AMX will use the UK Cedia 2006 Expo to deliver a major boost to dealers and installers serving the residential market. A raft of new products designed for residential applications will be unveiled for the first time along with ‘Visual Architect’,which is new design software for solution providers.

AMX claim that VisualArchitect dramatically slashes the time required to generate touch panel designs, program hardware, and create system diagrams. They also say it can produce a quotation in a matter of minutes. This new software is being offered completely free of charge, with registration, to AMX dealers and installers. Other new products to be launched include two new handheld remote control units, AMX’s smallest Modero touch screen panel and new MAX digital content servers, designed specifically for the residential market.

In addition to the new product offers, AMX will use the exhibition to promote total compliance of its entire product range with EU directives, RoHS and WEEE, concerned with removing hazardous substances from electrical equipment and minimising their impact on the environment.

VisualArchitect is set to have a major impact on the productivity of system designers, programmers and installers, enabling them to execute tasks in a fraction of the time. Targeted at single room applications, VisualArchitect based systems can be combined with simple programming from an experienced AMX programmer to form larger integrated systems.

System design begins by simply dragging and dropping icons of AMX interfaces and the other hardware being used into a work area. A few additional menu-driven steps generate all of the files for the system – including third-party device modules, IR codes, system macros and touch panel interface designs. VisualArchitect enables programmers to easily identify Dynamic Device Discovery enabled products from manufacturers other than AMX and integrate these products into the system without any additional programming.

The program automatically backs up all job files with the system reports that are critical to the installation and integration process. It also enables dealers to print out detailed instructions, a list of AMX products, third-party device mapping and macro definitions.

The new residential products being shown at CEDIA include the Mio Modero R-1 and R-2 handheld remote controls, which utilise infra-red and RF control technology respectively. Both units have been developed in direct response to customer requests for a remote control that is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand and complement current home electronics systems and control technologies.

The Mio Modero R-1 is an ideal solution for residential environments where infrared control of a specific number of integrated devices is required. Using RF (radio frequencies), the R-2 can transmit signals through walls, ceilings and other materials up to 100 feet indoors/300 feet outdoors, enabling it to control devices from more than one room. The remote controls are available with a matching charging station.

The handheld remotes are complemented by a 5″ widescreen Modero touch screen user interface panel, AMX’s smallest, feature-rich, touch panel, offering the same advanced features and functionality as the company’s existing Modero panels, but in a smaller, more discrete form. The 5″ Modero is the perfect solution for the small spaces found in home foyers, hallways, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Further benefiting installers serving the residential market is the introduction of two new content servers targeted specifically at this sector. The new MAX-HT content servers are the world’s first multimedia servers engineered specifically for direct placement in acoustically demanding environments such as home cinemas. Similarly, the MAX Audio/Video Player (AVP) is the industry’s first product to combine an Audio/Video Module (AVM), which displays content from a multimedia server, with a high-end DVD player for ad hoc viewing.

The RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive aims to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. This directive will ban from the EU market new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants being sold in the EU from 1 July 2006.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive aims to minimise the impacts of electrical and electronic equipment on the environment during their life times and when they become waste.

It is not known when the new products will be available in Australia however they will be on show at the Gold Coast CEDIA event in July 2006.


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