New Products - October 2003

Marantz When you've got the Marantz DV8400 DVD player, you can stop worrying about format incompatibility. This THX Select player attains "universal" status by playing DVD-Audio discs and Super Audio CDs and is said to provide full bass management for both formats. For DVD-Videos, it's one of only a few players to include a copy-protected DVI (Digital Video Interface) output, keeping video in the digital domain right up until you see it onscreen. (You'll need a TV with a DVI input.) The progressive-scan player has 2:3 pulldown processing to compensate for the different frame rates of film and video, and there are optical and coaxial digital audio outputs for DVD-Video soundtracks. The player can also handle CD-Rs and CD-RWs with MP3 files. Video circuitry is automatically turned off during audio-only playback to eliminate potential interference. An RS-232 port allows for system control. Price: $1,699., 630-741-0300

Infinity infinity - 1003 - new productsThe message from Infinity's PS Series is loud, and very deep - down to a floor-shaking 25 Hz. But what else would you expect from a bunch of subwoofers? The line leader is the PS-12, a 14 3/8 x 16 1/2 x 17 1/2-inch bass buddy with a 12-inch cone and an amplifier rated to deliver 300 continuous watts. The front-firing driver uses Infinity's Metal Matrix Diaphragm technology, which anodizes both sides of an aluminum core to create a lightweight and rigid diaphragm said to produce less distortion than conventional cones. The sub has line- and speaker-level inputs along with a level control, continuously variable crossover, and phase switch. The ported enclosure is finished in black ash and comes with a black grille, but you may want to leave it off to reveal the striking silver driver. Price: $499., 516-674-4463

Pioneer pioneer - 1003 - new productsIt's about time - Pioneer's DV-810H combines TiVo's electronic program guide and time-shifting prowess with the ability to archive TV shows to DVD. The recorder has an 80-gigabyte (GB) hard drive that holds 100 hours of video at the lowest quality level and 17 at the highest. Of course, you get TiVo's regular bag of tricks - pausing live TV, watching one program while recording another - and you can even schedule recordings while playing a DVD. The component-video output delivers progressive-scan video with 2:3 pulldown processing, and a Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing chip improves image quality. A regular subscription to TiVo's 14-day EPG costs $13 a month, but TiVo Basic, which provides three days of program information, is free. Price: $1,199., 800-746-6337

Samsung samsung -1003 - new productsSure, it's home theater in a box - but exactly what's in that box? In the case of Samsung's HT-SK6, you get a sleek player/receiver plus a 5.1-channel Klipsch Quintet II speaker system. The Quintet's two-way satellites all have horn-loaded tweeters and 3 1/2-inch midrange drivers (two on the center speaker). Each of the four left/right speakers has a 4 1/4 x 8 x 6-inch ported polypropylene cabinet with a swiveling "foot" stand. The powered subwoofer has a down-firing 10-inch driver and an amp rated at 55 watts continuous. The player/receiver is rated to deliver 100 watts to each of the satellites and includes Dolby Pro Logic II processing for multichannel playback of stereo sources. It has a progressive-scan component-video output plus composite- and S-video outputs. If radio's your thing, the AM/FM tuner has 30 presets. Price: $1,199., 800-726-7864

Toshiba toshiba -1003 - new productsThe beauty of Toshiba's 46-inch 46H83 rear-projection HDTV monitor is that it's small enough to put on a table without the optional base shown here ($250). The widescreen TV displays images in 1080i (interlaced), converting all signals - including standard 480i and 480p (progressive) - to that scanning format. It can accept high-definition signals from an outboard high-def tuner or other source at the two component-video inputs or the DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connection, which complies with HDCP copy protection. Cinema Mode performs 2:3 pulldown, and the automatic TruView feature combines several picture adjustments, including black-level expansion and flesh-tone correction. The set also has a center-channel audio output. A backlit remote is supplied. Price: $1,800., 800-631-3811

Escient escient -1003 - new productsNo more CDs strewn all over the house - once you've transferred your collection to the Escient FireBall E120 Digital Music Manager and its 120-GB hard drive, music listening will be a tidy experience. You can rip songs from the built-in CD transport, which is also a recorder, or transfer them from your home network via the Ethernet port. Pick between MP3 encoding or uncompressed WAV files. The E120 can also control megachangers from Pioneer, Kenwood, and Sony, seamlessly integrating their discs into its onscreen menus. You can download music to portable MP3 players and even browse Internet-radio fare. A wireless keyboard is included. FireBall MP-100 client units (not shown) are available for $999 each. Price: $2,999., 800-372-4368

Definitive Technology definitive technology -1003 - new productsSure to make a style statement in your listening room, Definitive Technology's slim Mythos One speaker will easily complement any modern-looking home theater - especially one with a flat-panel TV. Its 4-foot-tall, polished-aluminum column is available in black or silver finish and houses a 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter and three pairs of 5 1/4-inch cone drivers - two midrange, two midbass, and two woofers. The speakers are rated to play down to 20 Hz. The cabinet is said to be completely rigid and uses proprietary damping to reduce unwanted resonances. The base (shown) is made of tempered glass. Price: $799 each., 410-363-7148