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Schneider Electric Adds Multi-Room Audio to Square D System

The new multi-room audio extension provides audio distribution and control throughout an entire home as well as integrates into the Square D Clipsal lighting control system.

Palatine, IL–Schneider Electric has extended its Square D Clipsal lighting control system with the addition of its Multi Room Audio product line. The new Multi Room Audio offer provides audio distribution and control throughout an entire home or just one room if desired and seamlessly integrates into the Square D Clipsal lighting control system to form one simple control system. With the Square D Clipsal lighting control system, preprogrammed mood or scene lighting is available at the touch of a button, and easy-to-read LED switch indicators provide users with illumination and constant status feedback. Forthcoming additions to the system will allow further integration with full automation programs that include HVAC controls, security, irrigation and others in both residential and commercials settings.

To this point, our focus for the Square D Clipsal system was primarily lighting control, said Brad Wills, director of installation systems and control. Now, starting with the addition of Multi Room Audio, were expanding the systems control over other components in a home or business. As a leading global provider of integrated and automated lighting and control systems, Schneider Electric is uniquely capable of connecting such components into one interface for easy use and installation.

The most common method of control for both the Square D Clipsal lighting control system and new Multi Room Audio is via wall-mounted keypads, such as the Neo and Saturn, and either an available black-and-white or color touch screen. When incorporated into a Square D Clipsal system, these wall-mounted devices provide a stylish, modern alternative to the standard look of electrical wall switches. Square D Clipsal Saturn or Neo keypads with Dynamic Labeling Technology (DLT) can control up to eight functions from a single keypad, including lighting or audio controls. Each button displays editable text or graphics to indicate the room, custom-designed lighting scene or audio levels it controls.

Other main components of the Multi Room Audio system include a Square D Clipsal matrix switcher, desktop amplifier and remote amplifiers. The matrix switcher is installed in a central location together with audio sources such as a radio tuner, CD player, iPod personal music player and digital TV set top box, and connections are made to the amplifiers and to the Clipsal C-Bus network. Amplifiers are then installed in each room where audio is to be distributed and are connected to speakers and also the C-Bus network.

Using the keypads or touch screens, or the controls on the desktop amplifier, each amplifier can select different audio sources and adjust the volume, bass and treble. The remote amplifiers are controlled entirely by the input devices and have no controls on their front panel. Also available is an optional audio distribution unit, which allows a single stereo audio input to be added to the digital input of the matrix switcher. It also allows one distributable stereo audio input to be plugged into the amplifiers when no matrix switcher is used (when amplifiers are used in stand-alone mode).

A typical Multi Room Audio system distributes up to four stereo analog audio inputs five if an audio distribution unit is used and one stereo optical digital audio input. These inputs are distributed to up to eight zones, each consisting of one or more amplifiers. Additionally, each amplifier is capable of accepting a local stereo audio input, providing up to seven stereo audio channels for each amplifier.

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