Russound, vNet Prepare CEDIA Launches

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Newmarket, N.H. - Russound and sister brand Colorado vNet will go to the CEDIA Expo with multiple new products ranging from an improved vNet wireless-RF lighting-control system to a new Russound desktop/in-wall touchpanel.

Russound also plans to show its first stereo Bluetooth adapters for its A-BUS and C series multi-room-audio systems and an A-BUS sub-zone controller for its C-series multi-room-audio controllers.

Other vNet products will include the brand's previously announced

MS1-1 six-zone music streamer

, whose ship date has been pushed back to September from July, and the three-zone

AS3-800/3 music server,

which began shipping last month.

In a distribution announcement, Russound said it has begun selling select passive products, including custom-installed speakers, speaker selectors and volume controls through the Magnolia Home Theater section of Best Buy's online store. Russound has also been selling the products through Crutchfield's online store and through a third-party store on

In a pricing announcement, Russound said it made permanent a limited-time promotional price of almost half-off the dealer cost of its Collage powerline-based multi-room-audio system, designed for retrofit installs. The price cut is designed to stimulate interest by installers who are reluctant installers to try a new technology, said Russound CEO Charlie Porritt. Amplified keypads originally were priced at suggested a $849, and the Collage Media Manager originally cost a suggested $549.

In product developments, Russound plans August shipments of its new TS3 two-gang in-wall 3.5-inch touchscreen at $850, or $100 less than its predecessor. Despite the lower price, it adds faster processor and Chinese language support. The TS3 uses hard and soft buttons to control any of Russound's latest products, including C series multi-room-audio controllers and the new DMS-3.1 Media Streamer, Advanced features include one-touch access to favorite CDs, movie discs and iPod play lists. It can be mounted in an optional tabletop mounting kit.

 Details of Russound's first stereo Bluetooth modules weren't available, but two models will be available around November, one to stream music from a stereo Bluetooth source to an A-BUS multi-room-audio system and a second to stream music to a C-series multi-room-audio controller.

 Also around November, Russound will ship an A-BUS sub-zone controller to add subzone capability to C series controllers, which feature integrated AM/FM tuner and multiple amplifier channels. Pricing wasn't available.

vNet products at the show will include the new TD2 wireless-RF whole-home lighting system, which offers all the features of the previous TD1 system but with better reliability, Porritt said. It ships in August or September and uses RF to control light sources from single-gang capacitive-touch eight-button keypads and from 4- and 7-inch touchscreens, which also control vNet's multi-room-audio systems.

Another vNet product, the previously announced six-zone MS1-1 streamer, will also be at the show and is now due by September. It features a 1TB hard drive, ability to stream music from a networked PC, and ability to stream Internet radio stations and the Pandora and SiriusXM Internet music services. The product connects to vNet's IP-based multi-room-audio systems to distribute music in IP form. It was co-developed with Autonomic and co-branded with the vNet and Autonomic names, Pricing wasn't available.

 vNet's AS3-800/3 three-zone music server, which began shipping last month, will also appear at the show.


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