We usually don't believe that old adage about looks being deceiving. More often than not, things are exactly as they appear. So imagine our surprise when we heard about Rotel's new RSDX-02, an all-in-one DVD receiver with a 5.1-channel digital surround amplifier. This sleek component features 80 watts per channel for its five speaker outputs. The RSDX-02 offers Dolby Digital and DTS multichannel decoding; Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 for two-channel sources; and an All-Channel Stereo mode for evenly spreading the sound. The internal DVD player also plays CD-Rs/-RWs, MP3- and JPEG-encoded CDs, and DVD-Audio discs. The RSDX-02 has coaxial and optical digital audio inputs and wideband component video input/output facilities that allow you to integrate your source components with the newest TVs, including HD-ready sets. This deceptively simple-looking piece is yours for $1,499.
(978) 664-3820 www.rotel.com
Meridian's modular, card-based 800 Version 4 disc player is an upgrade on the company's popular 800 player. It comes with Meridian's V100 video input card and VE12 HDMI/progressive component output card. The V100 provides two composite, two S-video, and one interlaced component video input. You also get the VE00 video encoder card, which generates NTSC and PAL in composite, S-video, and component formats. The 800 Version 4 is supported by Meridian's latest computer-based step-by-step MConfig configuration system. This standout design is available in a black-lacquer or a sleek silver finish and costs from $18,000 to $20,000, depending on configuration.
(404) 344-7111 www.meridian-audio.com
Now you can enjoy your music collection throughout your entire home with Yamaha's MCX-C15 MusicCAST in-wall music access client. The client works in conjunction with Yamaha's MCX-1000 server, which features an 80-gigabyte hard drive from which you can access all of your stored content. The MCX-C15 is connected to the server using CAT-5 wiring; you can also connect it wirelessly by adding a wireless access point that supports IEEE 802.11b/g. The server-to-client system can support up to five wireless connections and two wired connections. Yamaha's in-wall client will add audio to any room for $649.
(800) 4-YAMAHA www.yamaha.com/yec
PSB You know that a product is going to be good when the designer is also the company's founder. Such is the case with PSB's new Platinum Series, designed and developed by founder Paul S. Barton. The line includes seven new models: the T8 and T6 towers, M2 minimonitor, C4 and C2 center channels, S2 bipolar surround, and SubSonic 10 subwoofer. The PSB Platinum T8, the flagship tower, uses three 8-inch woofers, two 4.5-inch midrange drivers, and two 1-inch tweeters. The front tweeter faces forward, while the other tweeter is rear-firing. The midrange drivers and front tweeter are arranged in a D'Appolito array. According to the company, this arrangement produces a large horizontal and vertical sweet spot with outstanding clarity. The enclosure measures 10.5 by 46.5 by 16 inches and is available in black ash or cherry, with a die-cast aluminum base, top, and side extrusions. The T8 is available at a suggested retail price of $6,500 per pair. PSB Speakers (888) 772-0000 www.psbspeakers.com
Salamander Designs Salamander Designs calls their TC2 theater chair a handsome, contemporary version of the movie-house original; but, if you ask us, these chairs look a hundred times more comfy than the seats we cram ourselves into at the local megaplex. The TC2 is available in sleek midnight-black leather and features a recliner mechanism, footrest, and adjustable headrest. It's the TC2's arm options that make this chair customizable for use in the home theater. Every arm has an integrated drink holder, made of either silver or black anodized aluminum. If you're interested in creating a curved row of seats, as seen here, Salamander offers wedge-shaped inner-arm pieces. An optional tactile sound transducer and push-button motorized recline mechanism are available as options. Each individual TC2 costs $1,299. Salamander Designs (888) 224-4113 www.salamanderdesigns.com
Here's the solution for all of you flat-screen lovers out there who don't know what to do about the accompanying loudspeakers. Thiel's ViewPoint loudspeaker is designed to integrate with your wall-mounted flat panel. The ViewPoint combines a coaxial and coplanar driver with a 90-degree radiation pattern for a sound that covers the room. The loudspeaker features a 6.5-inch woofer and the same 1-inch tweeter that Thiel uses in their flagship CS7.2. The ViewPoint measures 8 inches wide by 5 deep with a built-to-order height. It sells for $1,990 and weighs 18 pounds.
(859) 254-9427 www.thielaudio.com
DreamVision DreamVision's graceful gray ovule is sure to make an elegant statement in your home theater. The DreamWeaver DLP projector's design is said to provide natural airflow and eliminate stray light. It also incorporates its own cable-management system to keep your theater nice and tidy. The DreamWeaver isn't just stylish, though; DreamVision has packed some serious technology into this stunning package, including Texas Instruments' HD2 Digital Micromirror Device, Faroudja's DCDi technology, and a 1,280:720 native resolution, which makes it a natural choice for the HD buff. If you're in the market for a high-end projector, this $10,995 DLP will make for sweet dreams. DreamVision (800) 663-9352 www.audioplus-services.com
Denon's new multimedia server-and-client system lets you enjoy all of your entertainment media throughout your house. The NS-S100 server sends your DVDs, CDs, and MP3s to the NS-C200 multimedia client; a hard-wired Ethernet or wireless connection links the two. The Mediabolic M1 Entertainment Operating Platform lets you digitally link separate electronics components that are in different locations. This all-in-one package includes a DVR, an audio recorder, a multizone distributor, two hard-disk drives, and a ReplayTV electronic program guide. The NS-S100 retails for $4,000, while each NS-C200 costs $1,000.
(973) 396-0810 www.usa.denon.com