Audio Briefs

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Sonance Makes Waves

San Clemente, Calif. - Sonance is offering a new line of in-wall speakers called Symphony Extreme (XT), which is designed for yachts, saunas and other high-moisture environments. The speakers ship at the end of January and have a shallow mounting depth of 2.5 inches. The models are the Symphony Extreme XT ($600 a pair), Extreme XTR round speakers ($600 a pair), and Extreme XSSTR single-enclosure round stereo speaker ($420 each).

More Control Over Homes

North Vancouver, BC - Scientia Technologies introduced Plexus Home and Life automation software, a hardware-independent home-automation solution that makes it possible for homeowners to control their entertainment systems through Pocket PCs, Palm-based devices, wireless phones, and upscale remote controls such as the Philips's Pronto. The system uses infrared, IP, X10 and Bluetooth commands to operate such devices as lights, thermostats and home security systems.

The solution, which will be available as a hobbyist product over the Internet and as an entry-level custom-installation product, can provide home control for less than $100, said company president Fred Pandolfi.

More HDTV In 5.1

San Francisco - All future Fox Sports' boadcasts in Fox Widescreen will be accompanied by Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, Dolby Labs said. Fox began 5.1-surround sports broadcasting with the NFC championship game to affiliates in Charlotte, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. NASCAR's Daytona 500 on February 16 was also broadcast in Fox Widescreen and 5.1

Fox is using Dolby E compression technology to transmit surround sound from remote trucks through its network and to local stations, where it's decoded and encoded into Dolby Digital 5.1 for deliver to TV sets.

Ripping Speed Accelerated

Los Gatos, Calif. - Imerge is offering a way for installers and retailers to speed up the ripping and encoding of music files onto hard-drive music servers based on its XiVA platform. The company is bundling a MediaLoader PC application with PowerFile's 200-disc storage system to rip and encode at 6x speed. Currently, consumers or installers using a XiVA-based music server can rip at 4x speed from a CD megachanger, the company said. The solution works with such music servers as Imerge's S2000, Marantz's DH9300, Onkyo's NAS 2.3, Elan's ViA!Dj, Revox's M57, and Sonance's Concierge.

MediaLoader works by ripping to a temporary file (on the PC) at approximately 6x normal speed and then encodes to MP3 before transferring it to the music server. Compression typically is faster than real time but depends on the spec of the PC running it.

When ripping CD's directly on a SoundServer, it works by ripping the media to disk at up to 4x speed as an uncompressed WAV file and then compresses it when the unit is idle (i.e. on, but not playing or recording).

AVAD Joins Alliance, Polk Joins AVAD

Fort Lauderdale - AVAD joined the Distributed Audio Alliance, a CEA-backed alliance designed to raise awareness of multiroom audio systems among consumers, homebuilders and installers.

AVAD's national network of custom-install distributors provides products, design and integration assistance, technical training, 24-hour coast-to-coast delivery to installers, and pick-up at a distributor location. AVAD distributors offer audio, video, security, cable, vacuum systems, structured wiring and other products.

One of its newest brands is Polk, which said it wants to increase its volume through the custom channel and has final say over which installers get its products. AVAD members will locally stock Polk products and help recruit dealers who fit Polk's dealer profile. Polk's existing dealers will have the option of buying direct from Polk or AVAD or a combination of the two.


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