AV Peripherals and Systems Guide
Datasat's RS20i Surround Sound Maestro Is Here
Clarity AV, a subsidiary of the Clarity Group, demonstrated the prowess of the newly released Datasat RS20i at their Adelphi showroom earlier today. The RS20i, in a nutshell, is a premium surround sound audio processor designed for luxury home cinemas. Built into a Datasat platform, the RS20i also marks Datasat's entry into the high-end consumer market after producing professional digital equipment like the AP20 audio processor and XD20 video server for cinemas over the years.
Datasat, or Datasat Digital Entertainment in full, was formerly known as DTS Digital Cinema before DTS' cinema division was acquired by Datasat Communications in 2008.
The RS20i does more than deliver an expansive soundstage in your home theatre room. Modeled after its commercial AP20 sibling, the RS20i offers 16 channels with its own 3rd octave equalizers (20Hz to 20kHz), low and high bypass for all channels, as well as the Dirac Live room optimization feature which optimizes sound by delivering the right frequency magnitude and impulse response. Reportedly, the AP20 is also responsible for processing audio content for Hollywood blockbusters, like Skyfall and Men In Black 3.
Datasat's RS20i conforms to the full 16-channel Digital Cinema Package as laid down by the Digital Cinema Initiatives or DCI. Supporting up to 85 digital and analog inputs, the audio processor is able to accommodate all surround sound formats, including true 3D sound. We spied dual TOSLINK inputs and a single coaxial on the RS20i, besides five HDMI slots programmed in a '4-in 1-out' configuration. There are 16 analog and 16 digital outlets in total which are fully routable to the inputs. In addition, Datasat also built upon the AP20 by infusing the RS20i with improved DACs, updated menus, HDMI v1.4 (with 3D video passthrough), and a custom-designed chassis complete with a sexy front panel and touchscreen interface.
"The RS20i comes with 31 bands of third octave and three user-adjustable bands of parametric equalization on every channel. In addition, each channel includes low, high and bandpass filters to deliver a stunning clarity of sound. Advanced bass management features include full and user-adjustable bass control on each individual screen and surround speakers. The RS20i supports up to 4 sub-woofers with your home cinema system to enable enhanced surround settings such as 11.1, 12.2 or 12.4."
The RS20i unit is versatile as well, judging by its slew of 20 memory presets. This enables users to store and recall elements such as room equalization, sound levels, and IO configurations for different media, like movies and music for instance. Major audio decoders from Dolby and DTS are supported, including Dolby AC3, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 5.1, and Neo:6.
Priced at S$32,500, Datasat's RS20i isn't quite your run-of-the-mill AV receiver, but an expensive and formidable piece of sonic wizardry designed to be the heart and brains of your home cinema rig for those who're willing to pay a premium for one of the best surround sound processors available in the market. We've heard it for ourselves first-hand, and its sound localization performance was, in a word, remarkable. The RS20i is currently available at Clarity AV.