New Products - July/August 2003

Zenith Want a taste of DVD-Audio? Hey, at this price, why not? Zenith's affordable DVB252 five-disc DVD changer can handle the format, feeding high-res audio to your receiver or preamp through its multichannel analog audio output. And if you're sometimes in the mood for compressed audio, the player also reads MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) files on CD-Rs and CD-RWs. A progressive-scan component-video output should keep things looking sharp for DVD-Videos, plus there are composite- and S-video jacks as well as optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. Discs with JPEG photos are no trouble, either - have fun with the movable zoom that enlarges images up to 16x. The slim chassis of the DVB252 is only 3 1/8 inches high. Price: $149., 847-391-7000

Kenwood kenwood - new products 0703Now you don't need to shut off Sirius satellite radio when you get out of the car: Kenwood's Here2Anywhere plug-and-play tuner easily comes off the plastic cradle on your dashboard and jacks into your home system. Navigating Sirius's 100 channels is easy with the Channel Scan feature, which lets you check out what's on before you tune in and search by program categories like pop, classical, or news. There's also a memo feature that takes down a song's title and artist name for later recall. Along with the tuner, you'll need a Sirius subscription ($12.95 a month) and a car or home docking kit, or both. Each kit includes a cradle for the tuner, cables, and an antenna. A remote control is supplied. Price: tuner, $129; car kit, $70; home kit, $70., 310-639-9000

Yamaha yamaha - new products 0703Still not set up for 6.1-channel sound? Once you get a back surround speaker, hear what you've been missing with Yamaha's RX-V740 digital surround receiver, which can render Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES soundtracks and deliver a rated 90 watts to each of its six channels. You also get Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 for multichannel playback of stereo sources along with 24 DSP (digital signal processing) modes for adding different kinds of ambience. Composite-video input signals can be converted to S-video for easy switching. Your DVD-Audio or Super Audio CD player can jack into the multichannel analog input, and the receiver has preamp outputs for all six channels. In addition, there are line-level stereo outputs to feed a second zone, one coaxial and four optical digital audio inputs, and a phono input. Price: $599., 800-492-6242

Panasonic panasonic - new products 0703Looking good, SL-CT800. Panasonic's slim and trim portable CD player doesn't merely have a nicely styled silver finish - at 5 1/4 inches in diameter and just over an inch thick, it's one of the most compact players out there. The player can read CD-Rs and CD-RWs with MP3 or Windows Media Audio (WMA) files, while files with ID3 tags display artist names or song/album titles on the wired remote's LCD readout. The player weighs about 5 ounces (with no batteries), and there are two external battery packs, each holding a pair of AA batteries. The player can run on a single pair or all four for maximum lifespan, said to be about 120 hours. A pair of nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) rechargeables are supplied, as are an AC adapter and car cigarette-lighter power adapter. Price: $150., 800-211-7262

Mitsubishi mitsubishi - new products 0703Part of Mitsubishi's push to expand its HDTV lineup, the Gold Series WS-55513 55-inch rear-projection HDTV uses the company's latest proprietary interface, NetCommand 3.0. The icon-based system lets you control all the components in your home theater through the supplied backlit learning remote control. The set has 7-inch CRTs (cathode-ray tubes) and displays all programs in the high-definition 1080i (interlaced) format, upconverting 480i, 480p (progressive), and 720p-format high-def images. Digital broadcasts are received by the built-in HDTV tuner, and there are plenty of connectors for other high-def sources: two component video, one component/RGB+H/V, one VGA, three FireWire, and one DVI (Digital Visual Interface). PerfectColor adjustment gives you independent control of six colors, and Mitsubishi even throws in a five-format memory-card slot so you can display JPEG photos and play WMA and MP3 audio files. Price: $3,299., 800-332-2119 Lexiconlexicon - new products 0703Since home theater technology is always changing, the back of Lexicon's MC-8 Digital Controller has two removable panels for future connectors and an RS-232 port for software upgrades. The THX Ultra2-certified preamp/processor features Logic7 processing to create 6.1-channel sound from stereo, four channel, or 5.1-channel sources. It also has Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 processing along with Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES decoding. The eight output channels can be configured for the main or a second zone, and there are two sets of multichannel analog inputs. With four Analog Devices SHARC chips providing the MC-8's processing power, all analog signals can be either converted to digital or completely isolated from processing. The MC-8B controller (shown) adds balanced XLR outputs for all channels and a couple of inches of height. Prices: MC-8, $5,995; MC-8B, $6,995., 781-280-0300

Adventadvent - new products 0703Just because you don't have the coin for a giant-screen HDTV doesn't mean you have to miss out on digital television. Advent's HT2751A 27-inch HDTV monitor can display programs in the high-definition 1080i format if you connect a DTV tuner to its wideband component-video input. Regular TV signals are upconverted to the 480p (progressive-scan) format, and there's 2:3 pulldown processing to compensate for the frame-rate difference between video and film in both TV and DVD sources. A flat picture tube helps to reduce glare, and one of the three composite/S-video inputs is on the front panel for convenient camcorder or videogame hookups. A universal remote control is supplied. Price: $600., 888-474-2314 Canton canton - new products 0703Home theater may not be rocket science, but with its silver finishes and aluminum drivers Canton's Movie CD-1 speaker system at least looks the part. The 5 3/8-inch-tall CD-1 satellite, for the front L/R and surround positions, combines a 3-inch midrange driver with a 5/8-inch tweeter and has a rated bandwidth of 80 Hz to 25 kHz. The CD-1 center speaker has a pair of midrange drivers and measures 8 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 4 inches. Filling in the bottom end is the 100-watt CD-1 subwoofer, with an 8-inch driver, a response rated down to 38 Hz, and a crossover point variable from 80 to 140 Hz. Price: $1,099; floor stands, $125 a pair., 612-706-9250