Denon’s first networked A/V distribution system is based on a platform developed by Mediabolic, whose investors include Denon parent D&M Holdings.
At the Expo, the company plans to demonstrate the technology in prototype form but hasn’t decided when to ship a finished system.
The client-server system is built around a hard-drive-equipped Denon Network Server, an all-in-one solution featuring a multizone controller, PVR, music server, two FM tuners, two NTSC/analog-cable tuners and CD drive. It will support at least four zones.
Via an Ethernet network, the server streams content from the hard drives and TV tuners to tabletop clients, which must be connected to local TVs and local stereo systems. Only standard-definition video is supported.
Denon plans to incorporate clients in future products, such as receivers and DVD players.
Via the server’s three analog-video inputs, consumers could a connect digital-cable boxes, premium-cable boxes, and satellite-TV receivers to stream their contents over the Ethernet. As a result, consumers could simultaneously stream multiple recorded TV programs from the hard drive, two cable programs from the embedded cable tuners, a satellite channel, and a program from the premium-cable box. Multiple satellite receivers would be needed to simultaneously stream multiple satellite channels.
Music can be transferred to the server from the CD drive or connected megachangers and stored in compressed or uncompressed form, but the device will also control and stream music from Denon, Marantz and Pioneer CD megachangers. It also streams audio and video from an Ethernet-connected PC.
The server’s EPG will most likely be provided by Replay TV, also a D&M company.
Of the server’s two hard drives, one is intended mainly for back-up and is removable for safekeeping.
The server will support at least four zones, and it can be connected to other brands of distributed-audio systems via an RS-232 port. WiFi access points can be used to connect clients with the server, but Denon doesn’t recommend video distribution over WiFi.