Ft. Collins, Colo. — CasaTools has begun shipping the $1,199-suggested CasaTunes XLe and the $2,199 CasaTunes XLe Music Server products for larger homes, multi-home dwellings and offices.
Both leverage PCs as music-server sources and the control centers of custom-installed multi-room-audio systems.
The XLe consists of a PCI-e card, which effectively operates as a multizone, multisource matrix switcher and a separate expansion box. Together, they create a nine-source/12-zone system that can be expanded to 48 zones with the addition of three more expansion boxes. A current CasaTunes system provides 12 audio zones.
Five of the nine sources are PC-based, and four are external sources. PC-based sources include HDD-stored songs in the iTunes and Windows Media applications, the ShoutCast Internet music service, Internet radio stations, and USB-connected iPods and iPhones. Sources six through nine are external connected source. It also integrates with home theaters, doorbells and paging systems. It ships with CasaTunes software and audio-only HDMI cable to connect to the expansion module.
The XLe Music Server includes the music-serving PC, which comes pre-installed with the XLe PCI-e card, expansion box, CasaTunes software, 250GB HDD and a built-in touchscreen.
To go with the systems, CasaTunes offers multichannel amplifiers, such as the CasaTunes XLa, and it plans March shipments of CasaTunes Keypads. The systems can also be controlled by such Web-based control devices as UMPCs, Internet tablets, laptops and other PC’s on the network. Provided software also enables PC control of Russound and NuVo custom-installed multiroom systems.