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Satellite Radio Hovers Over CEDIA Expo

9/05/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

INDIANAPOLIS — The push is on to deliver component-based satellite radio through home theater systems and distributed-audio systems at more affordable prices and with a greater variety of brand names.

Here at the CEDIA Expo, at least four receiver brands — Integra, Onkyo, Pioneer Elite and Harman Kardon — will show their first XM-ready A/V receivers, joining expanded selections from Denon and Yamaha. Prices will starts at a suggested $500 for an Onkyo model.

Installers will also find dedicated satellite-radio tuners turning up from at least two more suppliers: Niles, which will show its first XM and Sirius products, and Russound, which will show its first component Sirius tuner.

In addition there are said to be two industry firsts:

• Two-channel XM-ready AM/FM receivers, at prices down to a suggested $399, will turn up in the Yamaha booth.

• An XM-ready HDD music server will go on exhibit in the Yamaha booth.

During last year’s CEDIA Expo, Control4 and Krell showed their first products, joining expanded selections from such companies as ADA and Antex. All were dedicated tuners or tuner modules.

Here’s what installers will find this year:

Crestron: The company is expanding its satellite-radio commitment with the launch of its first two receiver-based distributed-audio systems, the 12-channel ADAD (Adagio Audio Distribution system) and 12-channel Adagio ADES (Adagio Entertainment System).

The ADAD includes built-in AM/FM tuner and built-in XM satellite tuner. The ADES version lacks built-in tuners but features three tuner-card slots. Each slot accepts a dual AM/FM tuner, AM/FM/XM tuner, or AM/FM/Sirius tuner.

In satellite radio, Crestron previously offered only a component XM tuner. The $2,400-suggested ADAD and $3,600 ADES ship in September.

Denon: The company is expanding its selection of XM-ready A/V receivers to four from one. Models at a suggested $699, $1,299 and $1,999 join the $3,499 AVR-4806, introduced earlier this year. The AVR-4306 at a suggested $1,999 is XM-ready and features HDMI up-conversion and automatic room equalization. It ships in October in silver and black. The $1,299 AVR-3806 adds multiple features over the model it will replace, including XM-ready capability, HDMI switching and automatic room EQ. The AVR-2106, at a suggested $699, adds XM-ready capability and room EQ to its predecessor’s feature list. It is due in August in black.

Integra: Four new A/V receivers are all XM-ready and due in November at suggested retails of $600, $800, $1,000 and $1,400. All are two-source, two-zone

models with Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT) delivering a frequency response of 5Hz to 100kHz. All transcode composite and S-video to 480i component video; feature defeatable bass management for DVD-Audio and SACD playback; and offer 12-volt trigger outputs, IR ins and outs, and RS-232 ports.

The $600 DTR-4.6 is a 5.1-channel model with 5x90-watt output. Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6 and 6.1- and 7.1-channel surround formats become available in the $800 DTR-5.6. The $1,000 DTR-6.6 and $1,400 DTR-7.6 add THX Select2 certification, which provides THX Surround EX processing modes.

Niles: The company’s latest receiver-based distributed-audio system, the

IntelliControl ICS (Integrated Control Solutions), is the company’s first modular receiver. It accepts XM and Sirius tuner cards, source-input cards and iPod-control cards.

The $2,799-suggested GXR2 receiver is a six-source, six-zone receiver with 12x60-watt amp. Due in the first quarter factory-direct to dealers, the receiver features six bays for incorporating a mix of AM/FM tuner modules, XM modules, Sirius modules, iPod-interface modules and source-input modules to integrate CD changers, music servers, and the like. iPod and satellite-radio metadata and AM/FM station frequency numbers can be displayed on the system’s keypads, touch screens and two-way remote.

The XM tuner is a suggested $499; the Sirius tuner is $599, and the AM/FM tuner is $249.

NuVo: The company, which announced XM plans at last year’s Expo, will show its first two satellite-radio products, which recently began shipping. One is a dual-XM tuner, the NV-T2DX, allowing for the simultaneous streaming of two XM channels through a distributed-audio system. It retails for a suggested $1,399. At $1,099, NuVo offers the dual-tuner NV-T2FX with one XM tuner and an AM/FM/weatherband tuner.

Both use coaxial connections to an active XM antenna that can be placed up to 120 feet away for best reception.

Onkyo: The brand’s first three XM-ready A/V receivers are the $1,000-suggested TX-SR803, $800 TX-SR703 and $500 TX-SR603X. The top two are THX Select2-certified. All are 7.1-channel models that connect to Onkyo’s iPod control dock to control iPods. The top model adds two HDMI inputs. They are rated at 7x105 watts, 7x100 watts and 7x90 watts into 8-ohm loads, respectively, and ship in October.

Pioneer: The company's first two XM-ready receivers are the Elite series $1,700-suggested VSX-74TXVi and $1,400 VSX-72TXi. The three-zone models also control connected iPods and can play three separate sources simultaneously. Their built-in seven-channel amplifiers drive two zones, while the third zone is driven, via a digital output, by an outboard amplifier with digital input.

In single-zone and multizone modes, they stream one XM channel and one iPod song at a time. When the receivers are connected to two-way RS-232-based distributed-audio systems, satellite-radio and iPod menus appear on remote touch screens if the touch screens have a live video window that could display the receivers' OSD.

Russound: The company is having it both ways, adding an AM/FM/Sirius satellite tuner to complement its current AM/FM/XM model. The ST2S will be available in September at a suggested $1,199. Metadata can be displayed on Russound’s keypads and touch screens via Russound R-NET controllers.

Terk: The Audiovox brand will launch an outdoor XM antenna that can be mounted up to 300 feet from a component tuner or Plug and Play tuner. The $79.95-suggested XM6 antenna uses RG-6 cable, which can be extended up to 300 feet by using two optional amplifiers, one for every 100 feet of cable. The amp’s suggested retail is $19.95.

Yamaha: The company is expanding XM-ready capability to two more models. The two A/V receivers, the $1,099-suggested RX-V1600 and $1,399 RX-V2600, are seven-channel models that are the company’s second and third models with amplified three-zone output, enabling them to serve as the core of a

six-source distributed-audio system. A fourth zone can be added by using the speaker B output. They ship in October.

The $1,399 model is Yamaha’s first with up-scaling HDMI output to deliver 720p or 1,080i from a DVD player. Each model also features HDMI 1.1 input to receive digital-domain DVD-Audio signals for decoding.

Two XM-ready two-channel receivers are the $549-suggested 2x100-watt RX-797 and $399 RX-497, both with second-zone output. Each features two-channel amps with second-zone preout, extended IR codes, and second-zone on/off button and volume control.

In music servers, Yamaha plans October shipments of its second-generation model, the $2,199-suggested MCX-2000, which adds FM tuner, Internet radio compatibility and XM-ready capability.