Meridian Announces Version 4 800 Series Optical Disc Player

The 800 optical disc player from leading British consumer audio manufacturer Meridian has received equally high praise for the unparalleled quality of its video as it has for its world-beating audio performance, including high-resolution DVD-Audio. In addition, its modular, card-based architecture allows it to be expanded and developed as technology and industry standards advance. The new 800 Version 4 exemplifies this approach, taking this acclaimed player still further, with support for HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) output and video input cards, along with video switching cards originally designed for the 861. In addition, the 800 Version 4 can be set up with Meridian’s new MConfig application, which includes step-by-step configuration and graphic system design.

Version 4 is the latest incarnation of the 800 Optical Disc Player, which combines new software with a modified ‘core’ card complement offering a significant increase in the quality and flexibility of the system. The new VI00 Video Input card is included along with the recently released VE12 HDMI/Progressive Component output card. These enable the 800 to be interfaced with a display via a single interconnect, the 800 providing video switching and scaling of internal and external video signals.

The VI00 provides two composite, two S-Video and one interlaced component video input, and studio-quality on-board video A/D conversion allows analogue video sources to be converted to the common broadcast resolution standard digital video format that is used internally in the 800. The VE12 provides HDMI output for compatible displays, and automatically handshakes with the display to determine the highest quality signal that can be provided by the player. The card also provides analogue progressive component video out. Version 4 additionally supports analogue video input/switching cards designed originally for the 861 Digital Surround Controller.

The 800 Version 4 also includes the VE00 Video Encoder card. This generates NTSC or PAL (software switchable) in composite, S-Video or component formats, and features wide video bandwidth, low noise and extended black level setting. Controls are provided for adjustment of aspect ratio, picture position, brightness and contrast, and NTSC hue.

The 800 Version 4 is now supported by the latest computer-based configuration system from Meridian, known as MConfig. This Windows application also supports the 861, the new 808 and Meridian Room Correction. MConfig includes a graphic system definition tool, which enables a comprehensive system architecture to be built up on-screen and then uploaded to the unit(s) concerned.

The 800 Version 4 is now available in traditional Meridian black lacquer or a sleek new silver finish, with the latest MSR+ IR learning/programmable remote, and existing players can be upgraded to Version 4.

Manufacturer’s suggested price on the 800 Version 4 will remain the same – $18,000 to $20,000 depending on configuration. Meridian will offer the new Version 4 without any price increase for consumers. 800 Version 3 owners interested in upgrading, should contact Meridian at 404-344-7111.

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 analogue 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 hardware manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum. 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 analogue systems.