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Tributaries Girds For Wireless Future

Orlando, Fla. – Wireless A/V networks and digital DVI and HDMI cables, which replace multiple analog cables, will eventually take a toll on the sales and profits of interconnect suppliers, so high-end A/V cable supplier Tributaries is preparing for the future by diversifying into AC power-management systems.

The first system, the $750-everyday TX500, shipped more than a month ago and will be followedby the $1,500 TX1000, which will go into production as early as July 1, said president Joseph Perfito. The two 15-amp, 10-outlet devices provide multiple functions, including powerline conditioning, surge protection, programmable turn-on of connected components, and DC triggering. The TX1000 adds balanced power inputs to eliminate AC-line noise, Perfito said.

With an eye toward expanding its AC-power-product lineup to six SKUs by the end of 2006, Tributaries is also developing power strips, a 20-amp power manager, and a power conditioner/uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPS products are particularly useful to owners of DLP projectors, whose bulbs need to be cooled slowly by the projectors’ fans after the projectors are turned off, Perfito said.

Many of the company’s 500 dealers, mainly single-location retailers and custom installers, asked Tributaries to offer power products, Perfito noted. “Every system they sell goes out the door with a power conditioner or power-conditioning strip,” he said.

Eventually, Perfito noted, “analog cables will go away,” replaced by a single digital cable that carries audio, video, and control signals. “Eventually,” he added, everything will go wireless.” As a result, “in the distant future, the wire and cable business is not so promising, but AC products will always need AC.”

The proliferation of no-new-wires wireless- and powerline-networking technologies, he continued, will increase demand for power-conditioning systems, which will be needed to minimize the audio and video noise generated by no-new-wires networks.