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International CES 2000 Report
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2000 International CES Report

 Kenwood USA 

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New Receiver with RF Remote
Headlining Kenwood’s home audio products is the new VR-410 digital A/V receiver. It includes Dolby Digital and DTS decoding with a 2-way radio frequency (RF) that can operate an entire system. When used with compatible Kenwood 200-disc CD changers, disc titles can be downloaded and viewed on the remote’s LCD screen. The screen can display 36 characters plus icons to guide users through setting up the receiver and operating components. It can also learn and broadcasts IR signals to control traditional equipment. The receiver offers a total of five DSP modes allow up to 225 possible settings to simulate different listening environments. It provides 6 audio inputs and 3 audio outputs, 2 optical and 2 coaxial digital inputs and 1 optical digital output, 6-channel analog input, 4 composite and S-Video inputs and 2 composite and S-Video outputs. Preamplifier outputs are also provided for all 6 channels. The VR-410 will be available in April 2000 at a suggested retail price of $499. The VR-409 includes an IR-only version of the learning LCD remote and will retail for $399 in March 2000.

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New CD Recorder
Kenwood was showing the DR-307W dual-tray CD recorder that can dub an entire CD at double speed. It is also the first recorder to offer 24-bit resolution digital-to-analog converters. The DR-307W also includes a built-in sampling rate converter to allow digital recording directly from other sources, such as DAT. It can even be used to make digital master recordings from studio mixing equipment, and can record on CD-R and CD-RW blank discs. This recorder will be available in the first quarter of 2000 at a suggested retail price of $550.

New Mega CD Changer with PC Link
A new mega 200-disc CD changer was announced that includes a PC link that can automatically load disc titles, names, song titles and user created play lists into memory without having to manually enter any information. The CD-425M, when connected to a PC, scans the discs in the changer, identifies them via Escient Inc’s CDDB database on the Internet and downloads all information into the changer. When used with the two receivers mentioned above, the changer will automatically send disc and song title information to the LCD remote. The player, available in February, is also sold with a wireless full-sized keyboard for a suggested retail price of $299.

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Innovative Mini Systems
The new Allura NV-500 and VH-600 systems both took innovations awards at the show, partly due to their innovative LCD remote controls. The NV-500 consists of CD and cassette players and an AM/FM stereo tuner housed in a compact console, all operated by Kenwood’s 2-way InView LCD controller. It is even equipped with Dolby Virtual Surround and can be easily hooked up to a VCR or DVD player. It is currently available starting at $550.

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The VH-600, dubbed "Virtually Anywhere System", consists of a compact CD/Receiver and high-performance amplifier. The receiver can be placed horizontally or vertically, while its gravity-sensing "ReadRight" display automatically reorients itself to read correctly in either position. The VH-600 is available at $599; an optional cassette deck is available for $250 while an optional MiniDisc deck with ReadRight display is available for $400.

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