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Over The Counter, Through The Wall Options Highlighted

Suppliers went to the CEDIA Expo to unveil products that go over the counter as well as in the wall.

Denon and Linn, for example, showed their first DVD-receivers, with Denon’s packaged with a speaker system. And Sharp reentered the DVD-receiver market with a model due in December with speakers, DD/DTS decoders, and 6×25-watt amplification at a suggested $1,799. Its first product, launched in 1999, retailed for a suggested $899.

For the custom trade, here’s what other suppliers showed:

Atlantic Technology: The company expanded its custom portfolio with its first dual-tweeter, dual-voice-coil architectural speaker, the $350-each 8-inch in-ceiling 8CMS. A switch lets users switch to stereo sound, mono sound (for use as a left- or right-channel speaker), or a diffuse soundfield (by switching the tweeters out of phase). A 6-inch $250 model delivers the same options depending on how they’re wired by an installer. Shipments are planned for October or November.

Atlantic also showed its first multichannel amp, a six-zone 12×85-watt model bridgeable to six channels with selectable active EQ points for each channel pair at 70Hz or 55Hz. It’s targeted to ship in January at around $2,000-$2,500.

Bose: Its first hideaway amplifier/ Dolby Digital 5.1 processor replaces an amp with built-in matrix-surround processing. The TA-1 also features VideoStagte 5 processing to derive a 5.1-channel soundfield from mono, stereo, and matrixed-surround sources. It can be controlled via a supplied IR sensor and integrated with RS-232-based home-control systems.

The SE-1 System Expander, connected via CAT5, adds control of five sources.

Imerge: The company expanded its SoundServer hard-disc recorder/server lineup to five SKUs from two with a $2,000 single-zone 80GB model, a $3,000 two-zone 80GB model, and a $4,000 three-zone 80GB model. They join a $1,500 40GB one-zone model and the high-end M1000 expandable to six zones and to 225GB.

All models can be expanded at a later date to add an extra zone with the addition of the Thin Client. It consists of an LCD touchscreen and connected receiver, which uses CAT5 to send commands to a SoundServer and receive audio signals from a SoundServer.

Thin Client pricing was unavailable.

Dynaudio: The company launched its first in-wall speaker.

Jamo: It extended its architectural speaker line with a new series starting at $129/pair compared to a previous opening price of $249/pair.

The series includes the company’s an in-wall switchable bipole/dipole speaker that doesn’t stick out of the wall (at $599/pair). In the prior version, angled baffles stuck out of the wall.

The company also showed its first in-wall with a tweeter/midrange combination that rotates to allow for horizontal or vertical installation. The tweeter also tilts to compensate for less-than-optimum speaker-mounting locations.

Sonic Blue: The company is targeting its ProGear wireless Web pad, previously available to vertical markets, to the custom residential market for the first time. The device uses the IEEE 802.11b home-network standard and can be integrated with home-control systems from such companies as AMX and Crestron. It retails for $2,000-$2,700 depending on configuration.