Cambridge Audio is to roll out a new range of DVD players and surround sound receivers into Richer Sounds stores, but has no immediate plans for a high-definition disc player. "We're waiting to see whether Blu-ray or HD DVD becomes the dominant format, and also for the finished specs to appear. It's a battle we're keeping out of," said Matthew Bramble, Cambridge Audio's Technical Director.

First up on the DVD player front is a version 2 model of the Cambridge Audio Azur 540D. Described by the company as 'an audiophile DVD/CD player', the 540D V2 features proprietary anti-jitter technology plus a dedicated stereo output as well as a digital 5.1 out. It offers DVD upscaling to 720p or 1080i via its HDMI video output, with component, Scart, S-video and composite video connections also on offer. DivX and MP4 playback are supported, too. The 540D V2 should be in the shops by July/August, costs £250 and is available - like all the Azur range - in silver or black. A higher-end version of the player - the Azur 640D - also capable of playing DVD-Audio and SACD discs, plus upscaling to 1080p video, will be available by mid-2008. Meanwhile, Cambridge Audio plans two more basic DVD players - the DVD 89 (out soon) and DVD 99 (due later this year) - which aim to offer a superior alternative to 'supermarket special' players but at similar, sub-£100 pricing. Moving onto AV receivers, Cambridge Audio is introducing a new entry-level model in October. The £270 Azur 340R is a 50W per channel 5.1 design with features including 2 in, 1 out HDMI pass-through to simplify your screen connections. September will also see a version 3 upgrade to the Azur 640R - a £350 6.1 channel receiver also offering HDMI pass-through plus a more beefy 80W per channel output. These models will be joined in 2008 by a higher-end model - you've guessed it, the 740R. Pricing and feature details to follow...

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