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SpeakerCraft’s Nirv Makes CEDIA Debut


— SpeakerCraft plans to demonstrate
its first networked multi-room-A/V system, the
Nirv Digital Media & Theater System.

Nirv, which just began shipping, delivers audio
and video up to 1080p resolution to any room of
the house over a single CAT-5e/6 cable from Nirvconnected
sources. The system also delivers control
signals, metadata, intercom voice, and Dolby
Digital and DTS home-theater surround sound over
the same cable.

Because it is network-based, sources can be connected
to the network connected to the network at
any point in the house, not just at a central head end.
The system is expandable to hundreds of sources
and zones.

Sources can include cable boxes, music servers,
PCs, network-attached storage drives, Blu-ray players
and changers, DVRs and the like.

The goal was to develop a system that provides
dealers with “a total digital content solution” over
a single wire, a “true” onscreen graphical user interface
overlay, surround sound in every room, and
ease of programming and install, said CEO Jeremy

Because of its network architecture, Nirv is simpler
and less expensive to install than traditional
multi-room A/V systems and scalable a zone at a
time so consumers don’t pay for zone capacity that
they don’t need, the company said.

It is also targeted to the retrofit market because it
can take advantage of the CAT-5e/6 cables already
installed in homes with wired Ethernet networks.

The system features full control from any TV display
via a handheld RF Wand remote, but it can also
be controlled from an iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. An Android interface is also under development.

With the Wand, users get full control of all networked
sources network, zones and volume, and the
system can be customized for individual users, including
volume levels, equalization, source and zone access,
and even favorite channel assignments for music
and video, Burkhardt said. As the user moves around
the house, Nirv automatically brings each user’s profile
to any zone that the user is operating, he noted.
“We’ve worked very hard with our dealer base and focus
groups to make an elegant interface that the common
consumer can
intuitively use and
afford,” Burkhardt

The entire system
can be programmed
via an
OSD programming
tool and the
Wand. For further
customization ,
the company is
developing a PC
application called
SpeakerCraft NirvCenter. “Programming a system
is lame, and dealers lose money very often on programming
jobs,” Burkhardt said. “With Nirv we have
a drop-down menu that allows any product or source
to be controlled.”

Nirv uses a digital transport backbone that incorporates
CobraNet technology, which has been used
in the professional audio market for more than 15
years, but SpeakerCraft engineers developed the
world’s first implementation of the technology to include
video, Burkhardt said.

The system consists of audio and video source-input
devices that
connect audio
and video sources
to the Nirv
network. For
local playback
of networked
sources, users
connect local
audio and video
systems to the
network via receiver/