Sherwood America Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high performance audio and video equipment, announced today its initial shipments of the R-904N NetBoxx Internet A/V receiver. This highly compact and distinctively styled 7.1 channel receiver is equally adept at the playback of both physical disc media and Internet/streaming media, without requiring a PC. With HDMI 1.3, Dolby Volume, Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD Master high-resolution audio formats, and seven channels of 100-watt “Green” digital amplification, NetBoxx defines a new generation of audio/video receiver. With Internet content from CinemaNow, YouTube, various TV channels, SHOUTcast audio “Internet radio” stations, and the ability to stream personal media and content from Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Rhapsody and Amazon Video On Demand through the home network from a connected PC or NAS device the NetBoxx brings today’s most popular media to an A/V receiver. Suggested retail is $649.95 and available in September 2009.
“The inspiration for the NetBoxx concept came from our realization of the change taking place in the way people bring entertainment into their home. Use of physical media is declining and being replaced by content obtained through streaming or downloads,” said Jeffrey Hipps, Sherwood’s Sr. VP for Marketing and Product Development. “This led to our taking a fresh look at what an audio-video receiver should be, from its function to its form factor. By combining an ability to access content in cyberspace with superb performance and sound quality reflecting Sherwood’s over-50 year standard of audio excellence, NetBoxx is an audio/video component that is truly 21st-century ready.”
Using VuNow technology licensed from Verismo Networks, the NetBoxx enables consumers with broadband access to surf the Internet directly by using the receiver’s remote control, navigating through a TV-friendly and intuitive user interface and a powerful built-in search engine.
NetBoxx provides direct access to YouTube, SHOUTcast Internet radio, movie downloads from CinemaNow, and access to favorite web sites, streaming Internet video and live television broadcasts and news. The NetBoxx’s platform plays content from additional sources including, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, ESPN and Amazon Video On Demand via MediaMall Technologies’ PlayOn* media server. In addition, NetBoxx can access personal media including photographs, video and audio files on a home network, and can also provide playback from USB media devices. Video playback is supported in up to 720p/60 resolution.
Unlike the conventional ‘rectangular box with knobs’ receiver, the contoured NetBoxx chassis stands just over 2 ½ inches high, only 10″ deep, and just under 17″ wide. Its three HDMI 1.3 inputs and single output have Deep Color support. Two component video inputs and one output are provided, along with one Toslink optical and two coaxial digital audio inputs. USB jacks are located on both the front and rear panels.
NetBoxx’s audio format capabilities include Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 96/24, Neo 6 Cinema and Music, Dolby Digital and Dolby ProLogic IIx, as well as virtually all popular audio and video codecs. The NetBoxx is also one of a limited number of receivers that incorporate Dolby Volume, a breakthrough technology that ensures that the playback volume level remains consistent, eliminating abrupt changes in volume that take place with changes in sources or channels and with television commercial transitions while maintaining multi-channel imaging and a satisfying dynamic range. Dolby Volume also preserves richness and detail at moderate and low volume levels, performing all functions with no compromise in quality.
Audio and video processing is provided by several devices from Texas Instruments (TI), including two 32-bit digital signal processors for audio, the DA787 and D788, which handle the multichannel HD audio decoding and advanced post processing. The output D/A converters have 24-bit resolution for best audio performance. Video is processed by the TMS320DM6446 digital media processor based on DaVinci technology.
The NetBoxx achieves its compact size and extraordinary energy efficiency through the use of Class D amplifiers from TI that offer integrated feedback. Its seven 100 Watt RMS amplifier channels use advanced TI technology with more than 90% efficiency, consuming one-third less electrical energy than equivalent conventional designs. The receiver is cooler to operate and Energy Star compliant.
“TI is very committed to the success of our customers and this is perfectly demonstrated in the NetBoxx from Sherwood,” said Amir Mostafavi, Major Accounts Manager, Texas Instruments. “By offering high-quality devices throughout the signal chain, as well as design support, TI was able to provide Sherwood with a turnkey solution to help speed development of this unique receiver.”
Setup of the NetBoxx is automated and simple. Once the user has made connections to the display television, speakers, and Internet, he or she places the included calibration microphone and selects the receiver’s Auto Setup mode. The receiver then sets channel levels and speaker distances, and calibrates using Sherwood’s SNAP room equalization system. Network setup is also automated, using the VuNow module, which locates and sets up access to the user’s network. For wireless networks, a plug-in 802.11g wireless adaptor is provided.
The NetBoxx supports up to 7.1 channel audio, and it also provides an option for playback in a second room through its independent room 2 stereo audio capabilities. Conventional radio broadcast is well supported with a 4 Gang Quartz PLL Synthesized FM Tuner, which allows for 30 station presets.
* Additional required lifetime license for PlayOn is available direct from Media Mall for $39.95.