New at CEDIA

This week's CEDIA Expo 2004 in Indianapolis is certain to offer a few head-turning new products, among them Boston Acoustics's Avidea 610 integrated home theater system and NAD Electronics' new NetCap network receiver.

The Avidea 610 is a "completely integrated movie-and-music home entertainment system combining form and function in a compact package that's exceptionally easy to install and use," according to a pre-show press release. The system combines DVD/CD player and receiver, four Silver Micro110x satellite speakers, a Silver Micro110c center channel, a PV700 powered subwoofer, and an easy-to-use universal remote control. Sound quality is said to be "pure, natural, true to the original."

The player/receiver is compatible with most popular disc and surround sound formats, including DVD, CD, Video CD, MP3, WMA, CD-R, CD-RW, JPEG images, and Picture CDs. It also features progressive scan (480p) component video output from the internal DVD drive; compatibility with Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II audio sources; and includes a high-performance AM/FM tuner with 40 presets. Boston Acoustics' proprietary "UniView" technology ensures video connectivity without complexity. Users can add any video device to the Avidea 610 without concern about connector type. UniView automatically sorts it all out, converting any video input to 480i component output and assuring the best possible picture quality regardless of source. The result is said to be "unprecedented ease of connection and operation . . . Users can instantly, and correctly, connect any video device, regardless of connector type. With an HD-ready TV, video sources such as digital cable and satellite look as good as DVD." Conversion of composite or S-Video sources to component output is a feature not found on many much more expensive processors.

The Avidea 610 is said to produce "seamless surround sound with bass of extraordinary output and depth. Movie soundtracks and music are reproduced with impressive detail, impact, emotion and fidelity. " The silver-finished Avidea 610 integrated home theater system will be available in October from authorized Boston Acoustics dealers at a suggested price of $1199.

NAD Electronics has announced its first "network receiver," a device capable of retrieving and streaming PC audio, video, and picture files and playing them back on home entertainment systems. NAD describes the NetCap network receiver as "an incredibly simple and inexpensive way to access music, movies, and pictures stored on any home networked PCs from the comfort of your home entertainment system. The NetCap treats your PC network simply as another AV source, and delivers any designated content to the big screen, including music and video files that can be heard in complete surround sound."

The Netcap supports all popular music formats (MP3, WMA), picture formats (JPEG, Kodak), and even movies (MPEG 4/DIVX), using either an Ethernet hardwired connection, or 802.11G (including 802.11b) wireless access. Even Internet radio broadcasts can be streamed to the home theater system via the NetCap. NAD provides the software that needs to be loaded on all the computers in the network. Then using the supplied remote with the NetCap network receiver, users can access all computers in the network and all the files on those computers. Music, movie and picture files can be selected from any computer quickly and easily via the on-screen display and wireless remote handset.

NAD provides an assortment of I/O connections on the NetCap, including an additional USB port on the unit's front panel. "Using a progressive-scan component video output, picture quality of video content is stunning. High quality music playback from compressed file formats is assured using NAD's superior decoding, D/A conversion, and high quality analog circuits," states a pre-show announcement. The NetCap will be available in 4th quarter 2004 at a suggested retail price of $499.