Marantz is expanding its line of advanced Blu-ray players to include four Profile 2.0 models, all with Ethernet connectivity and features to increase flexibility in both playback and installation. Leading the new lineup is the company's highly anticipated flagship player, the ultimate-quality UD9004 (MSRP: $5,999.99), joined by the high-end universal UD8004 (MSRP: $2,199.99) and two high-value, high-performance players, the BD7004 (MSRP: $799.99) and BD5004 (MSRP: $549.99).
Noted Kevin Zarow, Vice President, Marketing and Product Development, Marantz America, Inc: "Marantz engineered every detail of our new Blu-ray players with both audio and video purists in mind. Whether a customer is looking to add to an existing Marantz home theater system or just looking for an ultimate-quality single-source component, Marantz now offers best-in-class performance at several price levels. With these introductions, we have clearly established our leadership in the growing Blu-ray arena. In fact, we are confident that the superior construction and circuitry of the UD9004 will quickly earn it the reputation as one of the world's most sought-after Blu-ray players by home entertainment aficionados."
Built using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship to virtually eliminate mechanical distortion, the UD9004's extensively braced chassis features a thick bottom plate with machine milled copper feet, sustaining mechanical stability and therefore sound quality.
The Profile 2.0 UD9004 will play virtually any 12cm digital audio or digital video disc ever created, including CD, SACD, DVD Audio and of course Blu-ray. The unit's dedicated audio section, which is based on the award-winning Marantz SA-7S1 SACD player, ensures superior audio playback at all times and from all sources. Notably, two Sharc Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) are included for the ultimate in HD Audio decoding, and SACD playback is enhanced through the use of Marantz's HDAM technology, Hyper Dynamic Amp module. Audiophiles will also appreciate the 32-bit floating point type Analog Devices DSP for the purest audio imaginable, with four separate circuit boards and a pure direct mode that even shuts down the video playing elements to deliver exceptional, focused audio output when desired.
Dual HDMI outputs add to the UD9004's high-level performance capabilities, and are user selectable for the purest audio and video signal transmission via separate HDMI connections. For unsurpassed picture quality, the UD9004 incorporates 36-bit Deep Color and a leading-edge 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta chipset, with a 297MHz/14-bit Video DAC.
Other leading-edge features include internal decoding of Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, 7.1 analog outputs including Balanced Outputs for the left and right channels, a copper-encased Toroidal Power Transformer, short signal paths and extensive shielding. For maximum flexibility in convenience and installation, the unit also features an SD card reader, an RS232C interface and an Ethernet connection for BD-Live content and future software updates.
A New Level of Realism in "Home Cinema"
The UD9004 offers several features that will appeal particularly to home theater aficionados who want to re-create the cinema experience. Owners of Marantz' advanced video projectors and other ultimate-quality high-definition display devices, for instance, will appreciate the performance and flexibility afforded by the Vertical Stretch feature when playing back titles with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Vertical Stretch eliminates the black bars at the top and bottom of the image without adding distortion, or artifacts, for HD displays, but it's most beneficial for those users of Cinema Scope screens and projectors with anamorphic lenses, as the processing is done in the digital domain. And for the ultimate in user-friendly setup and use, the UD9004 features Marantz' newly designed Easy Operation User Interface.
Many of the UD9004's outstanding performance features are also included in the new Model UD8004 Universal BD player, including HDAMs, a dedicated audio board, 7.1 Analog Outputs, High Quality Scaling, Internal HD Audio Decoding and the Easy Operation User Interface.
Two New High-Value, High-Performance Models
With their sleek new aluminum/reinforced resin front panels, center-mount drawers and SD/SDHC Card readers for WMA, MP3, JPEG files (also compatible miniSD or microSD with adapters), Marantz's BD7004 and BD5004 Blu-ray models are true multimedia players that bring a superior video and audio experience within reach of more consumers. Both feature HDMI 1.3a supporting 36-bit Deep color for richly detailed images and vibrant color production and HD Audio bit stream outputs, and both feature Anchor Bay VRS Technology Video Scalers, with 1080p scaling from SD DVDs for additional viewing enhancement.
In addition to reading Blu-ray (both commercial releases and recordable discs), DVDs (movies and DVD-R/RWs), as well as standard and recordable CDs, both players also include SD and SDHC memory card capability, as well as mini-and microSD. In addition, the BD7004 handles DivX? and AVCHD files. The unit also features internal decoding for both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and video scaling by Anchor Bay. Both also handle disc-based DivX files in addition to AVCHD (high definition video format for Camcorder) contained on discs or solid-state memory devices. IR flasher inputs and outputs on both players add to their system-wide control capabilities, while their Ethernet ports allow users to update the firmware to take full advantage of future developments.
The UD9004 is scheduled for availability in August, and the UD8004 is scheduled to be available in October. Both the BD7004 and BD5004 are currently available.