Barix Exstreamer Home Network Audio Interfaces Go High-End With Digital I/O and Infrared at CEDIA

Swiss maker Barix is adding “pro” quality interfaces to its line of home audio networking devices that use Ethernet to move streaming audio (MP3, Internet radio, and now uncompressed, full-resolution audio as well) between home audio systems and computers or Internet connections.

At CEDIA 2003 in Indianapolis (Sept. 3-7, 2003), Barix and North American distributor Grid Connect will be announcing and demonstrating the new Exstreamer Digital Professional ($425 US) and Instreamer Digital Input Professional ($425 US) interfaces.

The new models add high-quality audio capabilities to the compelling features already provided by the basic Exstreamer ($179 US) and Exstreamer Wireless ($299 US) network players.

The general idea with all of the Barix players is that they use standard computer networking technology – Ethernet at 10/100 Mbps for wired devices, and 802.11b protocol for wireless – to distribute audio from computer file and Internet streaming sources, via standard stereo audio connections to consumer electronics equipment.

You connect the Exstreamer to an Ethernet network, access it via a Web browser anywhere on the network (or even a remote location on the Internet), then control digital audio files or Internet audio streams from anywhere on the connected network.

You can use multiple Exstreamer devices to inject audio into home entertainment systems throughout your home or office location, in any room with a network connection.

While the original Exstreamer model provides RCA jack and headphone outputs, the new Exstreamer Digital Professional MP3 and Streaming Music player adds stereo digital S/PDIF outs via both TOSlink optical connector and RCA jack.

The new model also provides IR remote control features, even functioning as a bidirectional transparent infrared gateway with an optional stick-on transmitter.

The advanced, high-end features make the Exstreamer Digital ideal for use by professional home installers, who can now handle just about any customer requirement when setting up a distributed audio system. It can be controlled by Web-connected pads and PDAs, in addition to computers, or simply by an IR remote control. With serial and Ethernet control API’s, the device can be managed from typical home automation systems. Software developers can even develop custom audio applications using one of the well-documented Ethernet, serial or Web-based interfaces.

A typical application will be in multi-room distributed audio systems. Thanks to its audio synchronisation capability, digital audio distribution to large halls or rooms with interconnecting, open doors or gates is now possible and easy to implement.

Average home users will also find Exstreamer devices are easy to install, thanks to their unique SonicIP and IPzator features: after power-up, the device will speak it’s own IP address to the audio port!

The new Instreamer Digital Input Professional shares similar technology and control features, but moves audio in the opposite direction – from the home audio system, into the computer streaming out to the Internet. Audio from stereo systems, tape players, tuners, microphones, or other sources can stream audio onto the network.

The Instreamer’s audio connections include Line In (RCA, 2Vpp max level) and S/PDIF In (TOSlink optical and RCA), instead of outputs. It converts analog and digital audio into MP3 streams, and serves it to the connected network just like an ordinary Internet radio station.

Barix Web Site

Exstreamer Web Site

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