Marantz, Dolby Show off at CEDIA

The annual CEDIA show is mostly about home theater and whole-house entertainment systems, but high-performance audio often gets a share of the limelight, too.

Marantz took advantage of this year's gathering in Indianapolis to unveil a new line of universal disc players capable of full multichannel output from both DVD-Audio discs and Super Audio CDs. Due to arrive at dealers in October, the company's new top-of-the line disc spinner is the DV-9500, an approximately $2100 machine said to be the company's first with "upscaling HDMI output and full DVD-Audio/SACD bass management."

The successor to the well-regarded DV-9400, the new player is claimed by both the manufacturer and Dolby Labs to be the first to incorporate Dolby Headphone virtual surround technology for playback for both high-rez audio formats.

Marantz also introduced two other universal disc players, the DV7500 at $1100 retail and the DV6500 at around $600. The company also debuted three new receivers with Dolby Headphone as a standard feature. Two of them feature room-acoustic correction and one, the $1599 SR-8500, has DVI connectivity. Priced beginning at $449, all the receivers offer full 7.1-channel amplification, Dolby Pro Logic Iix, and DTS 96/24. Movie fans note: All but one model offer video upconversion to component output from S-Video or composite inputs.

San Francisco–based Dolby Laboratories used the CEDIA EXPO to demonstrate new audio technologies for home theater and music playback (including Dolby Pro Logic IIx, a bass-heavy surround system optimized for playing video games in 7.1 channels). Multichannel music was at the forefront of Dolby's demos, with DVD-Audio performances available to attendees in both home theater and automotive environments, the latter in an Acura TL/ELS.

Dolby continues to support the launch of the DualDisc format, promoting its "Dolby Advanced Resolution 5.1" surround sound music feature, Dolby Digital playback capability, PC functionality, and CD compatibility. This combination of versatile features should allow users "to play their favorite content in their DVD-A, DVD-Video, and CD players seamlessly," according to a statement released at the show.