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What’s New:
Residential Technology

Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Laura Dixon and Jessaca Massey


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PORTABLE MUSIC-SHARING SYSTEM

MTX Audio's iThunder is a portable boom box music-sharing system for iPod. With the exception of the iPod Shuffle, every model of iPod available works with the i-Thunder through the included custom-fitted inserts. Either the included AC power cord or eight C batteries power the unit. When using the power cord, Apple's special dock connector charges your iPod while it plays, except the original and second-generation models. The system features a spring-action pop-up handle and a wireless remote, and it comes in either black or white.
▪ MTX Audio | www.mtx.com

HD RADIO TUNER MODULE

Audio Design Associates' (ADA) HD Radio tuner module, the HDM-1, transmits digital audio and data alongside existing AM and FM analog signals, virtually eliminating the static and hiss often associated with analog radio. The HD Radio tuner provides a platform for advanced new services, including multicasting, which enables FM stations to broadcast multiple streams of programming over a single frequency, independent of existing analog signals. HD Radio also allows data services to be delivered directly to receivers, including scrolling text on the product displays (e.g., artist names and song titles, weather forecasts, school closings).
▪ Audio Design Associates | www.ada-usa.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

Klipsch's KL-7800-THX in-wall LCR and KS-7800-THX in-wall loudspeakers play up to reference levels in rooms of 3,000 cubic feet or larger. The KL-7800-THX features an 8in. aluminum woofer and a 1in. titanium-dome compression driver mated to a square Tractrix horn. It also has a back box enclosure. The loudspeaker features an 8in. aluminum woofer and two vertically stacked square Tractrix horn tweeters in a Wide Dispersion Surround Technology array. This unique horn design incorporates the same patent-pending technology as the company's new WDST in-wall surround, but on a larger sonic scale.
▪ Klipsch | www.klipsch

COOLING FAN

Parasound's rack-mounted cooling fan is part of its Zcustom line. The Zbreeze uses three whisper-quiet fans mounted in a compact half-rack-width Zcustom chassis. It is designed to provide targeted ventilation to prevent localized hot spots from building up in racks and cabinets and to supplement otherwise adequate overall ventilation. The fan uses three 3.6in.-diameter fans with three speeds, delivering up to 90 cubic feet-per-minute of airflow. These long-life ball-bearing fans have a noise level of less than 35dB. The Zbreeze has three modes, using either a standard 12V DC trigger signal, 120VAC, or a front-panel button.
▪ Parasound | www.parasound.com

TV ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE

CyberLink's special World Cup football version of digital TV entertainment software PowerCinema features a football interface that includes intelligent video analysis software CyberLink MagicSports. The software allows users to automatically locate the best moments from recorded football programs, letting them quickly view goals and skip through the main scenes of each match. What's more, DVD authoring and burning module CyberLink MakeDVD offers new menus for burning videos onto discs featuring a World Cup football theme.
▪ CyberLink | www.cyberlink.com

AUDIO/VIDEO RECEIVER

Texas Instrument's (TI) Aureus DA7xx generation of audio digital signal processors (DSPs) power Yamaha's three audio/video receivers (AVRs). The RX-V459, RX-V559, and RX-V659 AVRs feature TI's Burr-Brown A/D and D/A converters and they incorporate Neural Surround, the standard surround processor for XM satellite radio. The AVR product line also features TI's Cinema DSP, Compressed Music Enhancer, Night Listening Enhancer, and Virtual Cinema DSP and Silent Cinema. The RX-V559 and RX-V659 are able to support an iPod docking station, which lets the receivers control the content of the iPod through the receiver's remote with onscreen display information on the TV.
▪ Yamaha | www.yamaha.com

OUTDOOR LOUDSPEAKER

Paradigm's Rock Monitor 60-SM is a stereo/mono outdoor “rock” speaker that offers two channels of sound (left and right) from a single speaker. The Rock Monitor features a stereo/mono option and dual-directional sound field (two tweeters are offset at 60-degree angles). The rock's sealed cabinet is a sturdy weather-, water-, and UV-resistant polymer with self-draining fissures. Available in three realistic textured faux-stone finishes, the speaker will blend unobtrusively into the natural landscape. To prevent theft or unauthorized movement, Paradigm also includes a security spike with cable.
▪ Paradigm | www.paradigm.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

Phase Technology's SPF-55 and SPF-85 omnidirectional 5in. and 8in. (respectively) outdoor loudspeakers feature weather-resistant 360-degree coverage and an unobtrusive, rounded in-ground design. The SPF-55 features a 5in. polypropylene woofer and a 1in. aluminum dome tweeter, while the SPF-85 comes with an 8in. polypropylene woofer and a 1in. aluminum dome tweeter. A highly secure bracket is positioned within the ground to protect the loudspeakers against theft. These new omnidirectional speakers are water-, UV-, and scratch-resistant and available in a sandstone finish.
▪ Phase Technology | www.phasetech.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

Canton's CD 200 series loudspeakers come in slim-line cabinets that are ideal for use with flat-panel video displays. The line includes three models available separately or as part of a pair of packaged 5.1-channel systems that include matched subwoofers. The floor-standing CD 200, the horizontally or vertically mountable CD 250, and the CD 220 mini-speaker all feature a brushed aluminum housing and a low-depth cylindrical shape that serves to minimize standing wave formation within the enclosure. Each model features Canton's ADT-25 aluminum-manganese tweeter and a 4in. aluminum woofer similar to those used in the larger CD 300 series.
▪ Canton | www.cantonusa.com

HDMI UPGRADE KIT

Cinemateq's HDMI and audio upgrade kit features picture and sound switching, picture optimization, de-interlacing, and free scaling up to 1080p. Four additional HDMI inputs offer full HDCP support (overall 11 inputs). The kit also includes doubled output via HDMI and DVI, including audio for digital HDTV video signals and digital multichannel sound. Owners of a picture optimizer plus II (SDI) can use it with the expandable HDMI and audio upgrade kit without investing in new equipment.
▪ Cinemateq | www.cinemateq.com

DIGITAL RECEIVER

Yamaha's RX-V659 and RX-V559 digital home theater receivers seamlessly deliver audio and video from Apple iPods and XM Satellite Radio's XM HD Surround broadcasts to high-end home entertainment systems. The receivers use proprietary technology to restore and enhance the playback quality of compressed files stored on an iPod, or any MP3 player, offering improved sound quality over standalone systems with limited fidelity and power. Each receiver features Yamaha's sound decoding package, including all Dolby and DTS formats and Quad-Field Cinema DSP; high-current discrete amplification; and an easy-to-use setup menu with five-band center-channel EQ.
▪ Yamaha | www.yamaha.com

TV WALL MOUNT

OmniMount's Elegantè series TV wall mount and AV wall furniture systems offer modern aesthetics combined with modular versatility to fit just about any television up to 27in. and can house three shelves worth of components, all the while designed for easy installation. The series is a customizable solution for expanding in-home needs and features integrated cable management.
▪ OmniMount | www.omnimount.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

Sound Advance's invisible in-wall loudspeaker is completely hidden from view when installed — flush behind walls or in the ceiling. The Sound Advance SA2 flat-panel loudspeaker features a rigid, flat-panel, expanded-polystyrene foam diaphragm with carefully engineered density and zone-controlled flexibility, driven by dual voice-coil assemblies. The arrangement yields both extended low-frequency reproduction and wide dispersion of mids and highs. The loudspeaker works by acting as a transmission line, radiating vibrations from its entire surface to deliver naturally balanced sound over a wider area, enveloping surrounding areas even when they're covered with plaster, paint, or wallpaper.
▪ Sound Advance | www.soundadvance.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

Sonance's Mariner weather-resistant loudspeaker series is comprised of eight models that can be installed outdoors. The series features robust woofers and high-output tweeters for full sound from non-reflecting, open outdoor locations. Mariner loudspeakers can pivot 180 degrees and rotate horizontally according to a regulated indexed position system. The Protected-Access Terminal System, a front-panel termination system that protects wire connectors from weather corrosion, accepts input cabling via concealed, weatherproof, rubber-grommeted rear-panel ports and directs it to the front baffle side of each loudspeaker.
▪ Sonance | www.sonance.com

LOUDSPEAKERS

AudioSource's in-wall and in-ceiling speaker systems include 5in., 6in., and 8in. in-wall loudspeakers and 5in., 6in., 7in., and 8in. two-way in-ceiling loudspeakers. These loudspeaker systems open up floor space while still attaining premium home theater and stereo audio reproduction throughout the house or office. All the loudspeakers have a minimum 15W power capacity. The 5in. in-wall and in-ceiling loudspeakers have a maximum 75W power capacity, while the remaining loudspeakers have a maximum 100W power capacity.
▪ AudioSource | www.audiosource.net

DOCKING STATION

iPort's Free-Standing (FS) series is compatible with all iPods with a dock connector, including the iPod Nano and iPod with video models, and connects easily to any home entertainment system, whether all-in-one or multi-component. The series' five models offer a variety of options depending on the configuration of the home entertainment system. The entry-level model relies on direct control of the iPod, with viewing of song, album, artist, and playlist information on the iPod itself. Other models add integrated pushbutton volume control, an infrared remote-control receiver, audio and video outputs optimized for long cable runs, and integration of control functions with popular touchscreen controllers.
▪ IPort | www.iportmusic.com

AMPLIFIERS

Krell Industries' Evolution 402 and 600 amplifiers feature Krell's proprietary CAST (Current Audio Signal Transmission) circuitry that uses current gain topologies, allowing the signal to remain in the current domain from input to output. Both amplifiers feature a 5000VA power supply that makes use of extensive electrical and magnetic shielding to keep radiated interference out of critical amplifier circuits. The amplifiers also feature Active Cascode Topology, which eliminates global negative feedback.
▪ Krell Industries | www.krellonline.com

DIGITAL SWITCHER

Parasound's Zcustom Zhd is a source selector for up to five HDMI video sources, connecting any of the inputs to an HDMI video projector or other display device. The Zhd adds HDMI switching capabilities to Parasound's Halo C 1, C 2, and NewClassic Model 7100 7.1-channel surround controllers. The unit operates seamlessly in the background, taking command signals via the two-way RS-232C communications port with the supplied RS-232 cable. Any brand of house control system can also control the Zhd through the RS-232 port, and the included IR remote handset can be used with systems that do not employ RS-232.
▪ Parasound | www.parasound.com



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