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Kenwood Introduces 7.1-Channel THX Select Receiver Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 May 2004
Kenwood has just introduced its 2004 home theater receivers, including the VR-8070, the industry’s first 7.1-channel THX® Select receiver priced at $600.00. The receiver also includes high-resolution, 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog audio conversion, HD component video switching, digital inputs and outputs, and THX Surround EX and DTS-ES® audio decoding. The VR-8070 also has Dolby® Pro Logic IIx surround sound processing with 7.1-channel capability. The VR-8070 provides auto sensing of the surround sound format (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) and selects the proper decoding. The receiver is rated to deliver up to 100 watts to seven channels.

The VR-8070 receiver offers home theater video features including HD component video switching (3 in/1 out), S-Video switching (5 in/2 out), and up-conversion of composite video signals to S-Video, to reduce the number of connections between the receiver and TV or video monitor.

The VR-8070 is the first Kenwood receiver with built-in 7-channel amplification, the VR-8070 employs a discrete 7-channel amp powered by Kenwood's self-adjusting K-STAT™ power transistor technology.

For processing of both high and low level audio signals, the VR-8070 is equipped with Analog Devices’ 32-bit SHARC® DSP with floating-point technology. Additional receiver features include DTS: Neo 6 processing, which derives 6.1 channels of surround sound; 4 digital inputs (2 optical, 2 coaxial), 1 optical digital output, IR sensor inputs and IR repeater outputs, and banana-compatible speaker connectors.

Dolby Pro Logic IIx is a new technology from Dolby Labs that is an extension of the Dolby Pro Logic II surround processing system. Dolby Pro Logic IIx processes any native stereo or 5.1-channel signal into a 6.1- or 7.1-channel output. Dolby Pro Logic IIx has several modes to choose from, including Movie or Music modes that tailor the output to the source material, as well as a Game mode that delivers the full impact of special effects signals panned to the surround speakers, and of bass signals delivered to the subwoofer. The Music mode also has three additional user controls: Center Width adjusts the balance of the main vocals in the center and front channels; Panorama creates a wraparound surround effect; Dimension creates a deeper or shallower surround sound field.

The VR-8070 incorporates audio circuitry called Active EQ that uses a 32-bit digital signal processor to help movie soundtracks and other audio sources played over compact speaker systems. The circuit, which reduces speaker overloading and distortion (and can be turned on or off by the user), has selectable modes for cinema, music and TV listening.

DSP circuitry allows the VR-8070 to simulate five music listening environments (arena, theater, jazz club, stadium, and disco). All digital processing is handled by the Analog Devices 32-bit floating point “SHARC” DSP.

THX Select includes technologies that allow the VR-8070 to reproduce a film soundtrack in the home. The THX Select-certified receiver incorporates THX Front-Channel Re-Equalization™, THX Adaptive Decorrelation™, THX Timbre-Matching™; Full Digital Bass Management with THX Subwoofer Crossover, and THX Bass Peak Level Manager.

The VR-8070 comes with Kenwood’s universal A/V remote control. This remote can control both Kenwood and non-Kenwood components.

Kenwood also offers the VR-8070 in a silver (VR-8070-S) or midnight black (VR-8070) finish. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the VR-8070 is $600.00; it will be available from Kenwood authorized dealers in July.

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