Published On: September 19, 2008

Harman Kardon Introduces Flagship AVR 7550HD and Advanced-Technology AVR 3550HD Audio/Video Receivers, and Showcases a Wide Range of Custom-Installation Home Entertainment Solutions at CEDIA Expo 2008

Published On: September 19, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Harman Kardon Introduces Flagship AVR 7550HD and Advanced-Technology AVR 3550HD Audio/Video Receivers, and Showcases a Wide Range of Custom-Installation Home Entertainment Solutions at CEDIA Expo 2008

Harmon Kardon, Inc. promises to be very busy at CEDIA Expo 2008, showcasing new products like it's top of the line AVR 7550HD 7.2 channel audio/video receiver and the AVR 3550HD 7.1 channel audio/video receiver

Harman Kardon Introduces Flagship AVR 7550HD and Advanced-Technology AVR 3550HD Audio/Video Receivers, and Showcases a Wide Range of Custom-Installation Home Entertainment Solutions at CEDIA Expo 2008

By Author: Home Theater Review
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Harman-Kardon-AVR-7550HD.gifAt CEDIA Expo 2008, Harman Kardon, Inc., is exhibiting a wide selection of home entertainment components, including its new top-of-the-line AVR 7550HD 7.2-channel audio/video receiver, and AVR 3550HD

7.1-channel audio/video receiver.

The following products will also be showcased: the Harman Kardon AVR 354AVR 254 and AVR 154 A/V receivers, the DMC 1000 digital media center, and dedicated multiroom custom installation solutions.

Following is an overview of the Harman Kardon audio/video components on exhibit at the Colorado Convention Center, Booth 580 (September 4 - 7, 2008).

The 7.2-channel Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD is the brand's new flagship A/V receiver. It includes four HDMI• inputs, provides HDMI V1.3a capability and can pass video signals to 1080p. The AVR 7550HD employs Faroudja DCDi Cinema• digital-video processing that utilizes the leading-edge Torino chipset, providing upscaled and enhanced 1080p image quality from all video sources. The receiver is also compatible with HDMI V1.3a Deep Color devices.

The receiver is among the first to include Dolby® Volume technology. Dolby Volume is an innovative approach to delivering consistent volume levels across a wide variety of content, channel programming or input sources. Using a psychoacoustic model of human hearing, Dolby Volume analyzes, measures and controls perceived volume levels.

The AVR 7550HD also provides DTS-HD Master Audio• decoding, and can process 7.1-channel PCM audio delivered to its HDMI inputs. It features HDMI repeater functionality, enabling the use of longer cable lengths.

The AVR 7550HD is the first receiver to utilize the latest generation Texas Instruments• Aureus• DA710 audio digital signal processor in a dual-DSP implementation.

The AVR 7550HD incorporates a Harman Kardon-exclusive newly developed high-definition full-color on-screen menu system that utilizes both pictures and text to guide users in setting up their home theater system. Complementing the interface, the AVR 7550HD includes a redesigned backlit remote control.

The AVR 7550HD has a built-in USB port that allows users to listen to music from a USB memory stick that contains MP3 or Windows Media® Audio music tracks. The receiver's remote can control the USB memory stick's playback functions, and the USB port can also be used to accommodate streaming audio from a computer, and for software updates (when available). The receiver also includes an Internet radio tuner.

The AVR 7550HD provides multiroom audio and video capability for connected A/V sources, including an iPod. It includes multiroom preamp and video outputs, an amplifier section that can be used in either 7.1-channel mode or switched to 5.1-plus-stereo dual-zone configuration, and a Zone II remote control. The receiver incorporates the
A-BUS® system for multizone audio connectivity, using a single Cat. 5 cable to connect a receiver in one room to a Harman Kardon AB 2 or AB 1 amplified in-wall control/amplifier module in a second room, or a Harman Kardon ABH 4000 or ABH 4 A-BUS distribution hub.

The Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD 7.2-channel audio/video receiver will be available in January 2009 at a suggested retail price of $2,799.

AVR 3550HD: Performance, Operation and Flexibility

The AVR 3550HD making its debut at CEDIA 2008 shares many of the AVR 7550HD's high-end features, including HDMI V1.3a with Deep Color; multichannel PCM digital audio; Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing and upscaling; Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; the new Harman Kardon full-color high-definition graphical on-screen user interface; and multiroom audio capability with A-BUS connectivity.

Both receivers offer the company's (AVR 7550HD) or (AVR 3550HD) proprietary automated room-equalization and system-calibration feature to simplify system setup and achieve optimal audio quality in any listening room. Both include the Harman Kardon docking station for iPod at no extra charge. The Bridge II enables audio and video playback and remote-control capabilities when a compatible iPod model* is connected to the receivers via The Bridge II.

The AVR 3550HD and AVR 7550HD offer additional features, including XM Ready® ** capability (where available); high-current, wide-bandwidth amplifier sections (7 110 and 7 75 watts, respectively, into 8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, THD

); proprietary Logic 7® audio technologies for enhanced surround sound playback; and Lip Sync Delay for synchronizing the audio and video signals in any home theater or custom installation.

The Harman Kardon AVR 3550HD 7.1-channel audio/video receiver will be available in October 2008 at a suggested retail price of $1,199.

AVR 354, AVR 254 and AVR 154: Features and Connectivity Options

At CEDIA 2008, the Harman Kardon brand is showcasing its 7.1-channel AVR 354 and AVR 254 and 5.1-channel AVR 154 audio/video receivers, which incorporate an expanded complement of upgraded features and connectivity options. The receivers all offer HDMI V1.3a capability, and can pass video signals to 1080p. Depending on the model, the receivers also include Faroudja DCDi Cinema video upscaling to 1080p; Deep Color functionality; Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; the brand's exclusive high-definition graphical on-screen menu system; an iPod audio/video interface using The Bridge II docking station from Harman Kardon (AVR 354); and numerous additional features.

Suggested retail pricing for these receivers is as follows: AVR 354, $899; AVR 254, $649; AVR 154, $399. All models are currently available.

The Bridge II: Enabling Home Entertainment Connectivity for iPod

The Bridge II docking station for iPod connects a compatible iPod model to a Harman Kardon The Bridge-ready audio/video component***, and enables expanded capabilities for iPod, including audio/video playback through a home entertainment system, on-screen menu display for iPod, remote control operation, and charging.

The Bridge II connects to the new Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD, AVR 3550HD and AVR 354 7.1-channel audio/video receivers (included with these three models) and the HK 3490 stereo receiver, the DMC 1000 digital media center, or to other Harman Kardon The Bridge-ready receivers. It enables control of music, and image and video playback (with the AVR 7550HD, AVR 3550HD and AVR 354), with menu information for iPod visible on the user's TV and on the receiver's, or DMC 1000's, front panel.

The Bridge II docking station for iPod is available at a suggested retail price of $129.

HK 3490 and HK 3390 Stereo Receivers: Ideal for Music and Home Entertainment

The Harman Kardon HK 3490 (showcased at CEDIA 2008) incorporate high-current, wide-bandwidth amplifier sections (2 120 watts and 2 80 watts, respectively, into 8 ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, THD); and provide video as well as audio connections to accommodate a variety of program sources, including turntables. The HK 3490 also offers coaxial and optical digital audio inputs for 2-channel PCM sources, XM Satellite Radio compatibility and audio connectivity for iPod (iPod not included) using The Bridge II docking station (sold separately), as well as Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone processing to deliver surround sound audio from a pair of loudspeakers or from headphones.

The HK 3490 and HK 3390 stereo receivers are available at suggested retail prices of $499 and $399, respectively.

DMC 1000: Digital Media Center With Home Entertainment Capabilities

The Harman Kardon DMC 1000 is a hard drive-based media server and full-featured DVD player that provides a host of capabilities, including playback of up to four audio streams, independently and simultaneously.

The DMC 1000 can store more than 60,000 songs (based on average data rate and compression), complete with full track-identification information and album cover art (where available), and can play back audio and still-image files from a variety of media cards and USB storage devices. Music and images stored on the DMC 1000's hard drive can also be copied to a memory card or USB storage device. The DMC 1000 is also designed to be used as a full-featured DVD/CD player. It features an HDMI output with upscaling to 1080p, and offers extensive multiroom functionality, including iPod multizone music and video/still-image playback and remote-zone control when a compatible iPod is connected to it via a Harman Kardon The Bridge II iPod docking station (sold separately).

The DMC 1000 digital media center is available at a suggested retail price of $3,499.

Read more on Page 2

ABH 4000, ABH 4, AB 2 and AB 1: Providing Expanded A-BUS Multiroom Functionality

The Harman Kardon lineup of A-BUS multiroom audio products includes its ABH 4000 four-zone/eight-room A-BUS expansion hub, ABH 4 A-BUS expansion hub, AB 2 amplified in-wall module and AB 1 in-wall amplified module.

The ABH 4000 distributes, using Cat. 5 cable, two-channel audio, power and control signals from up to four audio-source components to up to four zones and eight room locations. The ABH 4000 provides a cost-effective means of creating a multizone audio system that may be implemented using just source components, an ABH 4000 and AB 2 modules located in the remote zones. The ABH 4000 can also add A-BUS multizone capability to any receiver via its loop-through audio connections, or expand the A-BUS capabilities of Harman Kardon A-BUS multiroom receivers. If desired, multiple ABH 4000's or ABH 4's can be linked together for larger multizone systems.

The ABH 4 A-BUS expansion hub increases the multiroom capability of any Harman Kardon A-BUS receiver. It connects to the A-BUS output of a receiver and distributes, via Cat. 5 cable, two-channel audio, power and control signals to up to four AB 2 or AB 1 in-wall modules in remote zones. The ABH 4 also includes two-channel audio inputs to enable any receiver with line-level multiroom audio outputs to interface with the ABH 4 and deliver audio to connected AB 2 or AB 1 modules.

The AB 2 in-wall A-BUS keypad controller operates in conjunction with the ABH 4000 to provide source selection and control functions, and features a built-in two-channel amplifier to power a pair of speakers in the remote zone. The AB 2, as well as the AB 1, has an integrated IR sensor, fits into a standard electrical J-Box or plaster ring, and accepts a Decora ® cover plate.

The AB 1 amplified in-wall module is ideal for a variety of A-BUS applications. The AB 1 connects to a compatible Harman Kardon A/V receiver or other A-BUS component, and features a built-in two-channel amplifier with volume control to power a pair of speakers.

Suggested retail pricing is as follows: ABH 4000, $699; ABH 4, $219; AB 2, $249; AB 1, $149. All models are currently shipping.

HKTS 18 and HKTS 15 Home Theater Speaker Systems

The Harman Kardon HKTS 18 and HKTS 15 5.1-channel home theater speaker include four wall-mountable satellite speakers with swivel wall-mount brackets, a center channel speaker and a subwoofer.

The HKTS 18 and HKTS 15 home theater speaker systems are available in at suggested retail prices of $999 and $749, respectively.

DVD 48

The Harman Kardon DVD 48 universal DVD player is a high-performance source component that incorporates built-in DCDi by Faroudja processing and scaling to 1080p, and multichannel DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD (SACD•) playback. It includes HDMI outputs and features pixel-by-pixel processing, motion-adaptive pixel-based deinterlacing and di
gital-video D/A converters. The DVD 48 provides comprehensive audio control and bass management.

The Harman Kardon DVD 48 universal DVD player is available at a suggested retail price of $349.

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