A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Attero Tech’s New Outside-the-Box CobraNet ® Audio Interface Products Make Networked Digital Sound Systems Accessible and Cost-Effective

InfoComm 2008—Las Vegas, NV—Fort Wayne, IN-based Attero Tech has introduced its Outside-the-Box Series, four distinct products that make installing sophisticated CobraNet digital audio networks easy, accessible, and affordable.

The InBox, OutBox, MatchBox and VoiceBox give audio-system designers a simple way to place the mainstay components of most sound-system installations, and eliminate the logistical issues and time-consuming work of running analog-audio cables throughout an application.

Each Box is a fully-capable, true-CobraNet component: just one CAT5 Ethernet cable connects to every speaker, mixing console, audio processor, and other digitally networked products in the larger system.

“Designing and building complex sound systems has never been so easy or cost-effective as it is with our new Outside-the-Box product line,? said Mike Sims, Director of Marketing & Sales for Attero Tech. “Now systems integrators can connect full-featured microphone and line-in pre-amps, wall-mounted input and output connectors, computer audio integration, and support for balanced, unbalanced, and phantom-powered devices, using minimal cable drops, and still offer uncompromising audio quality in a full-featured system that is easy to use.?

CobraNet Eliminates the Complicated Mess of Analog System Design
Traditional sound systems carry analog signals over cumbersome and expensive three-conductor-shielded cables, with dedicated lines for each audio channel. Lines must be spliced, routed, and terminated to connect with a range of external equipment, and then rerouted any number of times for the audio to reach the appropriate destination.

In addition to the time and expense of pulling cable, analog-audio-system designers also fight signal degradation caused by excessive cable length, RF interference, ground loops, and line noise. Plus, there’s the added expense associated with testing for broken connections or incorrect wiring.

A CobraNet system uses specialized hardware and software to digitize and send high-quality audio across a standard Ethernet network. Just one CAT5 cable carries up to 64 channels of uncompressed 48,000 kHz, 24-bit audio to the network, eliminating much of the patchwork of analog cabling.

With Outside-the-Box products, there’s no more need for an analog system’s crosspoint switches and matrix mixers to connect multiple sources to differing destinations. In a CobraNet system, all signal routing is done automatically over the network, which is intelligently controlled by the equipment software.

“Every systems integrator who has worked on an undocumented or mislabeled sound system understands the time-consuming nightmare of trying to straighten out and reconfigure what cable goes where,? said Sims. “In contrast, CobraNet lets you reroute components without ever touching a single cable. Simply connect to the network with a computer, adjust device settings, and you’re done.?

InBox and OutBox also eliminate electrical wiring by taking advantage of Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology. With PoE technology, the same cable that sends and receives data signals also provides electricity to the Box. The entire installation requires just the Box, mounting options, one CAT5 Ethernet cable, and a standards-compliant PoE networking switch.

Get Out-Of-The-Box

Attero Tech’s Outside-the-Box series includes four products that combine to connect the most common components of a typical sound system into a CobraNet digital audio network:

InBox X2 & R8: in-wall audio inputs that easily connect to almost any consumer device, microphone, musical instrument, amplifier, processor, mixing board, speaker, or other professional-grade equipment. Two balanced XLR/TRS combo plugs (X2) or eight unbalanced RCA jacks (R8). X2 inputs also feature +12V phantom power and +0dB line/+30dB mic gains, switchable for each plug.

OutBox X2 & R8: in-wall audio outputs for two balanced XLR plugs (X2) or eight unbalanced RCA jacks (R8). Boxes mount in a standard dual-gang junction box for quick, clean, and low-overhead installations.

MatchBox USB: a one-box solution for easily integrating computer audio into a CobraNet sound system. Up to eight channels can be sent to or received from any part of the audio network. Since the box appears to PCs, Macs, and Linux as an external sound card, users can simply receive or play audio from regular programs such as iTunes, Windows Media, Audacity, or Digital Performer.

VoiceBox 4 I/O: full-featured, four-in, four-out mic/line preamp. All connections run through a DSP audio processor, which can be modified for manufacturer applications to use custom signal processing. Every input is equipped for +12V phantom power and gain (+0dB for line, +30dB for electret mics, or +50dB for dynamic mics), with each option selectable on a per-input basis. An RS-232 input enables data transmission from the box to any other CobraNet device that supports a serial bridge connection.

Whether using a single InBox to connect with an existing sound system made entirely from third-party equipment, or combined with other Attero Tech Boxes to build a new digital-audio network from the ground up, every Outside-the-Box product is independently CobraNet-ready, without the assistance of secondary devices of any kind.

“CobraNet audio systems offer easy installation, reduced wiring complexity, expandability, and flexibility that is unbeatable for meeting the challenges of designing sound systems in conference rooms, meeting centers, hotel ballrooms, sports facilities, convention centers, health clubs, restaurants, bars, churches and more,? said Sims. “With InBox, OutBox, MatchBox and VoiceBox, systems integrators get access to the power of networked audio – thinking Outside-the-Box to make competitive bids for complex sound systems.?
AtteroTech specializes in system, hardware, software, and embedded firmware design, for a wide range of markets and application areas: audio networking, digital video recording and playback, whole-house control, and signal routing. AtteroTech provides service in systems engineering, project planning and management, software and hardware development, and transition to manufacturing, on both contract and complete turnkey solution basis. For more information, visit www.AtteroTech.com.
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