Lexicon MC12B VS Mark Levinson NO.40

1)Lexicon MC12B VS Mark Levinson NO.40
which one is better for Hometheatre purpose no matter music or video ?

2) Is the Lexicon MC12B's XLR output a real true balanced output ?
I've sold off my HT components and went back to 2-channel however over a few years I demo'ed alot of high-end SSPs including the 2 you are considering.

If your list is constrained to these two, from listening & viewing them, I'd suggest the Levinson (see note below on Classe). I do not remember whether the Lexicon's output is truly balanced but it had no balanced inputs which took it off my list at the time as I wanted a full balanced circuit from input to output.

One thing to keep in mind on many SSPs for those of us who care about 2-channel audio is to watch out for an SSP that forces you to put all audio through the DSP even for 2-channel listening. DSP software is quite impressive but to my ears, there is nothing like 2-channel analog. If this is important to you, you'll want to check these 2 units carefully to ensure you have a full bypass mode to skip the DSP.

If you are going to play in the price league of the Levinson or similar models, I think that you might want to demo a Classe SSP-800 (believe it is less costly). That unit may very well blow you away with its video and audio performance. The XLR Balanced Bypass is full balanced on the 800 and its predecessor, the SSP-600. The quality of the 2-channel pre-amp section on the 800 is extremely impressive as was the 600 (800 is even more so).

All of this is posted as opinion only...
With Harmon being the owner of both,how much if any technology is being shared?
I don't know the answer...all I can say is last time I heard them (about 1 1/2 years ago, sufficiently after the M&A activity), they had very different sounds and attributes).
thx so far guys

Lexicon would be my choice, depending on cost. I would suppost that the circuitry is 'borrowed' from Lexicon, as they are the leaders in studio equipment--with home audio being a small fraction of their market. Also they write many of the algorythems used in the manipulation of multichannel data.
Having said this, Levinson may 'duplicate their circuitry' THEN, use better, internal parts. ANYTHING can happen.
It could easily come down to, (if prices are very similar) logic circuitry and ease of operation.
The Lexicon has a terrific menu for set up--terrific. Plus, and this is probably old news they used to have much greater flexibility as they are so much closer to the ground in this end of the business, as I mentioned.
Either way...Good luck.