On-Q To Step Up Networking, Retrofit Selection

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Middletown, Pa. - Custom-install brand On-Q is expanding its focus on networking and retrofit solutions to complement its traditional structured-wiring solutions for home-wide audio, video, lighting control and home automation, said Fritz Werder, VP and brand general manager of Legrand's home systems division.

On-Q, a Legrand-owned brand, "has been a leader in structured wiring for years, and we're looking beyond structured wiring and beyond new construction," he said.

The network solutions will include wired Ethernet products and, for retrofit installs, network products based on the Wi-Fi, powerline and MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) standards, he said. On-Q will adopt the no-new-wires standards to become an "infrastructure enabler" of audio, video and data over a home's existing wires rather than offer source products with the technologies embedded, he said.

The brand is also considering the adoption of the ZigBee wireless-control standard, but such products won't be display at September's CEDIA Expo, he said.

Before the CEDIA Expo, the company will ship its first wireless device that streams music via Wi-Fi from PCs, Macs and Apple and Android mobile devices to the Studio and Classic lyriQ multi-room audio systems, which are built around a structured-wiring enclosure. The new device, called the LyriQ AirQast Main Source, incorporates Wi-Fi and multiple audio decoders. Main Source mounts next to the structured -wiring enclosure so that users can send music wirelessly to a LyriQ system for home-wide distribution over CAT-5 cables. Music that can be streamed includes songs stored on PCs and mobile devices as well as songs streamed from select compatible services, including Pandora, SiriusXM, Last.fm and YouTube. Additional music services will be supported in future versions of the company's app and PC software.

 With the app, multiple users can wirelessly share music stored on their devices, build collaborative playlists, add songs, skip tracks and control volume.

The wireless solution, whose price wasn't disclosed, complements a wired solution in which users could connect smartphones and tablets to the LyriQ system via wall plates equipped with stereo RCA inputs and a USB input.

Also before the Expo, the company will ship the delayed AirQast tabletop speaker pair, which uses Wi-Fi to stream music from a PC. The $399/pair speakers were pushed back a couple of months to August add multiple new features, including Wi-Fi streaming from Apple and Android mobile devices and collaborative playlists. The speaker pair uses the PC/Mac music software program and mobile apps that will be used for the LyriQ AirQast Main Source.

The speakers are rated at 2x40 watts and feature a subwoofer output and aux input.

In other networking launches, On-Q plans before the Expo to ship its first two power-over-Ethernet adapters for its structured-wiring enclosures. The adapters are designed to deliver power to such devices as IP cameras and in-wall touchscreens. One adapter is rated at 15 watts to 100 meters, and the other is rated at 30 watts to 100 meters. Pricing wasn't disclosed.

Also before the Expo, the company will ship an eight-port Gigabit switch with four ports that can be used to deliver power over an Ethernet cable. Also new will be a four-port Gigabit router than can be converted into a five-port Gigabit switch. They're the first products of their kind from On-Q. Pricing wasn't disclosed.


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