Savant Readies New Home-Control Options

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Osterville, Mass. - Savant Systems plans a CEDIA Expo launch of multiple products, including in-wall docking stations that turn iPod Touches into touchscreen controllers for its home-automation and -entertainment systems when loaded with a Savant app.

 

The company will also launch two new flat-screen TVs that provide touchscreen control of multizone audio and video, lighting, climate, security systems and the like. Compared with their predecessors, the new models add capacitive touch interface to provide iPhone-like GestureTouch navigation, and they're thinner and faster, a spokesman said.

Savant also plans to launch a step-up controller that delivers 24 by 24 1080p 60Hz HDMI video switching or up to 48 by 48 switching of stereo sources in a 6U chassis. And in another development, Savant will add control of Logitech's networked Squeezebox music streamer to its systems. The Squeezebox streams music from the Internet and songs stored on a networked PC.

The new Touch docking stations will be available in a wired and wireless version, joining a wired and wireless dock designed for use with iPads. The wireless In-Wall Charging and Control Dock for the Touch will retail for a suggested $300 when it ships in October. Pricing and ship dates of the wired version weren't released.

 Like the wired and wireless iPad docks, the wired and wireless Wi-Fi version of the Touch docks power their respective Apple devices and lock them permanently into place. Each dock also enables the iPad or Touch to be mounted in portrait or landscape mode. The docks combine an in-wall docking cradle with a low-profile magnetically attached faceplate.

For Savant-system control through touchscreens larger than an iPad or Touch display, Savant will launch the 18.5-inch and 24-inch Touch TVs. They're equipped with high-resolution widescreen TFT LCD displays with capacitive touch interface providing iPhone-like GestureTouch navigation.

The $8,500-suggested 18.5-inch TTV-2018 and $10,000 TTV-2024 Touch TV models are designed for on-wall application and are VESA- mountable with integrated rear-panel mounting holes. The 18.5-inch model is also available with an optional stand for tabletop or desktop installations. Both will be available in October, replacing 17-, 24- and 40-inch models.

 With the touchscreen TVs, consumers control home systems without interrupting playback of HD video content.

The new controller, also due October, is the MCS-24SE, which will drive up to 12 of Savant's touchscreen controllers or Touch TVs. It offers six universal input/output slots to accommodate any audio or video source, and its modular design enables the addition of such functions as surround-sound processing and balanced and unbalanced stereo inputs and outputs.

The suggested retail starts at a suggested $9,000 and rises with the addition of more modules.

The MSC-24SE drives up to 48 stereo audio zones. The digital preamp stage features 16 independent channels, eight of which provide 7.1-channel surround sound in one zone while the other eight feed four stereo zones.

 The controller also uses a new chassis configuration that includes front-panel LED indicators and removable faceplates for easy access to optional hot-swappable redundant (dual) power supplies and field-replaceable fans. An optional master host controller provides iTunes digital media server capabilities when paired with the MSC-24SE.

 On the video side, the controller supports low-latency 24x24 HDMI 1.3a video switching with HDCP copy protection, multizone distribution, and broadcast-quality video processing and scaling.

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