Monday, May 21, 2007

Exotic HiFi maker Krell sides with both HD-DVD and Blu-ray

In CE Pro last week I had commented on the lack of buy-in amongst higher-end HiFi brands of either Blu-ray or HD-DVD. That was followed shortly thereafter by a rumor that Yamaha is working on their own Blu-ray player.

Today, we have word that ultra-Hi-Fi manufacturer Krell is planning new hardware, as well as upgrades to their existing equipment to decode both Blu-ray and HD-DVD.

TWICE: Krell Taps Into HD Video Sources
Orange, Conn. — Krell Industries is acknowledging the potential of the HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats with a new preamp/surround processor and a planned upgrade for another preamp/processor.
The $25,000 Evolution 707, due in the fourth quarter with all-aluminum chassis, is the company’s first preamp/surround processor with internal decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround formats, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio and DTS HD High Resolution Audio. The 707 features HDMI 1.3 input to accept the surround formats in native form, and it incorporates two 1080p video up-scalers for two-zone use. The 707 is Krell’s highest priced preamp/surround processor, and the company’s first with 1080p video scaling, said assistant sales and marketing VP Jim Ludoviconi.
Also in the fourth quarter, the currently available $6,500 S-1000 pre/pro will get an upgrade to add HDMI 1.3 inputs and internal decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround formats at a cost of about $1,500. The 7.1-channel processor currently offers Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES decoding and 4x1 HDMI switching.

$25K may not be the price point that average consumers are looking for, but Krell isn't average HiFi equipment. This is a shot in the arm for both formats from the perspective of the upscale adopter. The market for five-figure A/V equipment is smaller (obviously) than the one for $500 devices, but for the high end propellerheads, Krell's endorsement is encouraging.

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1 comment:

Flatland Pastor said...

Now we're talkin'!

Ever since the day I heard a Krell preamp/power amp combo driving a pair of KEF 105.4's (yes, nerd patrol I am that old *sigh*) the Krell brand (especially their amplification products) has remained at the top of my list of unattainable objects of my hi-fi desire - albeit coupled to B & W speakers.

Now the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray story has acquired that all-important "drool" factor. Perhaps I judged this whole issue too quickly and harshly.

Naaah! That's what I do here! And it's fun!