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NEWS: Harman Kardon launches 2008 product range at BMW Welt, Munich

It's midnight here in Munich, and I've just spent several hours at BMW Welt, the car company's extraordinary new architect-designed HQ in the city centre, writes Andy Clough.

But just in case you think you've accidentally logged on to whatcar.com, fear not, as the futuristic venue is the location for Harman Kardon's 2008 product launch.

So among the gleaming BMWs and hi-tech architecture, I've been given a brief preview of the Harman Kardon hi-fi and home cinema products heading our way later this year.

The company is keen to play up its new minimalist design philosophy, and is making much of its sleek new product range. Forget flashing lights and zillions of buttons, the Harman Kardon look for 2008 is all about slimline design, glossy piano black finishes and flush-fitting panels to hide all those pesky controls.

Here are some edited highlights of what's in store:

  • The £900 HS 350 5.1 home cinema in a box system with 5 x 35w, HDMI connectivity and DiVX playback (below)

Harman Kardon HS350

  • Two 2.1 home cinema in a box systems, the HS 250 and HS 200
  • Five AV receivers: the flagship £1800 AVR 755 7.1 model capable of handling Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD; the 7 x 75w AVR 655 with HDMI 1.3a repeater, Logic 7 processing, USB and iPod connectivity and Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing (price tbc); the £750 7 x 55w AVR 355 with upscaling to 1080p (below); the £600 7 x 50w AVR 255; and the £450 AVR 155 5 x 40w model with HDMI switching

Harman Kardon AVR 355

  • For those who want to store all their digital entertainment on a single device, there's the DMC 1000 media centre (below) with progressive scan DVD-Video playback and a 250GB internal hard drive.

Harman Kardon DMC 1000

  • Three DVD players: the £350 universal DVD-Video/DVD-Audio/SACD DVD 49 (below); the £250 DVD 39 with video upscaling to 1080p; and the £229 DVD 29 with video upscaling to 720p.

Harman Kardon DVD 49

  • And if you want a dock to link an iPod to the rest of your system, Harman Kardon has The Bridge II docking station, which connects to most HK receivers and will will work with the majority of iPods, including the Touch and iPhone.
Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.