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Unity Home Theater Promoted As New Category


In2Technologies, an audio/video
product development and consulting firm, wants to increase
the attachment rate of audio to TV purchases with
its Unity Home Theater System,
which puts home-theater audio
electronics, speakers and a 3D
Blu-ray player into a floorstanding
platform for flat-panel TVs.

The San Jose company, led
by industry veterans Todd Beauchamp
and Mike Fidler, wants to
license Unity’s design and proprietary
acoustic technologies
but might bring the product to
market on its own.

The system, promoted as a
new audio-product category,
delivers sound quality exceeding
that of soundbars and
HTiBs and approaching that of
separate audio components, the
executives said while demonstrating a prototype at an
off-site location during the CEDIA Expo. Though delivering
near-component sound quality, the system simplifies
the buying process, simplifies setup and operation, and
integrates with a room’s décor more easily by eliminating
speaker clutter and eliminating speaker-cable runs from
one part of the room to another, they said.

The Unity systems reduce the number of purchase
decisions to two; Unity and a TV, from three; a TV, a TV
stand and an audio system, they added.

Unity consists of a T-shaped platform on top of which
consumers can place a flat-panel TV up to 60 inches in
size. The TV connects to Unity via one HDMI cable. Alternately,
consumers can eliminate
the TV’s pedestal by attaching
a standard VESA mount to the
back of the Unity system.

The horizontal portion of
the platform doubles as an
enclosure for three front-firing
2-inch midrange/tweeter drivers
operating from 150Hz on
up. Two 5.25-inch mid-bass
drivers mounted on the underside
of the horizontal enclosure
fire down and deliver omnidirectional
audio from 70Hz to
150Hz. The central tower holding
up the horizontal platform
features two 12-inch subwoofers,
one on each side.

Two wireless surround speakers round out the speaker
complement to create a 5.1 system.

Besides housing subwoofers, the central tower incorporates
3D Blu-ray player, surround-sound processor
that includes Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master, amplification,
and DSP to time align the midrange/tweeter
drivers with the mid-bass drivers.

Setup would take about 15 minutes, the company
said. Consumers would place the horizontal platform
on top of the central tower, both of which feature connectors
to make the connections between the tower’s
amplifiers and the platform’s speakers. A wireless receiver/
two-channel amplifier module would connect via
speaker cables to the surround speakers.

The back of the Unity system contains three power
outlets to plug in the TV and two components such as a
game console and cable box, which would sit on top of
the horizontal platform.

The prototype’s configuration could retail for $999
with Internet streaming services and Wi-Fi, but the
system could be scaled up to include larger drivers or scaled down to a 3.1 system.

Before becoming president of In2, Beauchamp was
responsible for product development and testing within
Apple’s iPhone, iPod and iPad division. He has more than
two decades of acoustic engineering and electronic systems
experience in the consumer, professional, and military
audio markets.

Chief marketing officer Mike Fidler has more than 30
years of consumer electronics experience, having previously
served as a senior marketing and engineering
executive at Sony and having led the home products
groups at both Sony and Pioneer. He is also the former
CEO of Digeo.