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CEDIA Expo Sees Customary, Uncustomary

Some customary and uncustomary products turned up here at CEDIA’s just completed custom-install show.

The customary products, which require installation, included new distributed-audio systems that control other home systems. Other custom products included a greater selection of A-Bus-equipped distributed-audio products and new in-ceiling speakers intended for use in home theater systems.

The uncustomary products, which require little or no installation, included home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) systems, Nirotek’s two-speaker 6.1-channel sound system, and Pioneer’s single-speaker multidriver Sound Projector, which creates a discrete multichannel soundfield without cluttering up a room with multiple speakers.

Among the customary products were SpeakerCraft’s second distributed-audio system, new receivers, including models from Denon, Marantz and Harman Kardon, with an expanded suite of custom-installation features, and the first A-Bus-equipped distributed-audio products from Harman Kardon and others.

Other new A-Bus adopters include Channel Vision, FutureSmart Networks, Greyfox Systems, Home Director, JBL, Netstreams, Opus Technologies (distributed by Marantz America) and UStec. Several of these companies joined Integra, OnQ Technologies and Russound in showing A-Bus products at the Expo. Most new adopters expect to begin shipping their products between November and early 2003, said A-Bus inventor LeisureTech Electronics of Alexandria, Australia.

LeisureTech, which is also Russound’s Australia distributor, has taken over the technology’s licensing efforts from Russound, which remains a licensee.

“Russound found that the big growth of their company made it difficult to promote A-Bus licensing and OEM sales,” said spokesman Andrew Goldfinch. “We have been working independently since December, however, both companies remain very close.”

Also at the show:

  • Commercial and pro audio companies ventured forth into the residential market. Their names included Atlas Sound and Oxmoor.
  • Proprietary 7.1-channel decoding processes that deliver 7.1 channels from DD EX and DTS ES soundtracks were introduced. The technologies are included in one new receiver each from Rotel and Denon and two receivers from NAD.
  • In the largest rollout to date of THX Ultra2-certified products, almost all of the industry’s 15 Ultra2-certified products were launched or displayed at the Expo, THX said. The products included a TAG McLaren controller; controllers and amps from Arcam, Aragon, Bryston and Parasound; speakers from JBL, Snell, Jamo, Klipsch and Teufel; and receivers from Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer and Integra.