Harman Kardon Debuts BDS Blu-ray Systems

The BDS 580 and BDS 280 can play almost any disc and has both networking and MHL features.

Harman Kardon's BDS 280.

It’s not just about TVs at this week’s CES 2014, but also what you can watch on those TVs. For that, Harman Kardon has introduced the new BDS 580 and BDS 280 networked entertainment systems.

Basically, these are a pair of new Blu-ray players that go beyond the disc. Besides being able to play 3D Blu-rays, Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs, both players have an MHL input on the back, so you can add your smartphone or tablet into the setup. That same MHL input can also support the Roku Streaming Stick for hundreds of other entertainment options.

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Other features include built-in AirPlay and DLNA over Wi-Fi, as well as NFC technology and Bluetooth. Both also have support for the Harman Remote app and Dolby Volume for balancing out the volume between those super-loud action scenes and quiet dialog. Also worth noting is that each player includes support for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Volume, DTS Digital Surround, Harman Kardon NSP Natural Surround Processing, and EzSet/EQ III auto-calibration.

The BDS 580 is a 5.1 Blu-ray System that can read all disc formats, including selectable NTSC or PAL DVDs. Other features include five 65-watt-per-channel amplifiers, a 20Hz to 20kHz (± 0.5dB) frequency response, a -90dB signal-to-noise ratio, Harman Kardon DSP, and a dedicated subwoofer preamp output channel. The BDS 580 also has three HDMI inputs (one with MHL), an FM tuner, and both front-facing and rear USB ports.

Harman Kardon’s BDS 280 has a lot of the same features, in a 2.1 Blu-ray System with two 65-watt-per-channel amplifiers. Other features include Harman TrueStream, a 20Hz to 20kHz (+/- 0.5dB) frequency response, and a signal-to-noise ratio of -90dB. This model also has virtual 5.1 surround sound via Harman Virtual Surround and just two speakers.

“The future of video entertainment has arrived with 3D stereo viewing for the home,” said Michael Mauser, president of Harman’s Lifestyle Division. “Our two new Harman Kardon BDS systems now include 3D video in our ecosystem. The Harman Kardon Remote App’s interface matches what you see on the screen, making the remote easy and straightforward to use. And these two home-theater-in-a-box systems are the first in the world that come with MHL support for smartphones and tablets, right out of the box.”

Harman Kardon has priced the BDS 580 and the BDS 280 at $1,099 and $510, respectively. Both are selling now.

The BDS 580 is a 5.1 3D Blu-ray system.

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