Hands On: Meridian Digital Theater System
Meridian’s home theater system lives up to its reputation as a good-looking, tech-loaded A/V solution.
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October 22, 2012 by Robert Archer

Since the late 1970s, the British A/V company Meridian has been a pioneering force in the areas of digital audio and industrial design. The company has evolved its product line from traditional two-channel into modern cutting-edge, high-resolution digital audio, surround sound and 4K video.

Among the company’s most well-known audio technologies is Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP), which is a lossless compression solution at the heart of the DVD-Audio format. Recently, Dolby Laboratories included the company’s Meridian Apodizing Filter in its TrueHD Encoder for Blu-ray disc under the “Advanced 96k Upsampling” name.

Closer to home, Meridian’s theater products include the flagship 800 Series products, as well as its more affordable G Series of products. When these electronics are set up with Meridian’s active DSP Series loudspeakers, you get state-of-the-art digital theater and video systems that incorporate an upgrade path for its server-based digital audio systems.

For this review, Meridian sent me a slew of components so I could test-drive an entire system. Included were a G61R Surround Controller, an HD621 HDMI Audio Processor, an Audio Core 200; two pairs of DSP3200 active loudspeakers, a DSP3300 LCR speaker, a DSW DSP Subwoofer, a Media Core 200 and Meridian SpeakerLink cables. I downloaded the Meridian Core Control App for control and management of the Audio Core 200 and Media Core 200. Into this system Meridian incorporates all of today’s popular surround formats from Dolby and DTS, as well as its own processing technologies, such as its Tri-Field processing. The system works with 1.4 HDMI and includes enough inputs and outputs to satisfy the most extensive home A/V applications. Other notable features include active, DSP-controlled speakers and room calibration options.

After assembling the speaker stands and looking through the manuals, I began installing the G61R, HD621, Media Core and 5.1 speaker system. For the most part the setup was easy. The speakers connect to the system in pairs as master and slave. From there I connected the 621 HDMI Audio Processor to the G61R Controller by running cables from the back of the 621 to the processor. On the back of the 621 there are outputs marked 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6, and those connect to the DVD MD inputs of the processor.

Next was the connection of the “CommLink” cable from the 621 to the processor, and from there I ran HDMI cables from my Apple TV, Pioneer Elite BD player and cable box to the 621. Finalizing the connections, I ran a coax digital cable from my Cary CD player to the controller; a set of RCA cables from my Parasound phono stage; and another coax cable from the Media Core to the controller. One last hookup was to put the Media Core on my network, which I did by running a Category 6 cable from the Media Core to a Gigabit Luxul switch.

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Robert Archer - Senior Editor, CE Pro
Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.

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