JVC Home Theater Taps into PC Media

Consumer electronics manufacturer JVC has introduced its new Sophisti DD-3 home theater system, which offers not only standard DVD playback and AM/FM capabilities, but also serves as a USB host for cameras and other devices, and sports an Ethernet jack and the capability to stream music, video, and images from PCs on a home network. The Sophisti DD-3 is the first model in JVC’s announced “network media systems,” with the spiffier DD-8 due out later this year.

The Sophisti DD-3 consists of a main unit and satellite speakers, with the set-top sized central unit offering a DVD player, an AM/FM tuner, and inputs for connecting other components, along with an Ethernet jack that enables users to hook the system up to their home network. The system hosts the JVC Network Media Player, which can access media from other Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) devices, which includes products from nearly two dozen major-brand consumer electronics manufacturers (including Sony, Samsung, NEC, Toshiba, Philips, and Intel—but, as you may have guessed, leaves out Apple). The base unit is also a USB host, so users can connect USB drives, audio players, cameras, card readers, and camcorders to directly to the system to access media on those devices. The unit connects to a display via HDMI, and decodes Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II.

The DD-3’s sports tabletop DirectDrive speakers which take the form of short, slim cylinders which can be wall-mounted or set up on stands; a center speaker looks similar but is designed to be set up horizontally. The unit also ships with a 6.5-inch subwoofer and sports 220 watts output. The system ships with a remote control and and can be configured via an onscreen interface.

JVC says the Sophisti DD-3 is available now for an estimated retail price of $1,000.