The Linear Home Technology Group, an umbrella brand for home electronics companies acquired by Linear LLC, announces a technological advancement that will significantly impact the market for custom-installed, multi-room audio entertainment systems. Digi5 is a new core technology that provides a platform for distributing digital audio signals over Category 5 wiring, and is the groups first major collaborative development effort.
The Digi5 technology employs advanced digital distribution and amplification circuits that enable custom installers to quickly configure high-performance yet cost-effective whole-house systems. Its hub-based platform has the ability to accept inputs from analog or digital sources and digitally route them up to 200 feet from a central location to amplified keypads, which are the fundamental user interfaces. The music signal, control signal and data are all carried on one Cat-5 wire.
With Digi5 technology a simple to install, one cable run system can provide a full featured, fully distributed music system in the $1,000 to $3,000 price range. Systems are configurable for single or multi-zone concurrent listening in four separate locations expandable up to 16 locations. The new platform also allows multiple form factor packages such as a structured wiring module and a family room equipment shelf model. Additional features include room EQ and local and shared source switching in each room.
The new digital music over Cat-5 technology incorporates a wiring scheme and protocol for providing metadata feedback in future generation Digi5 keypads. This simple but highly reliable network will allow users to display iPod and MP3 metadata at each keypad location and will eventually allow for additional electronic subsystems such as XM, Sirius, and other third party devices to display data on the keypads.
Currently, five Linear Home Technology Group companies–ELAN, Linear, Niles, SpeakerCraft, and Xantech–will offer products based on new digital music over Cat-5 platform. Releases, to start November, are incorporating Digi5 technology in new products to be introduced over the next several months (see accompanying news release on early adopters).
The Linear Home Technology Group is an over-arching brand for home electronics companies acquired in recent years by Linear LLC on behalf of its parent company, Nortek, Inc. It includes some two-dozen companies, and half again as many nationally recognized brands, in such categories as stereo and home theater speakers, distributed audio and video systems, lighting controls, structured wiring systems, residential and commercial access controls, and internet connected media products.