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Expo Intros Making The Connection

To connect with consumers, suppliers here at the CEDIA Expo will unveil the industry’s first hard-drive-based on-demand movie server, the first home-dedicated Sirius and XM satellite tuners, and the first digital-cable-ready HDTVs.

The first digital-cable-ready TVs will be demonstrated by Panasonic and Hitachi.

Based on suppliers’ Expo plans, consumers can also look forward to more choices of wall-hanging speakers for use with plasma and LCD displays, more receivers with automatic room-acoustics correction, and a greater selection of universal DVD players that play DVD-Audio, DVD-Video and SACD discs.

To connect products in different rooms, suppliers plan to exhibit devices with a greater variety of connectivity options, including Ethernet, WiFi, CAT5 and IEEE 1394b to join the venerable RS-232 port.

To simplify connections among products in the central A/V stack, more receivers will upconvert composite and S-video inputs to component-video output, and more receivers will feature industry-standard 1394 connections that connect to a greater selection of universal players with 1394 outputs.

In satellite radio, dealers touring Sirius Satellite Radio’s first Expo booth will find single-zone models from Kenwood and Audiovox and a three-zone model from Antex for distributed-audio applications. For its part, Crestron plans to unveil a single-zone XM Satellite tuner for the home.

Also to distribute audio throughout the house, Denon and Fosgate Audionics will join Yamaha and Integra in using PC-network technologies, such as wired Ethernet or wireless WiFi.

Other distributed-audio solutions will include products from GE Interlogix, Niles and Atlantic Technology. They plan to join a growing crowd of companies that send audio over inexpensive CAT-5 cable.

To distribute high-definition video over CAT-5, AudioControl will show its first devices that send and receive 720p and 1080i component video over CAT-5.

Also for video distribution, startup Kaleidescape will unveil a hard-disc-drive multizone video server that can hold up to 12 300GB hard drives to store movies “imported” from hundreds of DVD discs, the company said. Movies are distributed on demand to clients in multiple rooms via CAT-5 Ethernet wiring. Demonstrations are planned at the Runco and Dolby booths.

Increasingly, audio systems will include more universal DVD-AV/SACD players as Denon, Marantz and Pioneer expand their selections. The Marantz and Denon products, like a Samsung DVD-Video player, will also feature DVI-HDCP video output for a direct digital connection to high-definition (HD) displays and upconversion of DVD-Video to HD.