Stylish New Kenwood Fineline Series Home Theater Receivers Boast Innovative Networking And Video Game Features
Cutting Edge Technology Includes Streaming of Computer A/V Files and Simulating Surround Sound in Headphones; Sleek, Low Profile Design Departs From The Ordinary
Increasing the entertainment value of home computers and video games, Kenwood has introduced its first line of home theater receivers designed specifically for use with home computer networks and video game systems.
The new HD-ready Kenwood Fineline receivers, styled in a sleek, silver, low-profile design, feature the flagship Model VRS-N8100, which can play streaming audio and video files over a computer network, display photo files stored on networked PCs or on digital memory cards, and play one soundtrack over speakers while playing another over headphones.
Both new models, the VRS-N8100 and VRS-7100, have advanced features including built-in 130 watt x 6 channel digital amplification, HD component video switching, 6.1-channel Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES decoding, five digital audio inputs, 24-bit/96 KHz digital-to-analog audio processing, and Kenwood’s exclusive Active EQ by DSP, which optimizes movie soundtracks and other audio sources to sound best over compact speaker systems.
Though packed with power and top technology, both receivers are less than 2½” tall, small enough to fit on a shelf in most any entertainment system stand or rack.
“People want affordable home entertainment products that can work with their other digital electronics, that have the latest features, won’t become obsolete after a year or two, and of course, have great style, ” said John Hwang, R&D/product manager for home Electronics. “That’s what Kenwood Fineline products are all about.”
VRS-N8100: Ethernet and PCMCIA Connectivity Plus Home Theater A/V
Designed for connection to a wired computer network (LAN), the new VRS-N8100 is Kenwood’s first network-capable home theater receiver. It provides a standard Ethernet jack on the rear panel and is also equipped with a PCMCIA card slot on the front panel that can accept flash memory cards via PCMCIA adapters.
Once on the network, the VRS-N8100 will stream audio and video media files stored on a PC in real time. Compatible audio media file types include MP3, WMA, WAV and Ogg Vorbis; compatible video media file types include MPEG1, MPEG2, and XviD. The VRS-N8100 can also display digital still images (in JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP formats) stored on a PC and on flash memory cards used with PCMCIA adapters.
Video Game Features and New Dolby Headphone Technology
In addition to home theater and networking features, the versatile VRS-N8100 also provides video game system inputs on the front panel. The receiver automatically detects when the game inputs are in use and selects them as the active input.
In a novel approach to sharing resources among family members, the receiver is equipped with Kenwood’s Dual-Source/Single-Zone listening mode that allows someone to listen to one source on headphones — a video game for example — at the same time others listen to another source (such as a CD or radio) over speakers.
To add to headphone users’ enjoyment and sense of realism, the VRS-N8100 features Dolby Headphone, which simulates a 5-channel surround sound environment to someone wearing any type of ordinary stereo headphones. With Dolby Headphone, listeners sense that, rather than the sound coming from inside one’s head (a common complaint of headphone users), they hear sound around and outside themselves. Dolby Headphone is recommended for gaming, movies, and music.
Superior 6 Channel Digital Audio Processing with 32-bit SHARC DSP Chip
Six-channel audio processing in the VRS-N8100 is handled by an ADI SHARC 32-bit Floating-Point DSP chip, providing high-resolution processing of both high level and low level audio signals that maintains surround sound effects during quiet as well loud passages.
VRS-7100: All the Features of VRS-8100, Except Networking
Consumers looking for an affordable 6.1-channel home theater receiver but who don’t foresee needing to connect to networks or read memory cards can choose the Kenwood Fineline VRS-7100 receiver. The VRS-7100 offers identical features and performance as the VRS-N8100 — including video game inputs and audio modes, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Neo:6 decoding, Active EQ by DSP, the 32-bit floating-point SHARC DSP chip, and powerful, cool-running digital amplifiers — except it does not provide an Ethernet connection, PCMCIA card slot or file streaming capabilities.
Pricing and Availability
The VRS-N8100 will be available from authorized Kenwood home electronics dealers in July at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $800.00. The VRS-7100 will be available in May at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $500.00