Carmen II was designed to appeal to both movie lovers and music lovers, incorporating important features and technologies, all while attempting to keep it at an affordable price. Carmen II handled digital audio at 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz with resolutions of 16, 20, and 24 bits. An advanced drive mechanism with twin laser diodes-650 nm for DVD and 780 nm for all CD formats made it compatible with just about any disc or format.
Carmen II’s drive mechanism, like DaViD II’s, had low-jitter digital servo circuits to control motor speed, laser tracking and focus. It automatically selected the proper laser for the type of disc being played, enhancing read-out precision and keeping errors to a minimum. Errors introduced by fingerprints, dust and warping were corrected by parametric statistical analysis circuits. Carmen II had a massive, shielded, 65-watt main DC power supply. It was highly filtered at both the input and output stages to keep unwanted noise from degrading the power used by the signal processing circuits. CD and DVD sections were addressed separately, with interaction between the circuits kept to a minimum. Separate, extremely low-jitter clocks for both the CD and DVD playback dramatically reduced digital noise that can degrade sound and picture. The audio and video circuits were also isolated from each other. Multiple regulated subordinate power supplies were dedicated to each section. Each power supply and circuit had integral RF suppression filters to prevent interaction between the stages of each independent circuit, and between the audio and video sections. Theta’s Digital Direct Ultra-Sync II Progressive Scan System de-interlaced the video signal in the digital domain before it was converted to analog. Theta-designed discrete video filters and high-speed video amplifiers, with 108 MHz, 12-bit video digital / analog controllers, were coupled with Faroudja Laboratories’ acclaimed DCDi™ deinterlacing technology, assuring an accurately rendered 480p picture, free from the motion artifacts inherent in the performance of players using off-the-shelf progressive scan solutions. All this was standard on Carmen II, while the Ultra-Sync System was a costly option on the earlier unit. Theta’s proprietary ultra-low jitter video re-clocking circuits and video correction software completed the picture. A 4:2:2 Serial Digital Interface (SDI) for Video, to keep the signal in the digital domain, was available as an option. Keeping the signal in the digital domain, rather than subjecting it to further conversions to analog and back again, avoided major sources of degradation, which were particularly noticeable in high definition video systems. The picture quality on flat-panel plasma screens and digital video projectors was particularly revealing of the performance advantages of SDI’s purer digital signal. 4:2:2 was an option on all DaViDs, Carmens, and Voyager transports.