It's been a while since we've seen new products from Audiolab, but the company is set to begin a programme of new releases with the arrival in July of the 8000AP processor, which will sell for £1000. The new unit is based on the existing 8000AV, but has HDMI switching - two inputs and one output - and is able to take decoded Linear PCM sound from Blu-ray and HD DVD players, thus opening up high-definition multichannel audio to Audiolab users.

Audiolab says the 8000AP has been engineered for audio enthusiasts, with signal paths kept as clean and simple as possible. In addition to the HDMI inputs, it has standard digital connections and a 5.1-channel analogue 'bypass' input, which feeds directly to the output stage via the volume control, and is kept well clear of the digitall signal processing.

The company has chosen not to get involved in video processing in this unit, saying that 'By separating the video processing and audio processing stages, we can ensure that the product audio performance is absolutely state-of-the-art without worrying about the short product life-cycles currently being experienced within the high-end video processing market.'

The 8000AP also has conventional surround decoding for DVD-sourced Dolby Digital and DTS formats, as well as proprietary Audiolab surround formats, and has four conventional line inputs, tape in/out and 7.1-channel analogue outputs.

More after the break