LAS VEGAS, NV. (CES), January 4, 2005 - Sherwood America Inc., a leading manufacturer of high performance audio equipment, today introduced three new DVD Theater systems that eliminate complexity and installation headaches associated with ordinary HTIB systems. The new line-up, called Hollywood at Home, consists of three advanced theater systems featuring a progressive scan DVD console/receiver, two satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer. All three systems use advanced DSP technology, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone decoding and arresting cosmetic design to bring the surround sound experience to users who were either uncomfortable with the installation requirements or were otherwise unable to install a full 5.1 system.
According to Jeffrey Hipps, Sherwood's Sr. VP for Marketing and Product Planning, the Hollywood at Home project actually started in 1997. "At that time," said Hipps, "we realized that the headaches involved in home theater installation would forever limit the market so we started the 'Hollywood at Home' project. But we scrapped the first system, as the sweet spot for the surround effect was too small. With the recent availability of Dolby Virtual Speaker technology, that limitation is gone."
Based on the groundbreaking research done by Australia's Lake DSP, Dolby Virtual Speaker uses advanced HRTF research and complex digital algorithms to "pre-encode" the 5.1 signal so it can be dramatically reproduced from only two speakers. "This technology is so powerful," added Hipps, "that our Hollywood at Home systems can reproduce both localization and depth. These systems immerse the listener in a 3-D soundfield."
With the technical problems inherent in creating a multi-dimensional surround sound field from only 2 speakers now solved, Sherwood's engineers turned to the physical and cosmetic design. "We saw the dramatic changes now underway in the physical appearance of today's advanced TV's," said Hipps, "and recognized that our new systems needed a dramatic break with our past design practices."
The resulting systems have the sweep of Eero Saarinen's classic architecture and the grace of the arched wing of a bird in flight. They are stunning; with a high-gloss silver finish (matte black is also available) that captures the sweep of the design and artfully matches the drama of today's LCD and plasma TV's.
The first of these new systems (available now) is the middle-of-the line-up, VR-670. The 4-piece system is composed of a stunning DVD/Console, a pair of two-way satellite speakers and a powered subwoofer. The console features CD and DVD playback with progressive scan output capability; built-in decoding for both DTS and Dolby Digital; encoding for Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone (for surround playback from conventional 2-channel headphones); AM and FM tuning, inputs and outputs for two additional sources, remote control, and a host or convenience features including: Digital clock, Timer On/Off, Sleep Timer and Auto Power off. Power output for the systems is 25 watts RMS x 2 for the satellite speakers with 100 Watts available for the subwoofer. Suggested retail price for the Hollywood at Home VR-670 system is $399.95.
The top-of-the line, VR-700 maintains the same cosmetic allure of it's sibling while adding A/V switching for four source units, Sherwood's Universal Video module that transcodes both composite and S-Video in to Component Video, and an impressive 400 Watt subwoofer capable of over 103 dB output at 30 Hz. SRP for the VR-700 is $599.95 and it will be available in August 2005.
The entry level VR-600 maintains the same power output, satellite speakers and subwoofer as the VR-670, but eschews its "swoopy" cosmetic design in favor of a more cost effective platform. Consequently, the VR-600 is able to maintain the stunning sonics of the Hollywood at Home family albeit with a lower cost. The SRP for the VR-600 is $249.95 and it will be available in August 2005.
About Sherwood America
Since 1953, Sherwood has designed and manufactured high-performance, cost effective audio gear. 2005 marks Sherwood's introduction of the Hollywood-at-Home line-up of DVD theaters that deliver 5.1 channel performance from only 2.1 channels of equipment.
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