Russound: Collage Sell-In Stronger Than Expected

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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.


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