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How does this sound?

Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated ProgrammerPosts: 1,917
I was at CEDIA this past weekend and was talking with an engineer at one of the companies we use. We were talking about distributed A/V systems in the residential market and the engineer asked me what I think about a product they are contemplating developing, so I decided to ask everyone here. Here is what the product would offer:

9 Component, S-Video and Composite inputs all transcoded to be output on Component Video.

Component video output on CAT5 to the remote display device.

Up to 3 built-in tuners that do not use up the 9 inputs

6 zones per unit with built in amplification of 55watts per channel. (Also a 3 zone unit available with 1 zone at 150watt/ch and 2 at 55w/ch)

The ability to group zones by IDs and also identify each zone independantly. Currently with 128 IDs.


And a bunch of stuff that I am either familiar with to the point of taking it for granted, or stuff I simply forgot to list.

The main focus of this list is how many of you are looking at distributing High Def to the various zones in a residential offering? Also, what options do you currently have in a distribution system that you can't live without? What options do you find yourself needing?

Jeff

Comments

  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi Jeff
    Sounds like not to bad of a system, would be nice to have a matrix built into it( 9x4 or something) this could even be just s-video and leave the Component video for the main room. Now do the 3 built-in turners have inputs for cd/cass/etc? What type of control are they looking at using?
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Thomas,

    The units are a video/audio matrix each unit (based on the current offering) has 9 inputs with buffered outputs and either 3 or 6 zones. Control is currently via RS232, but I believe there is talk of moving to IP based control. The three tuners are AM/FM tuners only and should be thought of like sources 10-12. I here talk of them adding an XM or Sirius based tuner, but I don't think it's a priority at this time. The website is bkcomp.com and the current product that I am refering to is the CT610/310/600 series.


    Bogdan,

    The Control 4 product line is almost entirely Landmark with a new name from what I have been gathering. After hearing from the people at the Control 4 booth and Seminars, it seems that they have made some improvements and if they do as they say, they will be a force in the low end market, but there is a lot of scepticism from the people I have talked to. I did feel that in theory they have a good product and if they can take that theory and move it into a functional offering, they will definately be a key player in the low end market. It seems that they are trying to move to a philosophy of a control system in every house which makes for an inexpensive product, but in my experience also leads to a product either lacking in features or reliability or quality or all of the above. They may be the ones to finally offer everything with a price and quality that spans all facets of the residential market, but until I see more concrete evidence of their theories translating into functional product, I will be forced to treat them like all of the other start up next generation control companies that have entered the market in CEDIAs past only to fade away before the next CEDIA rolled around. This is all of course only my opinion and as such should not stop you from looking into the company yourself. I know I will definately be keeping an eye on their progress becuase it has the potential to greatly affect the residential control market.

    Jeff
  • bogdanbogdan Junior Member Posts: 42
    Yes Jeff I agree with you but residential site it is almost all time about $$$ for client side, and words go around and cold reach them. You probably know how easy/hard is to sell expensive stuff.

    There is a pretty bridge between reality and theory


    I do love AMX and I hope they know what is going on and they will play safe. Probably the other is watching too.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Thanks Jeff
    I'll check them out.I know this is off topic but what is your/others take on the following: If they decide to go IP I hope they will still have the RS-232 port available. I'm not sure about others but I have all my classrooms on 1 subnet and I am starting to run out of IP's( They're suppose to give me another subnet soon). I find that everyone and their dog is now going to IP control and thats fine for your home or small office. Imagine however that each piece in a classroom is controlled via an IP and there are 6-10 pieces in each room. Now multiply that by 50 or 100 or more. It doesn't take long to run out of IP's in a subnet. Also with everything being controlled via the network then why would you need any sort control system,just put a hyper link or something on your computer desktop.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Thomas,

    Two things. I think the problem of running out IP addresses will eventually be solved by IPv6 when it finally goes mainstream. In the meantime, I would have to think about it in depth to be sure that this would solve problems and not create more, you could see about implementing a completely seperate network address space for AMX and other control products. As long as they don't need direct communication from the computers on the computer network, they should be ok seperately. Such as the computers run on the 10.0.0.0 network and the control products run on 192.168.0.0. With a router and some simple configuration, you could easily tap the main network for internet access. Again, this is just an idea in it's infancy.

    As for why would you need a control system if everything was IP? You still need the control system to be the brains of the operation. The control system still has to interpret a button push and then initiate the actions associated with the button push. Now, going to an IP distribution system could lead to the obsolescence of matrix switchers, but you still need the control system to tell the device on one end to play and on the other end to turn the volume up. You could do all of this from a web page and the web server would become the control system, but there would still be a control system in place and MAIN_DIETY[READERS_BELIEF_STRUCTURE] help us all if it's a Microsoft based webserver ;)

    Jeff
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi Jeff
    I image that it will be some time before we see the IPv6 where I work even after its release. In regards to the controller, if all the equipment is controllable via the web then you have no need for the controller(just a whole lot of button clicks). However I perfer to still have the main controller that oversees all the operations and allows you to perform several operations with one touch. I guess I mis-worded my previous reply, I would hope that companies will advance with technology but still have the old proven methods of control for their equipment,RS232/422/485 etc and op not to replace them with IP only(for now).
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Thomas,

    I doubt we will be seeing anyone remove a working RS232 from their product and replace it with only an IP Port. Most of the lower end control systems stick with IR and RS232 and for a company to automatically exclude a market when it has the technology in place doesn't seem like a good business move. But, just because companies are in business, it doesn't mean they think or act logically all of the time ;)

    But, in short I agree with you. I like to have options and would hate to loose the ability to communication via RS232 if the situation dictated it to be the best solution for whatever reason.

    Jeff
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    I like to have a discreet physically-based port that I can always reach when the IP connection fails for whatever reason - IP number conflict, DCHP server down, bad setings, whatever, can bring your system to its knees if you don't have somewhere to plug in that will always work.

    That said, and pending the acceptance of IPv6, it's not that big of a deal to put your control system on it's own subnet and connect it to the rest of your network with a router. You won't need the blessing of your IP department; the router IP is all the main network sees. I maintained a customer's system this way on a temporary basis while he was in the process of setting up his main network, and I simply re-mapped ports in the router to be able to access individual NetLinx products from the outside; within the subnet it didn't matter. You might have to get creative if the wiring structure is somewhat distributed, but in most cases you can find a workaround.
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