The AVC Group has developed a way to integrate the Niles-branded IntelliControl ICS multi-room-audio system with one of Elan’s g! home-system controllers, giving installers an opportunity to upgrade previously installed Niles systems.
The development is part of the AVC Group’s “commitment to pursue a long-term complementary product-development strategy while maintaining the strength and integrity of each individual brand,” said group president Mark Terry. Nortek-owned AVC also owns the Xantech, Sunfire and Aton brands.
At a minimum, the new option gives Niles installers that qualify to sell Elan products, and vice versa, the opportunity to offer wireless Wi-Fi control of a Niles system from an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Niles dealers would also get the opportunity to add an “affordable bridge” that integrates control of multiple home systems with control of a Niles audio system.
To make these capabilities possible, Elan added Niles drivers to the $1,100 g! series HC4 controller, enabling RS-232 communication between the controller and Niles’s 12x60-watt GXR2 six-source,six-zone receiver, which can be linked with other GXR2 receivers to create a 30-zone audio system.
An HC4 added to a Niles system will deliver wireless Wi-Fi control from Apple’s mobile devices, but installers could also connect multiple home systems to the controllers’ multiple wired inputs and outputs to control those systems. To control the systems, installers would also have to swap out previously installed Niles in-wall keypads for Elan g! series touchpads and touchscreens. The new touchpads and touchscreens would reuse the currently installed CAT-5 cables that ran to the Niles keypads, though new terminations would be needed to plug in the Elan touchpads and touchscreens. Installers would also have to enlarge the Niles keypad cutout.
The six-zone Niles GXR2 features six bays to add a mix of AM/FM tuner modules, HD Radio modules, satellite-radio modules, iPod-interface modules, and source-input modules that connect to music servers and other outboard music sources. The GXR2 also streams Pandora Internet Radio, the Rhapsody music service and music stored on a networked PC. More than 15,000 Niles systems have been installed since its launch in 2005.
Elan’s g! series controllers, including the HC4, offer more limited multi-room-audio options than the Niles system, with the HC4 featuring only one audio- output zone. It connects to outboard networkattached storage drives to distribute audio.
“This initial integration of the Niles ICS system with the Elan g! control platform makes it possible for our loyal base of Niles ICS customers to immediately access the benefits of whole home automation featured in the Elan g! control system,” Terry said.