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Harman Kardon Announces Shipping Date for its Flagship AVR 740 Audio/Video Receiver, and Introduces Advanced-Technology AVR 640 and AVR 440 Receivers at CES 2006


5 January 2006

– 7.2-Channel AVR 740 Includes Leading-Edge Video Processing and Upscaling; All Three Models Offer iPod Connectivity, HDMI Switching, XM-Ready Compatibility and Many Additional Advanced Features –

WOODBURY, NY — At CES 2006, Harman Kardon announced that it will begin shipping its state-of-the-art AVR 740 7.2-channel audio/video receiver in February 2006. In addition, the company is expanding its advanced-technology A/V receiver lineup with the addition of its 7.1-channel AVR 640 and AVR 440 receivers. All incorporate a host of upgraded features and innovative Harman Kardon technologies to deliver exceptional performance, connectivity and multiroom flexibility, along with unmatched ease of operation.

The flagship AVR 740 is designed to deliver the ultimate home theater experience, thanks to leading-edge technologies that include High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) input switching; DCDi by Faroudja digital-video processing with video scaling up to 1080i; Harman Kardon’s latest generation EzSet/EQII automatic system calibration and room equalization function with stereo subwoofer adjustment capability; and many additional enhancements. The AVR 640 and AVR 440 offer an extensive array of advanced features, such as HDMI switching, XM-Ready satellite radio compatibility and a USB port for playback of computer audio streams, making them ideal for use in a wide variety of home entertainment systems and custom installations.

Creating a new milestone in A/V receiver functionality, all Harman Kardon AVR 40 Series receivers (which also include the recently introduced AVR 340, AVR 240 and AVR 140) feature an exclusive iPod interface when a compatible iPod* model is connected to one of the receivers via The Bridge.

Tom McLoughlin, Harman Kardon president, commented: “With the introduction of our AVR 740 and the expansion of our AVR Series lineup, Harman Kardon receivers now offer an unprecedented complement of industry-leading features, technologies and operational capabilities. Their groundbreaking iPod connectivity, automated setup functionality, HDTV and XM Satellite Radio compatibility and many additional innovative features provide consumers with entirely new ways for enjoying home entertainment. Adding to their appeal, the receivers’ distinctively elegant styling, total ease of use and exceptional value complement their extraordinary audio and video quality and versatility.”

Harman Kardon Receivers Deliver Enhanced Apple iPod Home Entertainment

The new AVR 740, AVR 640, AVR 440 and all of Harman Kardon’s AVR 40 Series receivers include an exclusive iPod interface that provides users with exciting new iPod playback and control capabilities. When a compatible iPod model is connected to one of the receivers using The Bridge**, the iPod can be operated by the receiver’s remote control, with menus to operate the iPod shown on both a TV or video display and the receiver’s front-panel display. The Bridge provides a direct audio and control link between the iPod and the receiver via a single proprietary cable, and also functions as a charging station.

The Bridge, a docked iPod and the remote control operate in conjunction with Harman Kardon-developed software built into the receivers, providing complete control of iPod music-playback functions. The software interprets the data from the iPod and formats it so that the messages on the iPod screen are converted for viewing as two-line text displays on the receiver’s front panel, and on a connected TV or video display. The analog stereo audio output of the iPod is sent directly to the receiver, enabling iPod users to experience the superior sound quality provided by Harman Kardon receivers, including multichannel music reproduction using the receivers’ exclusive Logic 7 surround-enhancement technology, or other popular surround formats.

Leading-Edge Video Technologies and Advanced HDMI Connectivity

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The AVR 740 incorporates state-of-the-art digital video processing and scaling, utilizing patented DCDi (Directional Correlational Deinterlacing) by Faroudja technology to provide upconverted and enhanced high-definition 780p and 1080i video output from 480i and 480p video sources through its HDMI connection. The AVR 740’s Faroudja FL2310 processor’s DCDi technology, along with its exclusive video decoding and enhancement circuitry yields, from all analog- and digital-video sources, a picture of extraordinary quality — one that is sharp, clear and virtually free from color and motion artifacts.

The AVR 740 and AVR 640 feature dual-input HDMI 1.1 switching and audio processing to provide high-definition HDMI video connectivity between multiple HDMI-equipped source components and video display devices, and to accept and process uncompressed multichannel digital audio from HDMI 1.1 program sources. In addition, the AVR 640 transcodes analog 480i sources to 480p video output via its HDMI connection, while the AVR 440 provides dual-input HDMI switching.

EzSet/EQ II and EzSet/EQ Make System Setup Easier and More Accurate Than Ever

The AVR 740 is the first receiver to incorporate Harman Kardon’s EzSet/EQ II feature. EzSet/EQ II builds upon the company’s EzSet/EQ automatic room equalization and system calibration utility, which automatically measures the frequency response peaks and dips inherent in every listening room, and applies a compensating full-range equalization curve for all the loudspeakers in the system. EzSet/EQ II extends the system’s functionality by enabling the user to connect two subwoofers to the receiver in a stereo configuration, and then automatically applying equalization and time-delay compensation to both subwoofers individually to achieve unprecedented in-room frequency response accuracy. EzSet/EQ II and the EzSet/EQ system included in the AVR 640 and AVR 440 also automatically determine if the loudspeakers are connected properly, and precisely set speaker-output levels and delay times.

Enhanced Audio Capabilities Include XM Satellite Radio and Streaming Audio Playback

The AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 feature XM-Ready*** compatibility (where available), incorporating a rear-panel connector to accept an XM Satellite Radio antenna module (not included with the receiver). Once the user activates his or her XM subscription and connects an XM antenna module, XM Satellite Radio stations can be accessed via the receiver’s tuner input. XM stations are shown on the receiver’s front-panel display, and favorite XM stations can be stored in the tuner’s preset station memory.

Adding to their versatility, the AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 feature a USB port that allows users to listen to compatible streaming audio directly from a computer through the receiver, and enables their remotes to control selected music playback functions when using programs such as Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, Winamp and MusicMatch. The USB port also provides a pathway to accommodate software and firmware upgrades, such as new surround sound formats or other capabilities.

All AVR 40 Series receivers are engineered to deliver extraordinary sound quality. All feature the company’s high-current, ultrawide-bandwidth amplifier sections with discrete output devices — a key element contributing to Harman Kardon’s renowned sonic superiority. All utilize premium AKM 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converters and advanced 32-bit DSP processors to reproduce music and movies with exceptional resolution and dynamic authority. AVR 40 Series receivers are compatible with all popular surround sound formats, and incorporate proprietary Logic 7 audio technologies developed by Harman International to deliver superior multichannel reproduction from both matrix-encoded movie soundtracks and two-channel stereo recordings. The AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 feature the latest full-process implementation of Logic 7, which enables it to be used in conjunction with digital multichannel surround sound formats, such as Dolby Digital and DTS, to further improve their sonic realism.

Every receiver features the company’s extremely precise Quadruple-Crossover Bass-Management System, enabling maximum sonic performance of the source components and loudspeakers in a multichannel home entertainment system. The system allows selection from among six different crossover frequencies for the front L/R, center, surround L/R and surround back L/R speakers, and different speaker-size configurations may be set for different input sources. In the AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440, the Bass-Management System may also be used in conjunction with the receiver’s 8-channel analog direct inputs provided for connection to a universal, DVD-Audio or SACD player.

Comprehensive Multizone/Multiroom Functionality

The AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 offer outstanding multiroom versatility. All feature amplifier sections with assignable back channels, which can be used in full 7.1-channel mode, or switched to 5.1-plus-stereo dual-zone configuration. In addition, all are capable of delivering an XM Satellite Radio stream to either zone. The AVR 740 provides separate multiroom audio and video outputs for the second zone, while the other multiroom receivers feature second-zone audio outputs.

Harman Kardon’s multiroom receivers incorporate the A-BUS/READY system for easy multizone connectivity without the need for external amplifiers. The A-BUS system utilizes Cat. 5 cable to connect a receiver in one room to a Harman Kardon AB 1 A-BUS-compatible amplified in-wall module in a second room. The AB 1 provides stereo audio amplification along with local volume control, and has a built-in IR sensor that is used with a supplied Zone II remote to control the receiver as well as other compatible Harman Kardon source components. The receivers also feature an RS-232 port that provides two-way communication between components in installations with integrated system control, and enables software and firmware upgradeability.

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All AVR 40 Series receivers offer a wealth of additional performance and convenience features. Every model includes multiple, assignable wide-bandwidth, HDTV-compatible component video inputs, along with a comprehensive array of additional video and digital connections. The AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 also incorporate video cross-conversion that converts all S-video and composite video sources to component video output, using video-processing circuitry that maintains maximum picture quality with no conversion artifacts. Further enhancing their versatility, all AVR 40 Series receivers (except the AVR 140) include an A/V Sync Delay function that compensates for the delay between the video and audio signals that can occur when digital video sources, external processors or digital video displays are in use.

Other enhancements include an input titling function that enables users to customize their receiver’s on-screen and front-panel displays to show the names of their particular audio/video components (for example, satellite TV, DVD recorder, iPod); digital input polling that automatically detects whether the audio-signal program source (such as a cable set-top box) is digital or analog, and automatically configures the receiver to provide the required audio output; and a Listener Preference System that allows users to set different surround mode and speaker-channel levels for each program source and DSP format.

Striking, Distinctively Elegant Design

Harman Kardon’s AVR 40 Series receivers feature the striking industrial design that sets the company’s audio/video receivers apart from all others. Their award-winning styling is elegant and distinctive, and perfectly matches Harman Kardon’s audio/video components and loudspeakers, as well as home entertainment systems based around ultrathin rear-projection televisions, plasma displays, or flat-panel LCDs. The receivers incorporate a gloss-black upper panel, a volume control surrounded by blue illumination, a contrasting silver panel and a dimmable two-line dot-matrix display.

The AVR 740: The Ultimate Audio/Video Receiver

Harman Kardon once again redefines the state of the art in audio/video receiver design with the availability of its flagship 7.2-channel AVR 740 — incorporating a host of the industry’s most advanced features and technologies, including The Bridge-ready iPod connectivity, to set new standards in audio and video performance, multiroom flexibility and ease of use.

Winner of an Innovations 2006 Design and Engineering Award, the AVR 740 features HDMI 1.1 switching, and provides upconverted and enhanced high-definition 780p and 1080i video output from 480i and 480p video sources. Along with extraordinary video quality, the AVR 740 delivers remarkable sonic realism, thanks to Harman Kardon’s EzSet/EQ II feature set, which provides automated system calibration and full-range room equalization, including stereo subwoofer adjustment capability. The AVR 740 features a high-current, ultrawide-bandwidth, discrete-output amplifier section that delivers 7 x 85 watts of power output (into 8 ohms, 20Hz — 20kHz, <0.07% THD, all channels driven; 2 x 100 watts in stereo; and ±60 amps of high-current capability), along with 24-bit/192kHz audio D/A converters and a Texas Instruments TI DA610 32-bit, 250MHz DSP processor for unsurpassed surround sound performance. The receiver also includes full-process Logic 7 surround-enhancement technology to deliver heightened sonic realism.

The AVR 740 offers an extremely comprehensive complement of additional video and audio connections and convenience features, including a USB port that allows users to listen to compatible streaming audio from their computers, and operate key music playback functions from the receiver’s remote control; multiroom/multisource audio and video operation; XM Satellite Radio-ready capability, and many additional refinements. The AVR 740 is supplied with Harman Kardon’s TC 30 activity-based remote control, an advanced yet easy to use remote that provides complete control of every component in a home entertainment system from a single device.

The Harman Kardon AVR 740 will be available in February 2006 at a suggested retail price of $3,499.

The AVR 640: Extraordinary Performance and Flexibility

Harman Kardon’s 7.1-channel AVR 640 receiver provides most of the flagship AVR 740’s industry-leading features and flexibility, delivering exceptional performance and operational versatility. The Bridge-ready AVR 640 features dual-input HDMI 1.1 switching, making it ideal for use in home entertainment systems based around high-definition HDMI-capable televisions, video displays and source components.

The AVR 640 offers extensive audio and video connectivity, and features XM-Ready satellite radio compatibility; a USB port; video cross-conversion that converts all S-video and composite video sources to component video output; and many additional enhancements.

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The receiver provides multiroom/multisource operation with independent, simultaneous audio playback of two program sources (including an iPod and XM Satellite Radio), assignable back surround amplifier channels, A-BUS connectivity and a supplied Zone II remote. The AVR 640 offers many additional advanced features, such as Harman Kardon’s EzSet/EQ automatic system calibration and room equalization functionality; A/V Sync Delay; automatic digital input polling; and an input titling function. The AVR 640 is supplied with a full-function LCD remote that provides sophisticated control capabilities, yet is easy to use.

Like all Harman Kardon receivers, the AVR 640 is engineered to provide superlative sonic performance, featuring a high-current, ultrawide-bandwidth, discrete-output amplifier section that delivers 7 x 75 watts of power output (into 8 ohms, 20Hz — 20kHz, <0.07% THD, all channels driven; 2 x 90 watts in stereo; and ±50 amps of high-current capability), premium 192kHz/24-bit audio D/A converters and a Texas Instruments DA610 32-bit processor. The receiver is compatible with all popular surround formats, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone, and all current DTS decoding and processing modes; it also features full-process Logic 7 surround-enhancement technology.

The Harman Kardon AVR 640 will be available in February 2006 at a suggested retail price to be announced.

The AVR 440: Ideal for High-End Home Entertainment Systems and Custom Installations

The Harman Kardon AVR 440 is a highly versatile 7.1-channel home entertainment control center. The receiver is The Bridge-ready, and includes a host of upgrades from its predecessor model, such as dual-input HDMI video switching; EzSet EQ automatic system calibration and equalization; XM-Ready compatibility; a USB port; A-BUS multiroom operation; and numerous additional refinements. It delivers 7 x 65 watts of power output (into 8 ohms, 20Hz — 20kHz, <0.07% THD, all channels driven; 2 x 80 in stereo; and ±40 amps of high-current capability) for clear, detailed and expansive reproduction of movie soundtracks and music, and includes full-process Logic 7 technology. The AVR 440 incorporates a wealth of additional best-in-class features, such as A/V Sync Delay, video cross-conversion, a Quadruple-Crossover Bass Manager and digital input polling, and provides a complete selection of audio and video connections.

The Harman Kardon AVR 440 will be available in March 2006 at a suggested retail price to be announced.

The AVR 740, AVR 640 and AVR 440 join the currently available models in Harman Kardon’s AVR 40 Series lineup, creating the industry’s most comprehensive selection of high-performance audio/video receivers for every home entertainment application. Other AVR 40 Series models include the 7.1-channel AVR 340 (SRP: $899), the 7.1-channel AVR 240 (SRP: $599) and the 6.1-channel AVR 140 (SRP: $499).

The Harman Consumer Group (HCG) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of high-fidelity loudspeakers, audio and video components, and multimedia systems for use in homes and automobiles, and with computers. The group’s brands include JBL, Infinity, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, Revel, Audioaccess and Lexicon.

HCG is a division of Harman International Industries, Incorporated. Harman International ( is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, high-fidelity audio products and electronic systems for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HAR.”

# # #

For additional information, contact:
Frank Doris
FM Group Public Relations
631-385-1304 ext. 402

*Compatible with all iPod models equipped with a docking connector (iPod not included).

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**The Bridge is compatible with the new Harman Kardon 40 Series receivers (AVR 140, AVR 240, AVR 340, AVR 440, AVR 640 and AVR 740). Not compatible with earlier Harman Kardon products, or with other brands of audio/video equipment.

***Optional XM antenna module and subscription to XM service required. Hardware and service sold separately. XM service is not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

Harman Kardon, Harman International and Logic 7 are registered trademarks, and EzSet/EQ II, The Bridge, and EzSet/EQ are trademarks, of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.

Apple and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.

HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC.

XM-Ready is a registered trademark of XM Satellite Radio.

DCDi by Faroudja is a registered trademark of Genesis Microchip Inc.

Dolby is a registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories.

DTS is a registered trademark of DTS, Inc.

Windows and Windows Media are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Windows Media Audio is a proprietary file format developed by Microsoft.

RealPlayer is a registered trademark of RealNetworks, Inc.

MusicMatch is a registered trademark of MusicMatch Corporation.

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SACD is a trademark of Sony Electronics Inc.

A-BUS and A-BUS/READY are registered trademarks of LeisureTech Electronics Pty Ltd. Australia.

Texas Instruments and TI are trademarks of Texas Instruments Incorporated.

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