There is no doubt that multi room audio has fast become a standard feature within todays custom install market. Imerge stands at the forefront of hard disc audio technology and first brought the M1000 SoundServer to market in 2000, wowing the market place with not only its good looks and build quality, but the revolutionary way it went about multi room audio. The M1000 allows the user to listen to up to 16 different pieces of music in up to 16 different rooms. This is achieved using XiVA? software. XiVA’s ability to integrate with many of the leading multiroom controllers such as AMX, Crestron, Niles, Russound, Systemline and Xantech has been key to SoundServer’s success in the custom install market. If you were to visit a custom installation anywhere in the world with a hard disk based audio server, chances are it would be an Imerge product!
Building on this platform, Imerge will be releasing a number of new products at Cedia 2002. The Cedia show based in Minn USA runs from 27-29 Sep. The all new S2000 SoundServer introduces a host of new features including an all new TV interface with Album cover art illustration, variable bit rate ‘VBR’ MP3 storage formats, CD play mode and optional Network Audio Player support. The S2000 introduces next generation hardware including new electronics giving improved functionality and features such as rear IR input, S-Video and VGA outputs and a digital optical audio output. A brand new cosmetic design and all new remote control complete the proposition.
The S2000’s new TV interface is very intuitive. You can register the S2000 with a few button presses, insert a CD and play it to determine whether you want to record a whole album or just a few tracks, edit your albums, artists, playlists and genres from the library menu, or connect up to the Gracenote? database and have all the information downloaded. You are able to select from a number of different recording formats, from CD quality 16 bit 44khz to 128kb/s mp3. There is also the option to select 192kb/s VBR (variable bit rate) mp3 for better storage. After all, you can always use storage. The S2000 comes with an 80Gb hard drive allowing a user to store up to 1300 hours of music, but add another drive (optional) and you have a whopping 2600 hours available.
If you want to integrate the S2000 with your existing multiroom system, you are able to do so thanks to the control options available on the unit. As well as front panel IR, there is also a wired 3.5mm IR input on the back panel, for use with multiroom systems using IR. You are still also able to control from various zones using the Philips Pronto and variants, and also a Palm based PDA running XiVA tacta software. Then there is the XiVALink RS232 port for connection to multiroom systems that use this protocol. The list of systems is growing and includes such established names as AMX and Crestron.
With Network Audio Player support the S2000 really is the next generation in multi room technology. Networking audio through standard ethernet cabling is now possible with the S2000 and the optional NP200. The Imerge NP200 Network Audio System is a device that can digitally stream audio from a SoundServer S2000 over an Ethernet connection. Up to 6 NP200’s can be connected to a single SoundServer; each player can independently select an individual track, custom playlist, or complete album, artist or genre for playout. So while Dad is listening to Eric Clapton in the living room, Mum can listen to Bach in the dining room, whilst the children can listen to Britney Spears in the bedroom, all streamed from the same server. Another room? Simply add another player to expand your installation.
The Imerge NP200 fully integrates with the Ethernet wiring for your home network and unlike analogue cables the audio quality doesn’t degrade over long distances. In addition to playing music stored on your SoundServer, the Imerge NP200 is also a complete compact audio system with built-in amplification (as well as a digital optical and analogue output). You can listen to your favourite radio station using the FM/AM RDS tuner and access an extensive range of internet radio stations around the world using the XiVA-Net tuning service. You can even use the NP200 as an alarm clock to wake up to your favourite album track or radio station!
The S2000 and the NP200 combine with ease. Setting up is a dream. Plug the S2000 into your home network, assign it an IP address and then move to your next room and connect an NP200 to the home network. Input the relevant IP details and away you go. Instant control of all the features of the S2000. Select an album, artist, playlist just as you would on the S2000 As the NP200 is on your home network, connecting to internet radio is a button press away. Want to listen to your local FM station? Another button press will enable the FM/AM tuner. Thanks to the built in 2 x 15W amplifier, just plug in a pair of speakers and listen to the music.
“This year’s CEDIA US show promises to be the most exciting yet for Imerge” commented Chris Janes, Brand Manager at Imerge. “We are well positioned to improve our share of the custom install market with a range of new products and Home Network solutions”.
Based in Cambridge, UK, Imerge Ltd develops Next Generation Media Appliance Software (XiVA?) and associated hardware for the converging digital markets of audio, video, telecoms, broadcasting and the Internet. XiVA? is the middleware that powers the next-generation of Internet-connected Media Appliances and home networking products. Developed by Imerge, XiVA? comprises software and hardware reference platforms to create a range of exciting home entertainment products including hard disk audio players, multi-room audio servers, AV Home Media centers, network audio receivers and A/V control applications. XiVA? brings an extensive range of product solutions and technology licensing options to third party CE manufacturers, PC and networking companies as well as content, software and service providers.
Products powered by XiVA? include ‘SoundServer’, Imerge’s revolutionary and highly successful multi-room audio player. SoundServer allows the user to play back different tracks in up to 16 different rooms at the same time, and can store thousands of hours of music all on one system. SoundServer can be controlled using one of the industry standard multi-room controllers. The embedded XiVA? software enables the user to access any album or track, instantly, search by album, artist, or genre and even to create personal playlists for dinner parties or to match a personal mood.