CEDIA 2006: First Look at Monster's Einstein Intelligent Home Control System

I got a chance to sneak into a custom installer-only demo that was showing off Monster's very hush-hush Einstein home control system. This system supposedly makes up the "home of the future." It's pretty fancy, but we'll have to wait and see how futuristic it really is. The system is made up of six creatively named components. Jump to see the low-down.

Pardon the low-quality picture above, they wouldn't let me get any closer (I think because they were non-functional units, disguised as functional units).

Nucleus: This is essentially was it sounds like. The Nucleus is the brain center of the entire Einstein system. It is where you set up programming, communication and other overall aspects of the Einstein system. It can also be controlled by a variety of devices, including Bluetooth-enabled cellphones and VoIP devices. It has dual 80 GB hard drives running RAID.

Photon: This is a 200-disc changer. One of the highlights about this unit is the ability to play two separate DVDs at once, on different displays around the house. I'll get to how multiple displays are used in a bit. The Nucleus can have up to five Photons connected, therefore 1,000 DVDs stored and up to 10 simultaneous streams of movies (given that your network can handle that).

Neutron: This is the storage unit. It can store up to 7.5 TB of data. Allows ripping of music CDs to the unit, no DVDs, though.

Astro: The Astro is a SIRIUS satellite radio tuner capable of 3-zone. Meaning it can stream three separate stations in different rooms, for example. This is the lone unit featured that can function stand-alone.

Electron: Remember how I mentioned streaming DVD's to multiple TVs. The Electron is what makes this happen. The Electron is an individual unit that will go with every TV/home theatre in your house. It connects to the Einstein system via a cat6 network and allows you to use all functions of the entire Einstein system anywhere in the home.

Tron: This is the remote control that controls the entire system. Like mentioned above, Bluetooth phones, Wi-Fi devices, and VoIP devices can do some controls, but Tron can do everything. It is fairly large—.maybe six-inches diagonal and the Monster folks seemed to believe this is a remote that will travel around with you from room to room. It's a little too big for that.

More details on this system, including true, functional units will be on display at CES and we will be there to give you the scoop. The hard launch will be in March of 2007 for custom installers only with the Einstein system moving into a more consumer electronics market a few months after. The estimated price for this entire system, which includes one of every product mentioned above, is $8,000, which isn't that bad compared to some of the competitors.