Meridian at CEDIA: Making Hi-Res a High Priority

Manufacturer Reinforced Dedication to the CI Market at CEDIA 2016
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

At CEDIA 2016, Meridian reinforced its dedication to the custom install market, debuting new partnerships and demonstrating both new and flagship products that emphasize high-resolution performance and ease of installation for the custom installer.

The company showcased its much-anticipated two- and eight-channel amplifiers and a new Zone Controller, along with the Meridian DSP320 in-wall/in-ceiling architectural loudspeaker, enhanced Sooloos multi-room streaming audio platform, and new Meridian Design and Specification Service. 

Meridian also previewed three new Hi-Res products at the show, all of which will be available to order at the show for shipping later in 2016. Among these new products are two new power amplifiers—the Meridian 258 Eight-Channel Power Amplifier and the Meridian Reference Two-Channel Power Amplifier 857. 

The Meridian 258 is a dedicated rack-mount eight-channel power amplifier. This cold-running Class D amplifier is suitable for a wide range of applications and delivers 100W per channel into 4 Ohms, or 70W per channel into 8 Ohms. At only 1U high and carrying a five-year manufacturer’s warranty, the price at launch will be $2,000 (MSRP).

The Meridian 857 is a reference two-channel power amplifier delivering 500W per channel into 4 Ohms. This Hi-Res audio amplifier, bridgeable to 1.5KW, is available as a dedicated rack-mount variant and incorporates a totally new design based upon extensive research. The price at launch will be $10,000 (MSRP).

The final product that was previewed was the new Meridian 218 Zone Controller. Combining both digital and analog outputs, the Sooloos/MQA–enabled Meridian 218 is suitable for a wide range of distributed audio applications from single zone to multi-zone use. With control features including IP and IR, easily integrated with third-party control systems, this versatile 1U-high product can be rack, shelf, or wall mounted. The price at launch will be $1,000 (MSRP).

Also of note from CEDIA, Meridian discussed its Barco partnership that enables dealers to specify Barco projectors into Meridian projects. Dealers will have access to Media Series, Theatre Series, and top-of-the-range Cinema-at-home Series projectors. The brand partnership will complement Meridian and Barco Residential’s existing distribution channels, all of which remain unchanged.

Emphasizing its commitment to the custom installation market, Meridian also showcased the DSP320, which the company calls the most discreet yet highest-performing in-wall/in-ceiling loudspeaker to date. The DSP320 was designed to save significant time, cost, and space for installers working on whole-home, home theater, super-yacht, single media room, and other high-end, high-performance projects. Within its 12-inch-square (300mm square) and 4-inch-deep (100mm deep) enclosure, the DSP320 contains all the system’s electronics—including digital analog converters—eliminating the need for any amplification on the rack for dramatically simplified installation. 

Meridian’s Sooloos streaming audio platform was also on display at CEDIA. Recent updates include deeper integration with a range of third-party control systems and storage options. New additions include a plugin that enables third-party Network Attached Storage (NAS) integration and a range of significant performance and hardware enhancements. 

Sooloos can now be integrated using Meridian Core storage options (with integrated endpoint) or a supported NAS device through a special QNAP plugin, giving integrators the freedom to specify their preferred storage product. Meridian has partnered with NAS supplier QNAP to provide Meridian dealers direct access to pre-configured and installed drivers for Meridian Sooloos systems. The system also features improved control options to embrace redesigned iPhone and iPad applications, and TouchPC control, alongside integration with a variety of third-party automation and control systems.