Theta Digital Introduces Superior 2 Card for Casablanca III Music and Cinema Controller

Advanced Dither Refinement Enhances Audio Quality for Theta's Acclaimed, Ultra-Versatile Home Theater Processor

CEDIA SNEAK PEEK


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Theta Digital Introduces Superior 2 Card for Casablanca III Music and Cinema Controller

Advanced Dither Refinement Enhances Audio Quality for Theta's Acclaimed, Ultra -Versatile Home Theater Processor

CEDIA EXPO, Indianapolis, Sept. 10, 2004 -Theta Digital, acclaimed as America's most advanced manufacturer of high -end digital audio and video products, introduces the Superior 2 Card for its extraordinary Casablanca III Music and Cinema Controller at CEDIA EXPO 2004, in Indianapolis.

The new Superior 2 Card brings Casablanca III to a new level of sonic refinement, improving its already powerful audio capabilities by revealing more subtleties in music and voice, and recreating a soundstage more three -dimensional than ever before.

The Superior 2 Card is based on research that resulted in Theta's high -performance Xtreme DAC Card. The performance upgrade of the new Superior 2 Card is more than the upgrade suggested by the name, since it bears a close resemblance to Theta's top -of -the -line Xtreme Card both in sound and flexibility.

Like the Xtreme Card, the new Superior 2 Card can be placed in any slot, and presents the full range of choices for software configuration.

One of the major reasons for the improvement in sound is in the software. Theta has developed a completely new way of calculating the dither, which is a part of Theta's digital signal processing "suite".

Dither is used to refine the processing of digital signals by adding precision to the lowest -level signals. Every digital system has a finite number of digits per sample with which to represent information. The last digit, or least significant bit, is the point beyond which no further distinctions can be represented. There is a big difference, however, between a truncated digital signal and one using a more elegant mathematical means of extending to the utmost the system's inherent performance.

Precision -generated noise, by statistically boosting the energy at the noise floor, allows information below the theoretical digital noise floor to be accurately represented. This increases the dynamic range achievable from a given bit depth. Looked at another way, it provides an opportunity to mitigate a severe type of digital distortion called quantizing error, by de -correlating the digital noise (quantizing error) from the signal. Thus dither, along with noise -shaping, is a valuable, much -used tool in all digital signal processing. Strange as it might seem, one of the important factors in this statistical process is the generation of noise as perfectly random as possible, for the best de -correlation.

Theta engineers' research into this mathematical process has resulted in upgrades that significantly improve the performance of Theta's Superior Cards as well as its Xtreme Cards. The new dither calculations will be made available as part of a new software suite, which users can download from Theta's web site, www.thetadigital.com, to similarly enhance the performance of Xtreme Cards.

Casablanca III is the latest version of Theta's highly innovative, highly flexible series of surround processor/preamplifiers. Described by reviewers as "future proof" when originally introduced, the Casablanca's open -architecture design continues to offer customization and upgradeability beyond the scope of other companies' more conventional designs.

Casablanca III offers exceptional configuration flexibility, in part through Theta's 12 -Channel Surround Processing, which provides speaker and amplifier configurations for up to 8.4 channels, and through the controller's ability to allow any of its 18 audio inputs and up to 10 video inputs to be routed to any or all of 12 input selectors, each of which can have up to six audio and six video sources routed to it.

Central to Casablanca III is Theta's open architecture: the processor's motherboard provides for all signal routing, while various daughter boards carry function -specific circuitry, such as the new Superior 2 Card. This design philosophy, which Theta pioneered in the original Casablanca, allows installers to configure and upgrade the Casablanca to meet the personal needs of each owner.

Since the new Superior 2 card is software configurable, and can present the full range of configuration choices from any slot, it makes set -up easier than with the original Superior card.

Casablanca III's standard and optional features are too numerous to fully detail in this space. However, the following examples are particularly valuable: Theta's Center Spread, which corrects for theater sound mixes when played back in the home; Theta's proprietary Jitter Jail circuitry, which virtually eliminates jitter; and Theta's Dolby Digital/DTS/Circle Surround II Combination Card, which incorporates all current Dolby® and DTS processes as well as Circle Surround™ II Multichannel Audio Decoding.

All theta components are available in black and silver, with many rack -mount versions also available.

Theta's Superior 2 Card is available from authorized Theta dealers now for a suggested price of $2,500. It can be seen with Theta's other outstanding products in Booth 855, Indiana Convention Center, during CEDIA EXPO.

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For additional information about Theta Digital, please visit its Web site at www.thetadigital.com.

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