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Xantech Pitches Products For New Market Realities

5/23/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

CARLSBAD, CALIF. – Xantech is launching
new products designed for what it says
are the new realities of a downsized custom-
installation market.

The 40-year-old company is “stepping
back and adapting to the new circumstances,”
said Xantech president Graham
Hallett.

The new realities include residential
systems-integration companies that have downsized
their staffs, Hallett said. Another is the diversification
of residential installers into the commercial market to
offset lost residential opportunities. Commercial installers,
likewise, have also cut their staffs and branched out
into the residential market, he said.

With the lines blurring between residential and commercial
installers, Xantech is introducing products that
will help residential installers cross over into the commercial
market and help commercial installers enter the
residential market, Hallet said. The products will be sold
through commercial and residential channels.

One of the new products, QuickConfig programming
software for the recently shipped MX-88 A/V multizone
controller/amplifier, will also help installation companies
cope with smaller staffs by reducing system programming
to anywhere from five to 10 minutes without the
use of a PC, the company promised. For more sophisticated
applications, however, installers can still connect
a computer to program the MX88.

The eight-source, 16-zone MX88 will help installers
cross over because they will be able to install the same
product the same way whether installed in residential or
commercial venues, the company noted.

QuickConfig requires the use of new hybrid MRKP
keypad/touchpanels and new SmartPanel LCD touchscreens,
which prompt installers through the set-up
process to program sources and zones. A/V sources
can include Xantech or other-brand components.

The MX88 can also be used to control other home
systems, such as HVAC, lights, drapes, security and video surveillance cameras.

The MX88 is shipping in three versions. One is the
$4,000 audio-only MX88A. The $5,000 MX88AI adds
IP control and web server to enable remote control over
Wi-Fi from any web-browsing device, including tablets,
smartphones, portable media player (PMPs) and
PCs. No apps are needed. The $6,000 MX88VI adds
multizone video through composite video outputs and
component-video-over-CAT5 outputs. It also features IP
control from Apple’s handheld devices.

The controller/amplifier can be controlled from three
new in-wall LCD Smart Panel touchscreens, due this
month, and from multiple MKRP hybrid keypad/touchpanels,
which are already available.

The touchscreens consist of one 4.3-inch model and
two 7-inch models priced from $999 to $1,999. The
MKRP keypad/touchpanels range from $199 to $600.

Also to help residential installers cross over into commercial
installs, the company plans June/July shipment
of three single-SKU IR kits, each designed for specific
commercial applications and to eliminate the need for
installers to aggregate different parts. The $180 CIRP
kit is designed to control a single projector or display.
The $250 CIRS is intended for installation in conference
rooms and classrooms in which several audio/
video devices might not be in the same location in the
room. And the $420 CIRV is designed for large venues
such as churches with different devices located in different
locations in a room or hall.