San Jose, Calif. - In2Technologies, an audio/video product development and consulting firm, plans mid-2012 availability of its Unity Home Theater System.
The system packs home theater
audio electronics, speakers, and a 3D Blu-ray player into a floorstanding
platform for flat-panel TVs.
Targeted to retail for about $999, the system also comes with two wireless surround speakers to create 5.1-channel surround sound.
Unity is promoted as delivering sound quality exceeding that of soundbars and HTiBs and approaching that of separate audio components. It's designed to increase the attachment rate of quality audio systems to TVs, company executives said.
Led by industry veterans Todd Beauchamp and Mike Fidler, In2 will bring the product to the Eureka Park section of International CES, where it will display a design that has been updated slightly from its first showing at the CEDIA Expo to include a slightly smaller footprint and more rounded edges.
The company will market the product itself for mid-2012 availability but still plans to license Unity's design and proprietary acoustic technologies to other companies to offer under their own brand name.
For distribution, In2 will selectively target big box retailers, online dealers, and distributors, Fidler said. The company will promote with on-line advertising and perhaps ads in regional shelter books, he added.
Though delivering near-component sound quality, the system simplifies the buying process, simplifies setup and operation, and integrates with a room's dÃ©cor more easily by eliminating speaker clutter and eliminating speaker-cable runs from one part of the room to another, the company said.
Unity consists of a T-shaped platform on top of which consumers can place a flat-panel TV up to 60 inches in size. The TV connects to Unity via one HDMI 1.4a port with audio return channel. Alternately, consumers can eliminate the TV's pedestal by attaching a standard VESA mount to the back of the Unity system.
The horizontal portion of the platform doubles as an enclosure for three front-firing 2-inch midrange/tweeter drivers operating from 150Hz on up. Two 5.25-inch midbass drivers mounted on the underside of the horizontal enclosure fire down and deliver omnidirectional audio from 70Hz-150Hz. The central tower holding up the horizontal platform features two 10-inch subwoofers, one on each side, to deliver bass down to 25Hz.
Besides housing subwoofers, the central tower incorporates 3D Blu-ray player, AM/FM tuner, surround-sound processor that includes Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master, 500-watt amplification, and DSP to time align the midrange/tweeter drivers with the midbass drivers.
Other features include iPod/iPhone USB port and an Ethernet port for the Internet-connected Blu-ray player.
Source switching is accomplished through the connected TV, but A/V switching might be included in Unity's final design, Fidler said.
Setup would take about 15 minutes, the company said. Consumers would place the horizontal platform on top of the central tower, both of which feature connectors to make the connections between the tower's amplifiers and the platform's speakers. A wireless receiver/two-channel amplifier module would connect via speaker cables to the surround speakers.
The back of the Unity system contains three power outlets to plug in the TV and two components such as a game player and cable box, which would sit on top of the horizontal platform.
A next-generation system will include Wi-Fi, the ability to connect to Internet audio and video streaming services, and the ability to stream content from a networked PC.