Those Crafty SpeakerCraft Guys
In addition to bribing those members of the press who were smart enough to preregister for the press conference with 30GB iPods loaded with a special message from founder Jeremy Burkhart, SpeakerCraft showed off enough products to fill a mansion or two during one of the first press conferences here at CEDIA. First there was the new wireless MODE Free controller that can be in-wall mounted using a special bracket that allows for the controller to be removed whenever you want to take it for a walk. In addition to multi-room audio distribution, the MODE controllers allow a homeowner to link up to six iPods in the house and share music and metadata. Then came the new Accufit Ultra Slim in-ceiling speaker which is only 1 7/8" deep. It uses what SpeakerCraft calls a "sealed and ported" enclosure which is sealed on the back (the part that hides in the wall) but has a front-mounted prort that fires into the room. Also discussed were the new smaller TIME Mini speakers that descend from the ceiling and can be aimed toward the listening area.
The biggest announcement, however, involved a new audio distribution standard that the companies within the Linear Technology Group (SpeakerCraft, Xantech, Niles, Elan, Aton, and Linear) have developed that uses CAT-5 to distribute audio digitally throughout the home. The system, called Digi-5, uses tocuhpads that incorporate digital amplifiers along with DSP processing so bass, treble, and other audio processing can be done for each room. The touchpads are said to be plug and play for ease of installation.
The group hopes to license the Digi-5 technology to other companies throughout the custom installation industry.