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ATON To Add CAT-5 Video Router

Lexington, Ken. — Elan’s ATON division plans mid-August shipments of its first video-distribution system to complement its low-cost multiroom audio systems.

The HDR44 is a four-source, four-zone video router system that uses two CAT-5 cables to deliver HD video up to 1080p, analog stereo audio and S/PDIF digital audio to each of four zones while allowing IR control of the remote video source from each room. The system cuts the end-user’s labor and materials costs by up to 40 percent by eliminating runs of coax cables and control wires to each zone costs and by eliminating programming, said ATON GM Bob Williams.

The system can be expanded to eight zones with the addition of a second HDR44.

A $1,899-suggested HDR44 kit consists of the HDR44 video router, four receiving wall plates, and four surface-mount IR receivers for use with a handheld IR remote, and one slim IR remote. Universal remotes can also be used to control the remote sources. An additional HDR44 costs $1,299, and additional wallplates are $199 each.

Each wallplate features component-video outputs for connection to a display, two analog-stereo outputs for connection to a stereo system, and a digital SP/DIF output for connection to a surround-sound system.

The brand’s audio products include the forthcoming multiroom-audio system based on the Digi-5 platform, which other Linear-owned brands also plan to offer. ATON will be the first of the Linear-owned brands to ship a Digi5-based system in August.

First announced at least year’s CEDIA Expo, Digi5 technology will create a high-performance four-source, four-zone multiroom-audio systems for about $2,000, including ATON Storm series architectural speakers but excluding source components and installation costs, the division said. Digi5-based components will interoperate regardless of brand, but they will give brands the flexibility to develop their own user interfaces.

Digi5 will expand the market, Linear contends, because of the performance it achieves at an entry-level price and because of the combined marketing clout and market share of the Linear companies promoting the platform.

Affordability is achieved in part by plug-and-play compatibility that makes installer programming unnecessary and by simplified wire runs that use a single CAT-5 cable to deliver power, two-way communication, and noise-immune, no-loss balanced differential digital audio to in-wall keypads. The keypads in turn incorporate 2×30-watt digital amplifier to drive in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. The keypads also use digital signal processors to perform bass, treble, and balance functions in the digital domain.

The hub of a Digi5 system will be available in two basic forms: a rack-style hub that fits in an A/V equipment rack and a structured-wiring hub. All will be expandable to 28 zones.

The company’s audio products also include the DLA series of speaker-level audio “routers,” touted as bringing RF and IR remote-control options for the first time to low-cost multiroom audio systems built around speaker selectors. From touchpads installed in multiple rooms, consumers turn a speaker router on and off, independently adjust a single room’s volume level, and mute the room’s output. Using the touchpad’s built-in IR receiver makes it possible to use a third-party handheld IR remote to control central sources from a remote room.

In its DLA series, ATON offers two-, four- and six-room selectors at suggested retails of $299 to $499, RF remote kits for each at $99 to $139, and the planned touchpads at $149 each.