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Multiroom-AV Options Multiply

Multiroom AV manufacturers are coming up with new options for shuttling audio and video signals around the house.

Multiroom AV manufacturers are coming up with new options for shuttling audio and video signals around the house.

Autonomic’s (Booth 3825) TuneBridge feature lets users explore new music across multiple streaming services and local content. When a song plays, a single button press can jump to the entire album on Rhapsody or create a new Pandora station based on the artist or title. The company also is adding new features to its Mirage Audio System (MAS) multiroom music-server systems, including a redesigned UI, streaming of Slacker Radio and SiriusXM Radio 2.0, and access to the Gracenote database.

CasaTunes (Booth 3840) is showing new UPnP and DLNA upgrades to its multiroom media servers/multiroom-audio systems, which distribute music to wireless and wired speakers and multi-zone AV receivers. The upgrades add the capability to play music stored on a networked PC’s Windows or iTunes music libraries and on Network Attached Storage devices with UPnP built-in. The servers also play music from mobile and portable devices running Universal Plug and Play media server based Apps.

Accell (Booth 3842) is launching an UltraCat HDMI extender that uses HDBaseT Lite technology to transfer HDMI audio, video and control signals from point to point over a single Cat-5e/6 cable1080p. Because the solution offers Power Over Cable (POC), a power adapter is unnecessary at the receiving end.

Control4 (Booth 608) is debuting five new AV-distribution products, including the company’s first HDMI matrix switcher, an audio matrix switcher, and a new four-zone and new eight-zone amp. The lineup consists of an HDMI matrix switcher with HDBaseT, an HDBaseT receiver, an audio matrix switcher, a four-zone amplifier, and an eight-zone amp. The HDMI switcher is an 8×8 model that transmits full 1080p 2D or 3D video, multichannel audio, Ethernet, and RS-232 (serial) and infrared (IR) control signals over a single Cat-5e or Cat-6 cable.

Fusion Research’s (Booth 812) latest Ovation Wireless Players are on display, letting installers connect up to 16 players to an Ovation multiroom-audio server, which integrates with control systems from ELAN, RTI, Savant, Control4, Crestron, AMX, and others. The server can also be controlled from Android and iOS apps. Fusion sells its solution only through the integrator channel.

HydraConnect (Booth 1529) is introducing four new HDMI matrix switchers up to 16×16. Two of the switchers feature new, proprietary DSP technology that enables multiple zones to simultaneously play stereo or multichannel Dolby Digital audio simultaneously from the same source. This feature also enables the switchers to send analog stereo signals to a distributed audio system.

Niles (Booth 1120) is showcasing its newest Systems Integration amplifiers, which consist of five new models for either home theater or multizone use. Three are two-channel amps, and the other two are 12- and 16-channel models. In multi-zone amps, the 12×30-watt (into 8 ohms) and SI-1230 multi-zone 16×50-watt (into 8 ohms) are available. All five amps feature three turn-on modes: music sensing, external voltage trigger, and manual turn-in via front-panel switch.

Russound (Booth 2204) is offering a pair of wireless-audio products. One is the Xstream X5, a networked tabletop music-streamer/amplifier that can be used to create a decentralized 16-zone wireless-audio system if 16 X5 devices are added to a home network.

WASP (Booth 3742) is showcasing its LINK-Family of wireless audio systems for in-wall, on-wall, and in-room speakers. The system designed for on-wall speakers consists of two wall-mount brackets and two behind-the-wall wireless receiver/amplifiers. Each receiver/amp gets low-voltage power via a DC wire that runs behind the wall to a DC connection plate installed close to the floor. On the front of the plate, a DC input connects to a wall-wart DC power supply plugged into a nearby AC outlet. The company recently hired former NAD and D&M employee Jeff Talmadge as VP of technology and training.

Enado is Wyrestorm’s (Booth 631) first product outside of its range of HD splitters, matrix switchers, extenders, upscalers, converters, and cables to distribute HD video over HDMI, coax, Cat5e/6/7 and fiber-optic cables. It is a controller for audio and video distribution and automation control targeted to mid-range residential applications. Enado’s software includes a no-programming, browser-based configuration tool backed by a comprehensive IR database, IR device editor, and IR learner as well as RS-232 and IP control options.