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Sunfire's New Media Grand Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 November 2005
Sunfire is introducing the Media Grand Preamplifier and Home Theater Processor at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show.

The Media Grand is an audiophile-grade processor equipped with two HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) inputs and one HDMI output that switches uncompressed digital video transmissions between HDMI source components, the Media Grand, and HDMI-compatible display devices. Using a simple, user-friendly connector, the HDMI protocol supports standard, enhanced and high-definition digital video on a single cable. It transmits all ATSC and HDTV standards with bandwidth to spare. The Media Grand is also fully equipped for remote operation from any handheld device using the Internet Protocol (IP). It has been designed for high-end, high-performance Home Theaters and entertainment systems that benefit from the use of separate components, and for high-power systems that specify Sunfire amplifiers.

It upgrades and replaces Sunfire's popular Theater Grand IV Processor and, like its predecessors, produces a warm, engaging soundstage so that both movie and music soundtrack reproduction is smooth and dynamic according to Sunfire.

Outfitted with a clean, more contemporary-looking front panel, the Media Grand adds a host of new connectivity features that make it more responsive and more easily integrated into whole-room or whole-house systems controlled through IP-based laptop or handheld devices, such as those by Crestron, AMX and other automation specialists. The new features utilize an RJ45 Ethernet port, and a more advanced crystal S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) receiver, as well as the more conventional RS-232 port which continues to stream bi-directional command and control data. In addition, the built-in operating system can now be upgraded through software downloads via the Internet.

The Media Grand also delivers traditional Sunfire features and versatility. Its array of surround sound modes includes 7.1-channel Dolby® Pro Logic® IIx, Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Digital EX, DTS®, DTS-ES®, DTS Neo:6®, user-configurable all-speaker stereo, and Sunfire's exclusive Side-Axis outputs for 9.3 channels of total playback. Also onboard is a digital implementation of Bob Carver's Sonic Holography® Imaging that substantially enhances the perceived soundstage of any stereo recording.

The Media Grand, in addition, includes an AM/FM tuner with 40 presets, an eight-channel input for DVD-Audio or SACD, eight balanced XLR outputs, a Phono stage, and a video format conversion system that automatically up-converts Composite video to S-Video, and S-Video to Component video to keep viewers from having to change inputs on their TVs. The system's powerful LCD-based remote is easy and intuitive to operate. It comes heavily pre-programmed, and has full learning capabilities.

Other key features are auto signal sensing input switching that automatically turns the unit on, and selects your source and surround mode; a second zone that plays sources independent of the main zone; a full-time digital downmix that provides accurate two-channel audio from multi-channel digital sources for tape recordings, digital outputs, and second zone use; a nine-channel, user-settable "PARTY" mode that engages all speakers from any two-channel source; a direct two-channel analog bypass mode; and Bob Carver's Dynamic Tuner Noise Reduction, which improves the clarity of weak FM stations.

The Media Grand Preamplifier and Home Theater Processor, with a black finish, will be available in First Quarter 2006 from authorized Sunfire dealers at a suggested price of $3,995 each.

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