By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Gefen is coming to CE Week with its first USB audio product and with upgrades to a home-automation device that provides tablet and smartphone control of multiple home systems.
The USB audio product is the $999 Gefen Compact Pro Audio Package, which just began shipping and consists of a USB-to-audio decoder, a pair of speakers, and a two-channel amplifier.
The USB decoder fits in the palm of a hand and incorporates DAC to deliver computer audio to an amplifier or headset in up to 192kHz resolution. The palm-size device connects via USB to a computer, and the device features optical digital output, stereo analog output, and quarter-inch headphone jack for plugging in high-end headphones.
The USB-to-audio decoder connects to the GefenTV 2.1 2x50-watt audio amplifier, which incorporates two digital inputs and one analog input. The selected audio source is delivered as analog stereo to a pair of GefenTV speakers. If a multichannel-audio source is selected, the amplifier automatically down mixes the content to 2.1 channels. A powered subwoofer can be connected to the amp’s RCA output.
The system, which has begun shipping, also features Dolby Volume technology in the amplifier to automatically even out the different volume between different audio sources.
For home-automation installers, Gefen will unveil upgradesfor its $999 Gefen Audio / Video Automation System (GAVA) software-hardware solution. The 3.0 update ships in the next three to four weeks.
Upgrades include an events engine that lets installers program events, such as a “watch TV” event in which pressing a light switch or keypad in a home theater room automatically dims the lights, lowers the window shades, and turns on the TV and video source.
The 3.0 software also adds compatibility with the Lutron GRAFIK Eye QS lighting control system, which adjusts lights and Sivoia QS shades and drapery tracks.
Also new are the ability to restrict user access to the GAVA setup wizard, better organization of macros, and the ability to send IP or RS-232 strings from a macro without needing a device driver, a spokesperson told TWICE.
GAVA connects a home LAN to IP-controllable home systems to deliver control of home systems from a smartphone or tablet app or a PC’s web browser. A/V, lighting, and other home systems that are not IP-controllable can be integrated with GAVA via Gefen’s $799 PACS or $399 Mini-PACS bridge devices. The bridge devices convert IR and RS-232 signals to IP addresses so they can be controlled by GAVA. A GAVA app is available free for Android 4.2 and iOS mobile devices.
“The goal of GAVA has always been to bring automation to the home easily and with zero programming skills required,” said product manager Orrin Charm. “The new event triggers feature in GAVA 3.0 helps make this goal a reality.”
Gefen is based in Chatsworth, Calif.
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