Marantz is promising to whip the wraps off a whole bunch of goodies at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show next week, including its first Blu-ray player and a high-end preamp and power amp solution designed to get the very best from the new HD audio formats.

But for now it's teasing us with the arrival of the ES7001 'soundbar speaker', otherwise known as the Cinemarium. Available later this month, it includes all the amplification it needs, is designed for single-HDMI connection to keep things tidy, and claims to create credible surround sound regardless of room shape and size.

The £900 unit was actually previewed in the Marantz room at the 2007 What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Show back in November, but is now heading for the shops. And it's built around Marantz technology called OPSODIS - OPtimal SOurce DIStribution -, which was developed in conjunction with Japan's Institute of Sound Vibration and Research.

That's what allows the ES7001 to claim 'a clearly focused soundstage and improved effect area', since it doesn't rely on wall reflections to create the surround effect.

Three 32-bit processors are used in the unit - one for Dolby/DTS decoding, the other two for the surround processing - and there are two HDMI inputs and one output, three optical digital inputs and two analogue ins, plus a subwoofer output.

More on the other new Marantz products in our online CES coverage, starting this weekend. 

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