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IntelliNet Merges Audio, Home-Control Systems

2/26/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

NAPLES, FLA. -IntelliNet Controls has introduced a distributed-audio system that can be expanded to deliver limited control over home subsystems such as lighting, HVAC, and motorized drapes and screens through optional in-wall keypads.

The RS 1000 audio system can also be upgraded with a planned Web-page server, called the RS IntelliServer, to allow for subsystem control and monitoring from remote PCs and from Web-enabled wireless phones, if the IntelliServer is connected to an always-on broadband modem. The IntelliServer is due in the second quarter at a targeted suggested retail of around $2,400 or less.

The RS 1000 audio system, which starts at a suggested $4,500, is a six-zone, six-source system with controller, six-zone preamp and six thin audio keypads. It can be expanded to 30 zones.

To control subsystems, installers can add up to four eight-relay Relay Controllers at a suggested $640 each and up to eight $800-suggested MagicPad programmable network keypads.

The MagicPad keypads provide the user interface to control contact-closure subsystems via the Relay Controller. A Relay Controller isn't needed to control IntelliNet-manufactured thermostats and damper controls, which when used will also enable the keypads to display temperatures in remote rooms.

Other manufacturers' lighting systems can be controlled through the Relay Controller or through IR.

Even without the subsystem-control components, the RS 1000 can be integrated with some home subsystems, though the supplied keypads won't control them.

For example, the RS 1000 can be integrated with a security system so that the audio turns off when the system is armed and the AC is turned down. It can also be tied into a doorbell system and driveway sensors, and when tied to a phone system, it can be turned into a one-way paging (not two-way intercom) system.

The IntelliServer, which can be connected to a broadband modem (via wired Ethernet connection or via wireless PC card), serves up Web pages for IntelliNet thermostats and IntelliNet's distributed-audio system. When major lighting companies begin offering Web-page interfaces, spokesman Richard Glaeser said, remote-PC control of lighting will also be possible.

"Anyone who presents their systems as a Web page can be accessed, and we expect many subsystems to do so in future," he said.

When the system is connected to the Web, the optional MagicPad in-wall touchscreen will be able to display Web-based information on demand, such as local weather and traffic, select stock quotations and e-mail notification, Glaeser noted. The company is working out licensing agreements with websites such as weather.com and traffic.com and is still determining whether the service will be fee-based or free with advertising.

With the IntelliServer and broadband modem installed, homeowners will also be able to use any manufacturer's battery-operated wireless Web pad to control home subsystems anywhere from inside and around the house.

The RS 1000 also comes with a new optional handheld IR remote and in-wall IR receivers to control all home systems.

The new $150-suggested-retail IR remote option, available mid-February, consists of an in-wall audio keypad with IR receiver that lets users control the distributed audio system via a handheld remote.

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