By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Monster announced significant additions to its suite of power products at its CEDIA Expo press conference.
Among them: the Digital Express Powernet 200, which uses existing home power lines to deliver "Ethernet Anywhere" HDMI content distribution throughout a house.
The PowerNet 200, on display in Monster's booth, is the first in what head Monster Noel Lee called "a planned family of Digital Express digital connectivity solutions currently in development at Monster using HomePlug Powerline networking technology."
"Reliable high-speed network connectivity to home entertainment equipment such as Blu-ray players, game consoles and networked A/V receivers is going to be necessary to deliver high-definition downloaded content, online gaming and personal media to every television and computer in the home. Using the existing electrical wiring in a home to deliver these services provides the speed necessary to support multiple streams of HD content," Lee said .
Lee cited new video sources such as IP/Ethernet TVs, streaming and DMA devices from Netflix/Roku, Vudu, Apple TV and gaming consoles that allow downloading of movies and video, as the driver for demand for such a product.
The PowerNet 200 uses Intellon's advanced IC chipset, a HomePlug AV-based solution with PHY rates of 200Mbps, the fastest HomePlug solution now available, according to Lee.
The 200 isolates the high frequencies necessary to carry high throughput data and protects those frequencies with special filters, enhancing the data transmission speeds and accuracy, Monster said. It is capable of carrying up to four HD data streams throughout a home over existing electrical wiring.
The Powernet 200 is sold individually for $149, or a packaged pair for $289. It will begin shipping in October.
Monster also introduced three additions to its line of GreenPower PowerCenters that cut energy to hibernating components.
Three Monster GreenPower Digital Life products, the MDP 900 ($129), MDP 800 ($99) and MPD 650 ($69.95) PowerCenters, are aimed at PC users and are an extension to the company's line of IR PowerCenters for home theater systems.
Here's how they work: The computer is plugged into the labeled GreenPower Control outlet, and connected PC peripherals (printer, monitor, scanner, loudspeakers, etc.) into the individually labeled GreenPower-controlled outlets. When the computer is turned off or goes to sleep, the other GreenPower outlets automatically switch off, eliminating the energy wasted by peripheral components when they're not in use. When the computer powers up, the GreenPower outlets automatically power the peripherals up again. Users can also plug their modem, wireless router and printer into unswitched outlets to keep their wireless network and printing up and running while the main computer system is off.
They are available now.
New to the Monster Power line of home theater PowerCenters — the BlackOut 900 and BlackOut 650 have solid gloss-black finishes that, when turned on, identify outlets with color-coded application indicator lights.
Lee admitted that the cosmetics were "borrowed from the new iPod [Touch]."
Both models are engineered to protect against common and frequent power surges, spikes and dips in AC power and feature advanced ceramic-encased metal oxide varistors for fire protection.
The BlackOut 900 provides more than 3,780 joules of surge-absorption capacity. Monster's Tri-Mode circuitry automatically disconnects A/V equipment from dangerous AC power conditions, isolating components from potential damage from both live and neutral power lines. An audible alarm signals when the PowerCenter has protected connected components.
The step-down BlackOut 650 offers more than 2,160 joules of surge absorption and utilizes Monster's Dual Mode Plus circuitry as well as Monster Clean Power HD Stage 1 filtering to remove the effects of dirty power for better picture and sound performance and reduce unnecessary wear on the components' digital circuitry.
The 950 has a suggested retail of $129. The 650 is $99.
They are available now.
Other introductions by Monster include three new conditioning PowerCenters for flat-panel TVs, the company's first uninterruptible power supply and a new formula for the Screenclean line of cleaning products including a new offering designed specifically for laptop screens.
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