Suppliers went to the CEDIA Expo to unveil products that go over the counter as well as in the wall.
Denon and Linn, for example, showed their first DVD-receivers, with Denon's packaged with a speaker system. And Sharp reentered the DVD-receiver market with a model due in December with speakers, DD/DTS decoders, and 6x25-watt amplification at a suggested $1,799. Its first product, launched in 1999, retailed for a suggested $899.
For the custom trade, here's what other suppliers showed:
Atlantic Technology: The company expanded its custom portfolio with its first dual-tweeter, dual-voice-coil architectural speaker, the $350-each 8-inch in-ceiling 8CMS. A switch lets users switch to stereo sound, mono sound (for use as a left- or right-channel speaker), or a diffuse soundfield (by switching the tweeters out of phase). A 6-inch $250 model delivers the same options depending on how they're wired by an installer. Shipments are planned for October or November.
Atlantic also showed its first multichannel amp, a six-zone 12x85-watt model bridgeable to six channels with selectable active EQ points for each channel pair at 70Hz or 55Hz. It's targeted to ship in January at around $2,000-$2,500.
Bose: Its first hideaway amplifier/ Dolby Digital 5.1 processor replaces an amp with built-in matrix-surround processing. The TA-1 also features VideoStagte 5 processing to derive a 5.1-channel soundfield from mono, stereo, and matrixed-surround sources. It can be controlled via a supplied IR sensor and integrated with RS-232-based home-control systems.
The SE-1 System Expander, connected via CAT5, adds control of five sources.
Imerge: The company expanded its SoundServer hard-disc recorder/server lineup to five SKUs from two with a $2,000 single-zone 80GB model, a $3,000 two-zone 80GB model, and a $4,000 three-zone 80GB model. They join a $1,500 40GB one-zone model and the high-end M1000 expandable to six zones and to 225GB.
All models can be expanded at a later date to add an extra zone with the addition of the Thin Client. It consists of an LCD touchscreen and connected receiver, which uses CAT5 to send commands to a SoundServer and receive audio signals from a SoundServer.
Thin Client pricing was unavailable.
Dynaudio: The company launched its first in-wall speaker.
Jamo: It extended its architectural speaker line with a new series starting at $129/pair compared to a previous opening price of $249/pair.
The series includes the company's an in-wall switchable bipole/dipole speaker that doesn't stick out of the wall (at $599/pair). In the prior version, angled baffles stuck out of the wall.
The company also showed its first in-wall with a tweeter/midrange combination that rotates to allow for horizontal or vertical installation. The tweeter also tilts to compensate for less-than-optimum speaker-mounting locations.
Sonic Blue: The company is targeting its ProGear wireless Web pad, previously available to vertical markets, to the custom residential market for the first time. The device uses the IEEE 802.11b home-network standard and can be integrated with home-control systems from such companies as AMX and Crestron. It retails for $2,000-$2,700 depending on configuration.