Multiroom AV
Square D Clipsal Extends Control to Multiroom Audio
The lighting control provider Square D Clipsal is now offering distributed audio through its Multi Room Audio line.
Square D audio
Square D Clipsal’s Desktop Mounted Amplifier for its Multi Room Audio system
March 26, 2007 by Arlen Schweiger

For consumers looking for another one-stop-shop installation solution for their home’s lighting systems and distributed audio, Schneider Electric has announced an extension of its Square D Clipsal lighting control system with the addition of its Multi Room Audio product line.

The new Multi Room Audio offering provides audio distribution and control throughout an entire home — or just one room if that’s all you want — and seamlessly integrates into the Square D Clipsal lighting to form one simple, reliable control system, the company says. With Square D Clipsal lighting control, pre-programmed mood or scene lighting is available at the touch of a button, and easy-to-read LED switch indicators provide homeowners with illumination and constant status feedback so they always know what’s going on with their system. (Additions to the system on the horizon will allow further integration with full automation programs that include HVAC controls, security, irrigation and others, says Schneider.)

Wall-mounted keypads, such as the Neo and Saturn, account for the most common method of control for both the Square D Clipsal lighting control system and Multi Room Audio is via wall-mounted keypads. The stylish, modern-looking keypads are available black-and-white or color touchscreen.

A single Square D Clipsal Saturn or Neo keypad with Dynamic Labeling Technology (DLTTM) can control up to eight functions, including lighting or audio controls. Each button displays editable text or graphics to indicate the room, custom-designed lighting scene or audio levels it controls.

Other main components of the Multi Room Audio system include a Square D Clipsal Matrix Switcher, Desktop Amplifier and Remote Amplifiers. The Matrix Switcher is installed in a central location together with audio sources such as a radio tuner, CD player, iPod personal music player and digital TV set top box, and connections are made to the amplifiers and to the Clipsal C-Bus network. Amplifiers are installed in each room where audio is to be distributed and are connected to speakers as well as the C-Bus network.

Using the keypads or touchscreens, or the controls on the Desktop Amplifier, each amplifier can select different audio sources and adjust the volume, bass and treble, the company says. The Remote Amplifiers are controlled entirely by the input devices, and have no controls on their front panel. Also available is an optional Audio Distribution Unit, which allows a single stereo audio input to be added to the digital input of the Matrix Switcher. It also allows one distributable stereo audio input to be plugged into the Amplifiers when no Matrix Switcher is used (when Amplifiers are used in stand-alone mode).

A typical Multi Room Audio system distributes up to four stereo analogue audio inputs — or five if an Audio Distribution Unit is used — and one stereo optical digital audio input. These inputs are distributed to up to eight zones, each consisting of one or more amps. Additionally, each amplifier can receive a local stereo audio input, providing up to seven stereo audio channels for each amplifier.

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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