Krell just announced the introduction of the company's first Blu-ray player, the Evolution 555 for $15,000.
Engineered to maximize performance from today's large format flat panel and front projectors, the Evolution 555 offers home entertainment enthusiasts unprecedented levels of performance, flexibility and upgradeability. Featuring the acclaimed 12-bit Sigma Design VXP technology, this superior engine delivers the world's highest quality video processing algorithms for noise reduction, de-interlacing, scaling, image enhancement and frame rate conversion. Incorporating industry-leading compression artifact reduction, the VXP recognizes object edges and removes mosquito noise to produce crisp, clear images. Detail enhancement seeks out underlying image information bringing unprecedented texture, sharpness and clarity to images. 3D and 2D noise reduction which adaptively applies both temporal and spatial noise reduction produces the clearest picture while maintaining fine image details.
The Evolution 555 includes extensive aspect ratio control including a vertical stretch feature for systems employing 2.35:1 Constant Image Height display systems. Vertical stretch eliminates the black bars at the top and bottom of the image without adding distortion, or artifacts. It is most beneficial for those users of Cinema Scope screens and projectors with anamorphic lenses, as the processing is done in the digital domain.
In addition to its ultimate quality video, Evolution 555 is a Profile 2.0 Ready (BD Live) Blu-ray/DVD player with 1GB of onboard memory. An SD card slot allows for expanded memory for BD Live and Bonus View movie titles, as well as playback options for photos and music files.
Onboard Ethernet Port and Slot For Additional Wireless Card for Advanced Internet Connectivity and More
For the highest level of connectivity to the world of exciting current-day as well as future entertainment enhancements, the Evolution 555 features an onboard Ethernet port that allows for Internet connectivity, firmware updates, BD Live interactivity and IP control. Additionally, an 802.11b/g/n wireless card can be added to perform the same functions. This network capability also provides access to online streaming and media files resident on a home network.
Dual, assignable, HDMI outputs are provided with the option of full audio and video output to 2 systems, or dedicate one HDMI for audio, the other for video - this option promotes a high level of jitter reduction for both signal paths.
Upgradeable to HDMI 1.4
The Evolution 555 is fully HDMI 1.3 compliant but with a direct fix on the future, the Evolution 555 includes an upgrade path to the future that makes it quite literally the most advanced and "future-ready" source component. Already equipped with an HDMI 1.4 transmitter, the Sigma VXP video processor is located on a plug-in card for in-field upgrade to HDMI 1.4 with full support for 3D, 4K x 2K Resolution Support, and HDMI Ethernet Channel.
For the ultimate in audio performance, the Evolution 555 features the ESS Technology 32-bit Sabre Reference DACs connected to Krell differential Krell Evolution CAST analog circuitry. CAST•, which is short for Current Audio Signal Transmission, is a proprietary method of sending audio signals between components in the current domain. Krell components connected in Evolution CAST act together as an electrically unified whole, free from the deleterious effects normally imposed by connecting cables. Balanced outputs and single ended outputs are also included for use with conventional preamplifiers.
"Our new Blu-ray player will continue the Krell tradition of defining the ultimate standard for a product category," said Bill McKiegan, Vice President of U.S. Sales and Marketing. "A ground-up Krell design, the new player will feature reference level audio and video performance coupled with renowned Krell build-quality