|Meridian Ships First DVD-Audio Player AV Preamp With Digital Connection|
|Home Theater News Audio Sources News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Friday, 25 January 2002|
Meridian Audio, Ltd., has announced important upgrades to Version 3 of the 800 Player and 861 Reference Surround Controller. A major enhancement is the addition of MHR Smart Link, a digital multichannel connection which directly couples the 800 Player to the 861 Reference Surround Controller and to Meridian’s family of DSP loudspeakers. The MHR Smart Link uses proprietary encryption and signaling technology and is the first system to be officially sanctioned for DVD-Audio content protection. For the first time, the full resolution of multichannel audio from DVD-Audio recordings (as well as those from CD and DVD-Video) can be losslessly transferred in the digital domain from player, to surround controller, to loudspeaker.
"The improvements in Version 3 of the 800 Series are ground-breaking, technically sophisticated, and herald the system architecture and benchmark for all high-performance AV systems for the future. Importantly, the performance gains are anything but incremental," says Bob Stuart, chairman of Meridian Audio. "By using an approved encrypted link between the 800 and 861, we can bring the full digital processing power of both components to bear on a recording today. The results are astounding. Of course we are delighted to introduce the first true high-end playback system for DVD-Audio. Without question, DVD-Audio provides the highest sound quality potential for music in the home. But the benefits of Version 3 are not just for DVD-Audio discs,” Stuart continues. “We have been astonished by the results when our special upsampling/resolution-enhancement process is applied to movie sound. Important low-level details and a much clearer sense of space bring intimacy to many Dolby Digital sound tracks – without of course sacrificing impact when needed. 800 and 861 have opened our ears to a multichannel movie experience that we had not fully anticipated."
Considerable work has also been done in this upgrade to provide yet further improvements for CD playback. Meridian and their 800 Series have world-wide acclaim for CD player performance. These new designs permit upsampled multichannel playback of CD sources, using the huge DSP power on hand to double the effective sampling frequency, to use 48-bit internal precision and to render on up to eight channels. Says Stuart, "CD will remain a crucial source of music for many years and it has been a joy to rediscover our CD collections, whether for two-channel playback or using one of Meridian's proprietary multichannel modes such as the newly-enhanced Trifield, on this Version 3 800 Series system."
Of course, the existing capabilities of the Model 800 Series are all retained. These include 7.1 Dolby Digital, THX, EX, DTS, Meridian EZ, support for 2+2+2 playback via up to as many as 10 speakers, Dolby ProLogic II processing for stereo and matrix-encoded sources, discrete Ambisonics, MPEG, MP3 and the full panoply of Meridian’s proprietary modes for reproducing stereo and multichannel recordings with unmatched depth, dynamic detail, and spatial precision.
Suggested Retail Prices:
861 v3 $17,000 to $20,000 (depending on configuration)
800 v3 $17,000 to $20,000 (depending on configuration)