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Russound: Collage Sell-In Stronger Than Expected

Newmarket, N.H. – Russound underestimated expected sell-in of its
long-awaited Collage multiroom-audio system, running out of stock within days
of initial shipments on Jan. 8, but the company will resume shipments during
the first week of February, Russound’s Michael Stein told TWICE.

“There was more demand in the pipeline than we could fill,” said Stein,
research and technology senior director. Initial shipments of the
powerline-based system, intended for retrofit installations, went mainly to
distributors but also to some direct accounts.

So far, Collage installs have gone smoothly, he said.

The Collage Media and Intercom System was originally scheduled
for October 2009 shipment, but Stein noted that powerline-carrier products take
longer than many other household products to win Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) approval. Powerline-based products are designed to inject high-frequency
signals over powerlines, and the FCC checks to ensure RF leakage doesn’t
interfere with other household products.

Collage relies on such new media sources as Internet radio, iPods
docked in a networked docking/charging station, and digital music stored on a
networked PC or network-attached storage device. Networked sources can be
placed anywhere in the home. Up to 10 zones are supported.

Collage’s main components include an in-wall amplified keypad
equipped with RDS FM tuner. A Media Manager device connects to a home’s
Ethernet network and acts as a bridge between a home’s Ethernet network and the
powerline network.

The CAK1 amplified keypad will retail for a suggested $849. Up to
10 can be installed in a system, but only one $549 CMM1
Collage Media Manager is needed. An iPod dock and IR source bridge, which
connects legacy sources via IR, will ship sometime later.