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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Theater

Sony Pro Preps UBP-X1000ES 4K Blu-ray Player

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Sony announces the European launch of the X1000ES-- a high-end 4K/UHD Blu-ray player aimed at custom installers, making ideal for advanced home theatre AV systems.

Sony X1000ESThe X1000ES is compatible with UHD Blu-ray discs, as well as 4K and HDR video streaming. It uses a Sony developed Precision HD drive to maintain consistent performance with virtually every optical disc format, including DVD Video and DVD Audio, CD and SA-CD, Blu-ray 3D and BD-ROM media, and handles a variety of video codecs to deliver 4K streams from the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube.

A dedicated picture mode for HDR content is included, along with video processing to upscale 1080p content in a "near" 4K 60p resolution. A unique Sony algorithm reproduces the intended brightness and colour gradations of 4K HDR content when played on a 4K SDR TV, providing the best picture quality.

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Oppo Blu-ray Players Get Dolby Vision

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The Oppo UDP-203 and UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray players are the first to receive Dolby Vision support via firmware update, in addition to the HDR-10 spec all UHD Blu-ray players support.

Oppo UDP-2013The OPPO UDP-203 and UDP-205 support 4K UlHD Blu-ray disc playback, as well as regular Blu-ray and DVD. Packing a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels, UHD Blu-ray delivers four times the pixels of regular Blu-ray. Prior to the Dolby Vision upgrade, the UDP-203/205 already supported HDR10 (High Dynamic Range) and Wide Colour Gamut.

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Denon Intros Entry-Tier AVR-X540BT

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Denon presents an AV receiver option for the more budget-conscious customer-- the AVR-X540BT, a 4K-ready 5.1-channel model feauturing Bluetooth streaming.

Denon AVRThe AVR-X540BT lacks 3D audio decoding, since it sticks with standard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support. However it ramps up on the wireless streaming, being able to remember up to 8 paired Bluetooth devices. Such devices can also double as a controller, since the 500 Series Remote app offers functions such as on/off, volume up/down, mute and source selection.

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Onkyo Activates Built-in Chromecast

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Onkyo releases a firmware update to activate the Chromecast built-in audio audio streaming and voice control capability (via Google Home) in select 2016 home theatre and audio components.

Onkyo AVRChomecast built-in is the Google audio streaming platform allowing customers to share a wide selection of music, internet radio, podcasts and other programs from enabled apps. It is supported by iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android devices, Chromebooks and the Chrome browser on Mac, Windows and Linux PCs.

Streaming operates on 5/2.4GHz wifi for streaming with less buffering and fewer dropouts, and supports sampling rates of up to 48kHz for lossless sources. One can also use other apps during streaming, and no special device setup, password entry or pairing process is required.

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Oppo Intros UDP-205 "Audiophile" UHD Blu-ray Player

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Oppo announces a follow-up to the UDP-203 UHD Blu-ray player-- the UDP-205, a player the company claims carries superior components for the audiophile set.

Oppo UDP-2015The UDP-2015 uses a pair of ES9038PRO DACs, flagship of the ESS Sabre Pro series, to deliver "best-in-class" audio performance. A toroidal transformer boosts player efficiency, while full metal construction ensure it is less prone to vibrations.

It also features an HDMI audio jitter reduction circuit, support for XLR balanced and RCA single-ended connectors, a set of 7.1-channel analogue outputs and an asynchronous USB DAC input with PCM and DSD file support.

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Yamaha Updates 2016 AVR Firmware

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Yamaha announces owners of a number of 2016 AV receivers will get the latest and shiniest in features, including support for Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma, via firmware update.

Yamaha AVRThe company is still to tell when the update will be available, but it confirms the AVR models getting it-- the RX-V681, RX-A860, RX-A1060, RX-A2060, RX-A3060 and CX-A5100. Some models already have other features making a fully-fledged Yamaha AVR, such as Dolby Atmos and Yamaha MusicCast multi-room streaming support.

As for firmware features, these are Dolby Vision, Hybrid-Log Gamma, Tidal and Deezer. Dolby Vision is the Dolby end-to-end solution for HDR video, currently present in LG and Sony TVs as well as Oppo and LG Blu-ray players. It also finds use by Netflix. Meanwhile Hybrid Log-Gamma is a backwards-compatible HDR broadcasting standard co-developed by BBC and NHK.

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Rotel Intros Home Theatre Surround Processor

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Rotel Electronics announces the RAP-1580-- a home theatre surround amplified processor with support for HDMI 2.0a hardware and Dolby Atmos DTS-X 7.1.4 processor.

Rotel RAP-1580The amplifier section of the RAP-1580 is built on a powerful A/B design, with seven 100W per channel and power from an own toroidal transformer. All channels also use Wolfson 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters. Inputs include x8 HDMI video inputs (2.0a), with x2 HDMI video outputs supporting 4K video (4:4:4 @ 60Hz 10-bit colour) and x3 inputs and both outputs enabled with HDCP 2.2.

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