- New G68 and 568.2, 861 Upgrades provide the latest in surround -

Meridian Audio Limited, the recognized leader in digital audio and video for home theatre and music systems, has announced the availability of Dolby Laboratories' latest surround technology, Pro Logic IIx, in its new G68, flagship 861 and the established 568.2 surround processors, making Meridian the first company in the world to offer this technology in their products.

The G68 is part of the new G Series range of players, processors, amps and controllers recently announced by Meridian. G Series products will be shipping by October. The top -of -the -line 861 and the popular 568.2 processors can be upgraded to include Dolby Pro Logic IIx by means of a simple firmware upgrade, available for download free of charge and installed via the product's serial port.

"Meridian has earned an enviable degree of long -term customer loyalty," says Meridian Chairman and co -founder Bob Stuart. "Indeed, we consider this to be one of our most valuable assets. As a result, we not only incorporate the latest technology in our products, as in the case of the new G68; we also make it our policy to offer ongoing software and firmware updates to enable existing customers to benefit from new developments. Dolby Pro Logic IIx offers significant additional performance benefits to users with multiple surround speakers," he concluded.

Dolby's new Pro Logic IIx takes full advantage of multiple amplifiers and loudspeakers in a 6.1 or 7.1 system, decoding and expanding stereo and 5.1 content for replay via systems with side and rear speakers in addition to the usual front three and pair of surrounds. The result is a seamless, wraparound soundfield over a wide listening area, maintaining the sonic integrity and purity of sound for which Dolby Pro Logic II technology is well known, without requiring specially encoded content.

Meridian's implementation of Pro Logic IIx has been carried out with full 48 -bit precision, offering the maximum surround clarity and detail for which Meridian is well known. Meridian's Dolby Pro Logic IIx Music, Movie, and THX modes replace existing implementations of their Pro Logic II equivalents. Listeners with four surrounds will benefit most from the new features.

Pro Logic IIx also offers new capabilities for multichannel input from PCM, DTS, AC -3 or MPEG sources. Meridian will offer 5.1 upscaled to 7.1 where all four surround signals are different. In the case of movies, EX is renamed Pro Logic IIx EX, with a menu to choose between Surround EX and Pro Logic IIx (7.1). Meridian systems fully support 0, 2 or 4 surround speakers at present.

Meridian Audio Limited is based in Cambridgeshire, UK, was founded in 1977 by Allen Boothroyd and Robert Stuart. With a 25 -year history of innovation and development of the highest quality consumer audio systems, the award -winning company is widely recognized as a world leader in digital and analog audio reproduction. Meridian developed the world's first audiophile CD player, the world's first consumer digital surround controller, developed the MLP lossless packing systems mandated for use in DVD -Audio, and is the only UK audio manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum Working Group 4. The company's optical disc players, DSP -based loudspeakers and Digital Theatre systems are unique in the industry, maintaining a super -quality digital audio signal throughout the path from the source to the amplifier, and using digital signal processing to generate advanced crossover characteristics that would be impossible with conventional passive analog systems.

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