New Theta Casablanca III controllers

Casablanca III is the latest version of Theta’s innovative, flexible series of surround processors. The new model offers improvements in versatility, speed, and customization. Like earlier Casablancamodels, it eliminates the need for owners to choose between audiophile music reproduction and video-based surround sound.

Among the Casablanca III’s innovations is a new operating system, the CB OS2, that enhances operating functions with fast response times, and support for digital and analog SACD and DVD-Audio optionsnot possible on the earlier Casablanca models. The new operating system also provides a foundation for many new features introduced in the Casablanca III, and under development for futurerelease.

Central to Casablanca III is Theta’s Open Architecture. As in earlier Casablanca models, the processor’s motherboard provides for all signal routing, while various daughter boards carryfunction-specific circuitry. This design philosophy allows installers to configure and upgrade the Casablanca to meet the personal needs of each owner. The upgrade will also allow the Theta designteam to more quickly implement future software upgrades and enhancements.

In the Casablanca III, the open-architecture component provides hundreds of crossover choices (including phase-perfect and Linkwitz-Riley) that facilitate the Casablanca’s ability to be tailored tospecific environments and speaker set-ups.

Casablanca III features Central Power Redistribution (CPR), which corrects for theater sound mixes when played back in the home, as well as expanded compatibility with surround sound processes. DolbyPro Logic II® and the new DTS® Extended Surround (DTS-ES), in both Matrix and Discrete 6.1. versions, are standard.

Also new, and available as an option, is Theta’s Circle Surround II Multichannel Audio Decoding process. Circle Surround II delivers up to a 6.1-channel Home Theater experience from many formats,including mono, stereo, Dolby Surround®, down-mixed Dolby Digital® and DTS. It decodes surround material with center-channel dialog isolation and separation among the rear channels. Casablanca IIIuses Circle Surround II-based code to derive Theta’s Center Surround channel, enhancing this standard feature.

Casablanca III also features Theta’s proprietary Jitter Jail circuitry, which, according to Theta, virtually eliminates jitter. The circuitry stores all digital audio in a buffer and reclocks it tothe DACs using a crystal oscillator. The resulting rock-stable digital audio suffers few of the problems associated with lesser systems.

Casablanca III will be equipped to receive six-channel analog signals from DVD-A and SACD via Theta’s Six Shooter Multi-Channel Analog Throughput, an analog preamp controlled by the surroundprocessor. With volume controls made from individual metal-film resisters, and both differential balanced and single-ended connections, the Six Shooter provides volume control from either theCasablanca III or, in the future, Theta’s Casa Nova Music and Cinema Controller.

CRYSTAL set-up software makes setting up Casablanca III user friendly. CRYSTAL is a PC-based program that offers all set-up features in pull-down menus, and allows users to type in names for jacksand input buttons. The standard RS-232 serial port on the Casablanca III can be connected to the PC running the program.

Clad in rugged black or, as an option, in Theta’s classic silver chassis, the Casablanca III is expected to be available from authorized Theta dealers later this quarter at suggested pricing to beannounced shortly.

Pictures and discussion can be found here:

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