By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Oxmoor, a Birmingham, Ala.-based commercial-sound company, entered the residential market during the CEDIA Expo.
The company has been the exclusive provider of sound systems to Imax theaters and has developed and installed custom sound systems for stadiums, boardrooms, churches and the Smithsonian.
The company, which was sold by Imax in 2001 to its original founders, entered the residential distributed-audio market with its ZON system, which takes advantage of structured CAT-5e and CAT-6 structured wiring to distribute audio and control data in digital form to multiple rooms from a central A/V rack.
It's due in December at an unannounced price. It's designed to "fill a hole in the middle" of the distributed-audio market, the company claimed.
At the high end, competing distributed-audio products cost anywhere from $590 to $1,000 per room, excluding sources and speakers, said sales and marketing VP Joe Bennett. The low end is dominated by systems costing $200 to $233 per room, he said.
Under Oxmoor's solution, up to nine sources connect to an Oxmoor router through the router's analog, digital coax, and optical Toslink inputs. The router connects via CAT-5 or CAT-6 to a wall plate called a ZON Input Xpander, which converts any analog signals to digital. Digital-audio and control signals are then sent from the Xpander over CAT-5e or CAT-6 to a wall plate, called a ZON Power Controller, at light-switch height in other rooms.
Each Controller incorporates a 2x30-watt into 8 ohms Class D amplifier to power directly connected in-wall speakers, eliminating the need for long speaker-wire runs that degrade sound and reduce the efficiency of amplifiers in a central A/V rack.
The Power Controller also features an IR receiver to send control signals from a hand-held IR remote. The controller also features an analog-audio input to amplify a local source.
Each power controller can also double as an intercom station or baby monitor.
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