CEDIA News: iPods Head Home

At CEDIA, iPod control was everywhere, Crestron, Niles, Monitor Audio, Oxmoor, Denon, Harman-Kardon, Pioneer, B&K, Russound and Onkyo/Integra all had integration. I find a flaw in the pursuit of home iPodding on massively expensive systems, since those that have the money really ought to have media servers that can deliver music to their iPods instead of using the iPod to play music to the whole house. Sure, iPods can play Apple's lossless files and uncompressed audio, but will owners know how to pick the good stuff? Store high-res files at home, take compressed with you...

More iPod Home goodness after the jump.

Given that this show is a show for custom a/v installers and dealers, there was much emphasis on whole-house or distributed audio from an iPod. Crestron showed their interface, which promises to be big in this market. Since Crestron has a large portion of the control system market, this is a logical add-on. Their product has a break-out box that allows for the connection of analog audio, Ethernet and power. Unlike most Crestron products, there's really no limitation to the number of connections desired because it just uses Ethernet (as opposed to their proprietary networking). Niles offered a card to its distributed audio receiver that allows for iPod integration, and Oxmoor added a unit that when hung off the ZON network allows for audio delivery to all rooms connected. Russound also showed a couple of iPod connections for their multiroom audio systems. For those with single zones (or perhaps a couple), there were many units for connecting to receivers and components. Denon showed its AVR-4036 receiver, which has an integrated iPod connector along with USB port for other players. Harman-Kardon showed the new AVR 340, AVR 240 and AVR 140 receivers that allow for a $70 product called "The Bridge" to be added for charging and playback of iPod music through the receiver. Onkyo/Integra showed a $100 "Remote Interactive Dock" with their new receivers through a 2-way IR connection. Pioneer introduced some new Elite series receivers that incorporates display of track information on connected TVs and on the integrated display. Monitor Audio also showed a standalone dock that has better D/A converters and other fanciness.