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Sherwood Launches “Hollywood at Home” Series of 2.1 DVD Theater Systems Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 January 2005
Sherwood America has introduced three new DVD Theater systems called Hollywood at Home, which each feature a progressive scan DVD console/receiver, two satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer. All three systems use advanced DSP technology, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone decoding to bring the surround sound experience to users who were either uncomfortable with the installation requirements or were otherwise unable to install a full 5.1 system. According to Jeffrey Hipps, Sherwood's Sr. VP for Marketing and Product Planning, the Hollywood at Home project actually started in 1997. "At that time," said Hipps, "we realized that the headaches involved in home theater installation would forever limit the market so we started the 'Hollywood at Home' project. But we scrapped the first system, as the sweet spot for the surround effect was too small. With the recent availability of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, that limitation is gone."

Based on the research done by Australia's Lake DSP, Dolby Virtual Speaker uses advanced HRTF research and complex digital algorithms to "pre-encode" the 5.1 signal so it can be dramatically reproduced from only two speakers.

With the technical problems inherent in creating a multi-dimensional surround sound field from only 2 speakers now solved, Sherwood's engineers turned to the physical and cosmetic design. The systems reflect some of Eero Saarinen's classic architecture as well the smooth lines of a bird in flight. The systems have a high-gloss silver finish (matte black is also available) that is designed to coordinate with the newest LCD and plasma TV's.

The first of these new systems (available now) is the middle-of-the line-up, VR-670. The 4-piece system is composed of a DVD/Console, a pair of two-way satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer. The console features CD and DVD playback with progressive scan output capability; built-in decoding for both DTS and Dolby Digital; encoding for Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone (for surround playback from conventional 2-channel headphones); AM and FM tuning, inputs and outputs for two additional sources, remote control, and other features. Power output for the systems is 25 watts RMS x 2 for the satellite speakers with 100 Watts available for the subwoofer. Suggested retail price for the Hollywood at Home VR-670 system is $399.95.

The top-of-the line, VR-700 maintains the same cosmetic appearance of it's sibling while adding A/V switching for four source units, Sherwood's Universal Video module that transcodes composite and S-Video in to Component Video, and a 400 Watt subwoofer capable of over 103 dB output at 30 Hz. Suggested retail price for the VR-700 is $599.95 and it will be available in August 2005.

The entry level VR-600 maintains the same power output, satellite speakers and subwoofer as the VR-670, but loses some of the "swoopy" cosmetic design for a more cost effective platform. Thus, the VR-600 is able to maintain the sonics of the Hollywood at Home family with a lower cost. The suggested retain price for the VR-600 is $249.95 and it will be available in August 2005.

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