inputs to outputs. The compact 7.1 channel amplifier offers 50 watts into each of 7 channels, triple bass crossovers, 8 channel analog input, LCD remote control with EzSet auto calibration, component video switching and Logic 7/7.1/5.1 and VMAx audio processing. All of the power and most of the inputs – in much less of the space!

Two new progressive scan DVD players, the DVD-31 DVD-Audio player and DVD-22 will be introduced this fall. Both include 24-bit 192kHz audio D/A conversion, “pixel by pixel video processing”, support DVD plus or dash R/RW formats, plus WMA, MP3 and JPEG files, and are housed in ultraslim cases. The DVD-31 will retail for $349, and the DVD-22 for $249. Mix in the DPR-1001 and you’ve got a top-notch compact system!

Remote Technologies Inc.

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I’ve never been to a trade show where RTI has attended. So it was a complete surprise this year to see RTI – in a sizable booth, too! The company was showing the first new TheaterTouch branded products in several years, namely the T1, T2+ and T3. Although all three remotes were still in prototype form (two with fun bendable parts), they nonetheless all functioned.

The T2+ is an enhanced version of the original powerful T2 LCD remote control. Besides for featuring one additional hard button, not much else appears different until you look deeper into the specifications. For example, the remote features 50% more memory than its predecessor, USB communications, plus a new Lithium Polymer battery and convenient docking station.

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The T1 is a simplified version of the T2+, lacking the customizable LCD screen. In its place are 8 customizable device buttons and transport controls, for a total of 47 buttons. This model features most of the same features as the T2+: RF control, 256kb memory, USB communications, Lithium Polymer battery and docking station, plus compatibility with the RTI family of backend control devices.

Even more interesting – but also the most difficult to get a good look at – was the new T3 color remote control. This unit looks particularly promising, but had a very low key presentation. Features include a 3.5” 240x320 TFT touchscreen display with 65,000 colors, bi-directional 900MHz RF communications with 300 foot range, Lithium Polymer battery and docking station, USB communications and a physical design under 1 inch thick. Price and eventual availability? Still a mystery... (For images of these remotes please see my CEDIA 2003 video.)

RTI was also showing their complete range of backend equipment, such as the RP-6 remote control processor, RF receiver modules, power and video sensing cables, RS-232 communications cables and the IRF-6+ RF system interface module.

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