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Rotel Networks Audio Components

Rotel came to the CEDIA Expo with its first two audio components that stream Internet radio and network with home PCs.

Both new Rotel products also control media on a connected iPod or other USB Class 2 device.

The company joined several other audio companies unveiling their first networked components, including Sherwood and NAD.

“The way in which we access music has changed profoundly in the past few years, with the iPod being the most visible symbol of the change,” said sales and marketing VP Doug Henderson. “But even the ubiquitous iPod may have met its match in the fast-growing wave of Internet music delivery.”

One of the products, the $999-suggested RDG-1520 digital Internet tuner, features FM tuner, streaming of 15,000 Internet radio stations without a networked PC, and streaming of music stored on a networked PC equipped with UPnP and Windows Media Player 11. Streaming is available via wired Ethernet or wireless when using an included Wi-Fi USB dongle.

The digital Internet tuner, due in late October, includes a USB input for direct digital connection of an iPod or other USB class 2 device, bypassing the iPod’s analog-output stage to shift digital-to-analog conversion over to the tuner’s high-end Wolfson DAC and analog stage.

The second streaming product, called the RCX-1500 streaming media/CD/FM stereo receiver, is a two-channel stereo receiver with built-in CD player, USB iPod input, and ability to stream Internet radio and music stored on a networked PC. It’s due in November at a suggested $1,500 with included Wi-Fi USB dongle.

The device’s CD section uses 24 bit/192kHz DACs, and the 2×100-watt amp section uses Class D technology for efficiency, cool-running operation, and ability to drive 4-ohm loads.

Both products’ supported codecs include RealAudio, WMA, MP3, unprotected AAC & AAC+, AU, WAV and AIFF.