New VR-8070 Equipped With THX Surround EX, DTS-ES decoding, HD Component Video Switching, and New Dolby Pro Logic IIx Processing
Kenwood today introduced its 2004 home theater receivers highlighted by the VR-8070, the industry’s first 7.1-channel THX Select receiver priced at $600.00. The receiver’s other premium features include high-resolution, 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog audio conversion, HD component video switching, digital inputs and outputs, and THX Surround EX and DTS-ES audio decoding.
The VR-8070 is also equipped with Dolby Pro Logic IIx surround sound processing with 7.1-channel capability for listeners seeking the very latest surround sound experience. The VR-8070 provides auto sensing of the surround sound format (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) and automatically selects the proper decoding. The receiver is rated to deliver up to 100 watts to each of seven channels, ensuring a satisfying
high-performance home theater and music listening experience with almost any speaker system.
“The VR-8070 offers cutting-edge technologies that improve performance and provide a more satisfying entertainment experience,” said John Hwang, Kenwood R&D/product manager for home electronics. “It offers reliable Kenwood quality and incredible value, and is another shining example of Kenwood’s ‘Future Ready/Already’ brand promise.”
The VR-8070 receiver offers many premium home theater video features including HD component video switching (3 in/1 out), S-Video switching (5 in/2 out), and up-conversion of composite video signals to S-Video, which reduces the number of connections between the receiver and TV or video monitor.
First Kenwood Receiver with Built-In 7-Channel Amplification
The first Kenwood receiver with built-in 7-channel amplification, the VR-8070 employs a discrete 7-channel amp powered by Kenwood’s acclaimed self-adjusting K-STAT power transistor technology.
For high-resolution processing of both high and low level audio signals, the VR-8070 is equipped with Analog Devices’ 32-bit SHARC DSP with floating-point technology. Additional receiver features include DTS: Neo 6 processing, which derives 6.1 channels of surround sound; 4 digital inputs (2 optical, 2 coaxial), 1 optical digital output, IR sensor inputs and IR repeater outputs, and banana-compatible speaker connectors.
The Dolby Pro Logic IIx Difference
Dolby Pro Logic IIx is a newly-developed technology from Dolby Labs that is an extension of the now familiar Dolby Pro Logic II surround processing system. Dolby Pro Logic IIx processes any native stereo or 5.1-channel signal into a 6.1- or 7.1-channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield for the listener. Dolby Pro Logic IIx has several modes to choose from, including Movie or Music modes that tailor the listening experience to the source material, as well as a Game mode that delivers the full impact of special effects signals panned to the surround speakers, and of bass signals delivered to the subwoofer.
The Music mode also features three additional user controls: Center Width adjusts the balance of the main vocals in the center and front channels; Panorama creates a seamless, wraparound surround effect; Dimension creates a deeper or shallower surround sound field.
Active EQ Optimizes Audio for Compact Speaker Systems
The VR-8070 incorporates audio circuitry called Active EQ that uses a 32-bit digital signal processor to optimize movie soundtracks and other audio sources to sound best over compact speaker systems. The circuit, which reduces speaker overloading and distortion (and can be turned on or off by the user), has selectable modes that optimize performance for cinema, music and TV listening.
DSP Listening Modes
DSP circuitry allows the VR-8070 to simulate five music listening environments (arena, theater, jazz club, stadium, and disco). All digital processing is handled by the Analog Devices 32-bit floating point “SHARC” DSP.
THX Select certification sets comprehensive performance, quality and ease-of-use benchmarks for mid-priced home theater systems, and includes proprietary technologies that allow the VR-8070 to more accurately reproduce a film soundtrack in the home. The THX Select-certified receiver incorporates THX Front-Channel Re-
Equalization, THX Adaptive Decorrelation, THX Timbre-Matching; Full Digital Bass Management with THX Subwoofer Crossover, and THX Bass Peak Level Manager.
Finish, Price and Availability
The VR-8070, which has full front panel controls and a fluorescent display, is provided with Kenwood’s universal A/V remote control. This remote can control both Kenwood and non-Kenwood components.
For versatility in matching decor and satisfying personal preferences, Kenwood is offering the VR-8070 in a silver (VR-8070-S) or midnight black (VR-8070) finish. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the VR-8070 is $600.00; it will be available from Kenwood authorized dealers in July