Harman Kardon, Inc., announced today the introduction of its new top-of-the-line AVR 7550HD 7.2-channel audio/video receiver, which incorporates a host of features and technologies. Also debuting Is the Harman Kardon® AVR 3550HD advanced-technology 7.1-channel audio/video receiver.
The AVR 7550HD and AVR 3550HD also both feature the brand's new, minimalist industrial design, with rounded corners, a gloss-black and dark-graphite lower panel, and soft-white illumination.
In addition, at CEDIA Expo 2008 the brand is showcasing its recently introduced AVR 354, AVR 254 and AVR 154 A/V receivers, which are all currently shipping. All of the receivers are on exhibit at the Colorado Convention Center, Booth 580 (September 4 - 7).
The Harman Kardon AVR 7550HD includes four HDMI inputs, provides HDMI V1.3a capability and can pass video signals to 1080p. It incorporates Faroudja DCDi Cinema• digital-video processing that utilizes the latest generation Torino chipset, providing upscaled and enhanced 1080p output from all video sources. In addition, the AVR 7550HD is compatible with HDMI V1.3a Deep Color devices.
The receiver is among the first to include Dolby® Volume technology, which delivers 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 input. It offers HDMI repeater functionality, enabling the use of longer HDMI cable lengths.
The AVR 7550HD features a 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 play, pause, track skip and other playback functions. The USB port can be used for streaming audio playback from a computer, and for software updates (when available), and the receiver also includes an Internet radio tuner.
The AVR 7550HD is the first audio/video receiver to utilize the latest generation Texas Instruments• Aureus• DA710 audio digital-signal processor in a dual-DSP implementation. The DA710 optimally supports the AVR 7550HD's advanced audio software.
The AVR 7550HD also provides multiroom audio and video capability for connected A/V sources, including the 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. When used with an A-BUS hub, such as the Harman Kardon ABH 4000 or ABH 4, a single AVR 7550HD can distribute audio to additional rooms in a home.
AVR 7550HD and AVR 3550HD: Performance, Operation and Flexibility
The AVR 3550HD shares many of the AVR 7550HD's features, including HDMI V1.3a capability; multichannel PCM digital audio from HDMI sources; Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processingband upscaling; Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; and multiroom audio capability with A-BUS connectivity.
Both the AVR 7550HD and AVR 3550HD incorporate 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 a home theater system, and in verifying that components are connected and configured properly. The HD-resolution graphical interface utilizes alpha blending, a technique that allows the menus to be partially transparent and the video image to remain visible while using the menus. Complementing the interface, the AVR 7550HD and AVR 3550HD include newly designed backlit remote controls.
Both receivers incorporate the company's (AVR 7550HD) or (AVR 3550HD) proprietary automated room-equalization and system-calibration feature to simplify system setup and audio tuning. EzSet/EQ• II and EzSet/EQ automatically measure the frequency response dips and peaks in the listening room and apply a compensating equalization curve to maintain sonic accuracy. In addition, speaker-output levels and delay times are calibrated.
The AVR7550HD and the AVR 3550HD include the Harman Kardon docking station for iPod at no extra charge. The Bridge II provides audio and video playback and control capabilities when a compatible iPod model* (not included) is connected. The iPod can be operated by the receiver's remote control; operating menus for the iPod are shown on a TV (or video display) and the receiver's front-panel display. The menus are displayed in high definition.
These receivers feature XM Ready® ** capability (where available). Once the user connects an XM Satellite Radio antenna module (sold separately) and activates his or her XM subscription, XM Radio stations can be accessed via the receiver's tuner, and stored in the tuner's preset station memory.
Both the AVR 7550HD and AVR 3550HD incorporate the brand's high-current, wide-bandwidth amplifier sections, and utilize Quadruple-Crossover Bass-Management Systems to optimize bass reproduction for all the loudspeakers in the main home theater room, and feature proprietary Logic 7® audio technologies for enhanced surround sound reproduction.
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. The AVR 3550HD will be available in October 2008 at $1,199 suggested retail.
AVR 354, AVR 254 and AVR 154: Features and Connectivity Options
At CEDIA 2008, the Harman Kardon brand is also 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 features. The receivers all offer HDMI V1.3a capability, and can pass video signals to 1080p. The AVR 354 and AVR 254 include a host of additional features including Faroudja DCDi Cinema video upscaling to 1080p; Deep Color functionality; Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; and the brand's new high-definition graphical on-screen menu system.
Suggested retail pricing for these receivers is as follows: AVR 354, $899; AVR 254, $649; AVR 154, $399. All models are currently available.