Crestron Planning To Tap New Markets

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Rockleigh, N.J. — Audio/video “content aggregators,” 200-disc Blu-ray changers, whole-home distribution of HDMI video and a DIN-Rail structured-wiring system are among the new residential- market segments that custom supplier Crestron plans to tap.

Crestron’s ADMS-BR is a music server, surround processor, Blu-ray Disc player, music- and video-downloading and streaming appliance, and CD/DVD/BD management system that controls a connected 200-disc BD changer.

In taking its presence in HDD-equipped music servers to another level, Crestron plans March shipments of its Adagio Digital Media System (ADMS), which combines a three-zone HDD music server, 7.1-channel preamp processor/surround decoder, DVD or Blu-ray Disc player (depending on version purchased), Web browser and online music- and video-downloading and streaming appliance. It also operates as a CD/DVD/BD management system when connected to the ADC-200BR 200-disc BD changer, due in a separate but near-simultaneous launch. Music and video can be downloaded from Amazon as well as from MusicGiants and sister store VideoGiants.

Each DVD-equipped ADMS and BD-equipped ADMS-BR also serves as a client, allowing for the streaming of content, including DVD and Blu-ray movies, from one ADMS to another via Gigabit Ethernet network, said product manager John Pavlik.

To tie all the sources together, the systems will incorporate an exclusive WorldSearch function that searches the system’s local media library and Web-based sources, including free streaming sites, for specific movie titles or TV shows. Results are displayed onscreen or on a touchpanel, enabling selection for instant playback as streaming or downloadable media.

The base ADMS includes a standard DVD drive and 500GB internal RAID storage. The ADMS-BR features Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player and 1TB RAID storage. RAID 1 technology uses dual redundant hard drives to maintain two copies of data. System storage is expandable via the CEN-NAS-4TB network-attached storage (NAS) Appliance with RAID 5 support or via other NAS devices.

As a three-zone music server, the ADMS devices provide three stereo zones or two stereo zones plus one 7.1-channel home theater zone. As a surround processor, it decodes all surround format authorized for use on DVD discs and Blu-ray discs. The device doesn’t rip movie discs for storage on its HDD, but DVD content ripped by a PC using AnyDVD software can be transferred to the ADMS, Pavlik said.

Audio can be stored in the WMA, MP3, WMA lossless, FLAC, WAV and AAC formats. Video can be downloaded and stored in the WMV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Flash and AVI formats.

Up to five optional ADC-200BR 200-disc Blu-ray changers can be added to manage a CD, DVD and BD library of up to 1,000 discs. The changer also up-scales DVD to 1080p.

Prices for the ADMS and changer weren’t announced.

In another planned product launch, Crestron plans year-end availability of its first home-wide HDMI-video-distribution system, said to differ from other solutions in that it delivers 1080p and 1080i HDMI signals in uncompressed form over CAT5e and CAT6 cables. To do so, the rack-mount Digital Media Switchers send video and 7.1-channel over a 10Gbps CAT6 cable, data over a separate 100Mbps CAT5 cable, and power over a separate line. Video, data and power are sent to a receiver that’s mounted into a two-gang box mounted in the wall behind an HD display. The range of a 1080p signal is up to 450 feet.

The card-based switchers will be available in an eight-input/eight-output (8x8) version and a 16 by 16 version, with the 8x8 version retailing for about $10,000 with receivers, the spokesman said. Other solutions that deliver HDMI over CAT5, a spokesman said, compress the signal because 100Mbps CAT5 can’t handle the datarates of 1080p, 1080i or 720p HDMI signals. The datarate of a 1080p HDMI signal ranges up to a 6.68 Gbps, and a 1080i/720p signal requires bandwidth up to 2.23Gbps, a Monster Cable web site says.

A fiber-optic version is planned for mid-2009.

In another new venture in the U.S. residential market, Crestron unveiled its first U.S. market DIN-Rail modules for structured-wiring-type home-control systems. The modules snap into a small structured-wiring type enclosure intended for retrofit installs and small projects, such as a condominium unit, because thee enclosure is small enough to mount inside a clothes closet. Modules are available for lighting, motor controls, audio, and third-party lighting- and heating-/cooling systems.


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