By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Meridian has developed a component that makes it practical to integrate Meridian’s active in-room and in-wall DSP speakers into multi-room audio and home-control systems from other brands.
The component is the $1,500 Meridian Distributor 3, a multi-room audio source switcher to connect central music sources to Meridian’s active in-room and in-wall DSP speakers in up to three zones.
The Distributor 3, which is shipping, also sends music to Meridian component-based home entertainment systems in other rooms, each equipped with their own local sources.
Multiple Distributors can be installed to add more zones, and all can be controlled via RS-232 from the in-wall keypads and touchscreens of multi-room audio and home-control systems from other brands.
The Distributor 3 features multiple types of source inputs for each zone: Meridian-proprietary digital SpeakerLink input to connect the company’s SpeakerLink-equipped sources, one analog stereo input whose input signal is converted to 24-bit/96kHz digital, one coax S/PDIF digital input, and one USB Type B input.
Outputs for each zone include a SpeakerLink-equipped output to drive Meridian’s SpeakerLink-equipped digital active speakers via RJ-45 cable. SpeakerLink also conveys two-way control signals. Another output per zone is a coax S/PDIF.
Via the Distributor, Meridian’s DSP speakers can be controlled via other-brand home-control systems or via handheld IR remote.
In the past, the company’s DSP speakers could be integrated into other-brand multi-room audio systems, but integration required a Meridian preamplifier that was often cost prohibitive, said product management director Ken Forsythe. Meridian’s in-wall DSP speakers had been used primarily as home theater speakers in the past, he said.
The company already offers multizone music servers that distribute audio to multiple zones on a stand-alone basis or when integrated into other-brand multi-room audio systems.
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