By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Lexington, Ken.— Elan is broadening its base with the late-second-quarter launch of a six-source, six-zone distributed-audio system retailing for a suggested $2,900, its lowest priced system to date. The System 6 will join higher priced Elan custom-install systems that distribute both audio and video. Like its higher priced companions, the system can be integrated into System 6 can also be mated with another Elan product to turn a distributed-audio system into a telecom/door-answering system. Elan heralds the system as offering more sources, more zones and more power than any other basic multi-zone system on the market. The system includes the Integrated Multi-Zone Controller, featuring six-source six-zone capability and 12x40-watt amplifier. It also comes with the S050 Simplified Keypad, a single-gang Decora-style keypad featuring IR receiver and large buttons to select sources, control volume, and turn the system on and off. They also feature Do-Not-Disturb buttons. Keypads are available in White, Ivory and Almond. The next closest Elan system in price is the System Z distributed-A/V system, which features six zones but will be upgraded to double that.
Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Home Director is using ITT Industries technology to offer a home-network system that distributes audio, video, PC data, telephone service, security service, and control signals throughout the house over a shared Cat-5 cable. The technology, called DiLAN, is available in a new structured wiring system built around Home Director's Network Connection Center, a centrally located control cabinet that connects to RJ-45 outlets in multiple rooms. The system uses flexible and inexpensive CAT-5 cable, making it unnecessary to run multiple types of cable, such as coaxial video cable, speaker wires and phone wiring. It also gives consumers the flexibility to change the use of a room without having to rewire it, the company said. Via an outboard adapter, each household product could be connected to a single jack via an outboard adapter.
North Reading, Mass. — Rotel plans spring shipments of a 7.2-channel preamp processor that can be mated with a new eight-channel amp, which also operates as a multroom amp. The $1,499-suggested RSP-1066 surround processor/ preamp decodes almost everything: Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital EX, DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6, HDCD, and MP3. On top of that, it provides proprietary surround programs for movies and music. It features eight audio outputs for 7.1-channel systems, 12-volt triggers, wideband component-video switching, independent remote-zone output, and RS-232 port for future software upgrades or connection to distributed-audio systems. The RMB-1048 amp, due in spring at a suggested $799, is rated at 8x 40 watts into 8 ohms (65 watts into 4 ohms). Buffered daisy-chained outputs permit the connection of additional 1048 amps to send audio to additional rooms or zones.
St. Louis— GPX has begun shipping products as part of its continuing effort to expand into new categories and deliver value at step-up price points, not just at promotional price points. The products include the company's first MP3-CD boombox and DVD-equipped HTiB systems. The C988 boombox, due in July at a suggested $69.97, features cassette recorder and playback of MP3-encoded CD-R discs. It will join the already available headphone MP-3 CD player at a suggested $69.97. It plays CD-R/RW disc, 45-second electronic shock protections for CDs, and 120-second shock protection for MP3 CDs. Three DVD-equipped HTiBs are available at suggested retails of $229.97 to $299.97. All lack AM/FM tuners but feature Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, playback of MP3-encoded CD-R/RW discs, and powered subwoofer. The opening-price model delivers 64 watts total RMS power at 10% THD. The two $299 top-end models, differentiated by color (silver and black), boost output to 113 watts at 10% THD.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.