Colorado vNet Taps New Markets

By Joseph Palenchar On Sep 17 2007 - 6:00am

Colorado vNet branched out beyond multiroom audio and wired lighting control to add control of other-brand HVAC and security systems and introduce its first ZigBee-based wireless lighting system.

With planned interfaces due in October, the company's wired in-wall touchscreens will control Aprilaire thermostats and Honeywell security systems, the company explained here at the CEDIA Expo. Control of additional brands is in the works. A Multilink bridging module also due in October will connect the company's first wireless ZigBee in-wall dimmers and lamp modules to vNet's wired lighting system and wired in-wall touchscreens. The ZigBee interface, intended for retrofit installs, enables installers to expand a previously installed wired vNet lighting system without tearing up walls.

The company's multiroom-audio touchscreens, which incorporate 2x35-watt digital amps and DSP, stream IP-based audio via an Ethernet network from the company's music server/multiroom hub. The touchscreens also amplify music from legacy analog sources, which must be connected to the Ethernet network via analog-to-IP converter boxes. The touchscreens also control vNet's wired lighting systems.

The HVAC interface will cost a minimum of $1,000, enabling HVAC control from five touchscreens, to $4,500 for HVAC control from 40 touchscreens. The security interface will cost the same.

The company's ZigBee lineup consists of one- to four-button wall dimmers at a suggested $180 to $265, a $230 lamp dimmer, $250 lamp switch, and $330 Multilink module. In the first quarter, the company plans to offer a ZigBee module with RS-232 and IR ports, a timer module, and an input/output module.

In other product enhancements, the company plans by year's end to offer CCTV monitoring to its touchscreens, which will display IP-based video from select security cameras, including Panasonic models. By year's end, the company also plans to deliver on-demand weather reports to the touchscreens.

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