G61 Surround Processor offers more for less

Inventor of the digital surround processor, UK-based Meridian Audio Ltd., has introduced the latest addition to its popular G Series line of players, processors and amplifiers: the G61 Digital Surround Processor.

International CES, Las Vegas, NV, January 5, 2006 -Inventor of the digital surround processor, UK -based Meridian Audio Ltd. (Booth #21913, South Hall), has introduced the latest addition to its popular G Series line of players, processors and amplifiers: the G61 Digital Surround Processor.

The G61 builds on the technology that went into Meridian's flagship, AAA -rated 861 surround processor, and is a development of the successful G68. It is a powerful, flexible surround controller in a compact case matching the G Series players, with an attractive price -tag ($5495 recommended US retail), making it ideal for those who do not require the comprehensive video and multiroom features, tuner or Room Correction software provided in the G68.

At the heart of the G61 is a powerful DSP engine delivering in excess of 500MIPS (million instructions per second). Processing is performed at high sample rates and with 48 -bit precision throughout. The G61 is thus ideal for the very latest in digital audio, such as DVD -Audio and emerging standards. For superior audio quality, incoming analog signals are converted to 24 -bit, high -sample -rate digital data via multibit Delta -Sigma converters as soon as they enter the processor, and all digital signals are reclocked to minimize jitter and maintain total data integrity.

The G61 includes two 6 -channel S/PDIF digital inputs (coax), six stereo coax digital inputs and - particularly with an eye to the North American market - five stereo Toslink optical inputs. In addition, there's a 6 -channel analogue input, and five stereo analog inputs. All the inputs are reconfigurable for an incredible degree of flexibility.

The G61 combines controller and surround processor functions, meeting the latest THX Ultra 2 specifications and including the latest superb -quality AAC, MPEG, DTS, Dolby, Trifield and Ambisonic decoding. Many of the decoders consist almost exclusively of Meridian's own code, giving them superior integration with the Meridian design philosophy, as well as superior performance.

The G61's 'Smart Source' feature continually monitors the digital inputs and automatically loads the correct decoding software for the format, speaker layout and encoding of the incoming signal. This capability is enhanced by MHR SmartLink, which provides a digital link between a Meridian optical disk player and processor, carrying explicit information about the nature of the datastream as well as encrypted high -resolution digital signals from DVD -Audio - the first system of its kind to be approved.

You can also store separate user parameters for each source (such as DVD) depending on whether the incoming signal is stereo or surround, so that any source material is played with the DSP mode of your choice.

The G61 features eight analog outputs for front, rear, centre and sub connections, plus two additional outputs for other applications. Ten digital surround outputs are provided, including front, rear, side, centre/sub and again include an additional configurable output pair.

The G61 can be configured with a powerful Windows graphical set -up application (downloadable from the Meridian web site), which allows access to all the unit's functions and configuration. However, the G61 can also be configured extensively from the front panel, thanks to the comprehensive 'soft -key' based user interface which is common to all the G Series components. 'Wizards' lead you through the configuration procedure, allowing a powerful degree of customization without having to hook up a computer. The G61's firmware can be updated via serial link with files downloaded for the Meridian web site.

The G61 is an ideal complement to Meridian's other G Series products, which include CD and DVD players and power amplifiers, and the company's unique DSP Loudspeakers as well as third -party products.

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MSRP: $5,495

Meridian Audio Limited is based in Huntingdon, near Cambridge, UK, and 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 now in emerging high -definition disk formats, and is the only UK audio hardware manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum. The company's optical disk players, DSP -based loudspeakers and Digital Theater 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 analogue systems. Meridian has recently become the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of Faroudja High -Definition video processors and projectors.

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