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Cambridge Audio’s Azur 640 Blu-Ray player and Version 2 AV receiver

Cambridge Audio’s Azur 640 Blu-Ray player and Version 2 AV receiver
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January 19, 2009 On show at CES 09 this year was Cambridge Audio’s latest offering to the Blu-Ray player market, the Azur 640BD. As this is the company's first Blu-Ray offering they’ve released a Version 2 update of their Azur 640R AV Receiver that partners nicely with their new player.

The Azur 640BD Blu-Ray player features full HDMI 1.3b support, including bitstream output of all the latest HD Dolby and DTS surround sound formats and internal decoding of Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD and DTS High Resolution formats. A full set of analogue video outputs is also offered, along with HDMI 1.3 video/audio, ethernet, optical and coaxial digital audio out and separate dedicated 7.1 and stereo analogue outputs.

Cambridge Audio prides itself on developing products that offer true value for money to discerning buyers and has embraced Blu-ray technology with enthusiasm to squeeze the best possible performance from this excellent new format. While the 640BD supports 1080p native playback for Blu-Ray discs, it also features 1080p upscaling of DVD discs. With 24 frames per second (fps) progressive scan True Cinema it allows Blu-Ray discs to be played back at their original frame rate (and hence speed) for the most natural, jog-free panning and motion possible.

The 640BD is Profile 2.0 compatible to provide support for future technological developments, and a front USB connection enables easy, instant access to external digital content. The unit is available in both black and silver and has a suggested retail price of USD$999 (ex tax).

The Azur 640R AV receiver has had an update to match and compliment the abilities of the Azur 640BD Blu-Ray player... enter the Azur 640R Version 2 - A 7.1 channel AV receiver with full HDMI 1.3b support. Implementing the latest Cirrus Logic/Crystal chipset with twin 32-bit DSPs, Cambridge Audio has enabled full support for Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution and the new lossless Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats.

The 640R V2 can upconvert analogue video signals (composite, s-video, component) to HDMI, requiring only a single HDMI connection from the receiver back up to your television/display. It also features full on-screen display on all video outputs. For a more accurate setup of your listening space, the 640R V2 has its own acoustic calibration system in the form of CAMCAS, (Cambridge Audio Mic Controlled Auto Setup) allowing the receiver to account for acoustic inaccuracies in the room, different speaker types, room furnishings and the like, to optimize your surround experience. An oversized, low flux toroidal transformer supplies the 7 audiophile grade, fully discreet 100 watt amplifiers with plenty of juice to respond to the dynamic, high transient HD soundtracks that Blu-Ray and HD DVD carry. Power output is also increased when running the 640R V2 in stereo-mode to an impressive 120 watts per channel.

There’s Pro Logic II and IIx plus DTS Neo:6 decoders on offer too, supporting 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 matrix surround processing from stereo sources. Post processing of 2.0, 5.1 or 6.1 digital material is also possible with PLIIx or DTS Neo:6 to turn these formats into full 7.1 channel signals.

The 640R V2 also has support for multi-channel analogue input for DVD Audio and SACD, and multi-channel PCM via HDMI is also supported for playback of lossless content. Another handy audio feature is manual lip sync control - adjustable up to 500ms should video processing be done separate of the 640R V2’s internals.

In keeping with the audiophile pedigree is Cambridge Audio’s proprietary Forced/Convection Heat Tunnel-X-Tract. This advanced system draws heat away from the units substantial transformer and output stages allowing it to operate very quietly at a low temperature – ideal in equipment racks.

Multi-room compatibility is featured for connection to Cambridge Audio’s Incognito system and also features RS232, IR in/out and control bus in/out for integration into other custom install applications.

With an ultra-rigid acoustically dampened chassis and substantial aluminium front panel, the Azur 640R V2 is available in silver and black and has a suggested retail price of USD$1799 (ex tax).

Tim LeFevre

Via: Cambridge Audio

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