New Products - Apr. 2002

Harman Kardon You'll feel surrounded by surround sound choices with Harman Kardon's AVR 520. The receiver decodes Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1- and 6.1-channel soundtracks, including DTS-ES Discrete. You'll need an outboard amp if you have one or two back surround speakers, though, as there are only five powered channels, rated to deliver 75 watts each into 8 ohms. The AVR 520 also has Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6, and Lexicon Logic 7 processing to create surround sound from two-channel sources, plus Hall and Theater modes. Routing HDTV or progressive-scan video from a DVD player through the receiver is no problem thanks to its two wideband component-video inputs. There's also a six-channel analog audio input for a DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD player, five S-video inputs, and six digital audio inputs (three optical and three coaxial). Automatic level calibration makes setup a snap. A backlit, eight-device universal learning remote control is supplied. Price: $999., 800-422-8027

Cerwin Vega Six easy pieces - four left/right satellite speakers, a center speaker, and a powered subwoofer - make up Cerwin-Vega's AVS-632 home theater speaker system. Each L/R satellite has a 4-inch woofer and a 1-inch Mylar-dome tweeter, while the center has dual woofers. All have a rated frequency response of 80 Hz to 20 kHz ±3 dB. Powered by a 100-watt amplifier and rated down to 35 Hz, the 12 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 13 1/4-inch down-firing sub has an 8-inch driver, a variable crossover, a phase switch, and a level control. All of the magnetically shielded cabinets are finished in graphite with perforated metal grilles. Price: $449., 805-584-9332

RCA Able to operate up to nine devices, RCA's RCU1000B touchscreen controller will have a lonely life as the only remote left on your coffee table. The LCD measures 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches and can show up to 40 virtual keys along with a date and time indicator. Nine macro keys can each store up to 20 keystrokes, letting you turn on or shut down all your gear with one touch of the supplied stylus. You can set up the RCU1000B to use codes preprogrammed in its database or teach it commands for a given component by placing the old remote head to tail with it and programming the keys individually. A built-in sensor turns on backlighting in low light. Price: $129., 800-336-1900