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HARMAN’s BSS Audio Introduces Soundweb Contrio Control And Media Server: Provides Advanced Control Capabilities for Professional Audio Networking

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Raising the performance threshold of large-scale professional audio networking in stadiums, arenas and large fixed installations, HARMAN’s BSS Audio today debuted its Soundweb Contrio system control server at InfoComm 2014. Now, integration professionals have the ability to design network architectures that place advanced system control, system management and media server functionality at a central point of the network and, in doing so, build systems that are more efficient, more practical and better performing. At just 1U rack space, the Soundweb Contrio server is a headless system controller device fully configurable with HiQnet Audio Architect™ software as part of the HARMAN Architectural Media Systems solution. Backwards-compatible with BSS Audio’s Soundweb London family, the Soundweb Contrio server is the first product within the new Soundweb Contrio family that will ultimately provide enhanced processing capability and greater flexibility for a variety of applications.

Advanced system control

The Soundweb Contrio server enables comprehensive system control logic configuration, both with a similar ‘wiring’ design environment as exposed in Audio Architect for existing Soundweb London devices, and a new open scripted Lua environment. The overall system is made even more efficient by running a logic system separate from the audio devices, which frees up processing capability and reduces the amount of hardware required.

System-wide presets can be configured at the parameter level, enabling a very precise level of detail in the creation of system reset functionality.

An event scheduler enables comprehensive preset recall – whether at a system level, a device level or at a parameter level.

The Soundweb Contrio server also provides a single network clock to provide an accurate synchronization of all HiQnet devices on the network.

System management

The server includes a system self-healing functionality. By monitoring the Ethernet switch and ports to which all devices are connected, a day-to-day operator need only replace a device on the same switch port and the server will automatically remotely configure all the addressing and configuration of the new device to match the old. In this way, it is not necessary to launch a software application to add replacement devices to the system.

The Soundweb Contrio server monitors all HiQnet devices and logs all warning or error conditions. The event logs of individual devices are also aggregated to provide a centralized monitoring location for the full system.

The server can send email information regarding the logged events, the degree of severity configurable within Audio Architect.

Media server

The Soundweb Contrio server supports both HARMAN BLU link and Audinate Dante™ audio transports in order that it can fit appropriately with a variety of system configurations.

In addition to its ability to recall system-wide presets, the event scheduler enables message playback over the audio network.

As with the Soundweb London series of products, the Soundweb Contrio server is configured within HiQnet Audio Architect – HARMAN’s common control software application for all devices in a sound system, from microphone to speaker. To facilitate system setup, HiQnet Audio Architect is unique in its graphical representation of the installed sound venue as the system design environment.

The Soundweb Contrio server runs an embedded version of HiQnet Audio Architect and is therefore immediately capable of providing integrators and end-users comprehensive management of all system presets, backup, storage of specific venue setup modes, event aggregation and scheduling.

“The Soundweb Contrio server provides audio professionals, systems integrators and end users with the best of both worlds,” said Iain Gregory, Market Manager, BSS Audio. “It provides enterprise-grade architecture and performance functionality coupled with a simple, intuitive user ecosystem comprising headless devices and wall controllers. The Soundweb Contrio server is the critical first step in enabling systems designers and their customers with exactly the right tools when they each need them.”

“By leveraging the power of HARMAN Audio Architect, and the vast number of devices from microphone to loudspeaker it now controls, we are providing the strongest possible foundation for the Soundweb Contrio server and delivering the most comprehensive audio system management platform available to date,” stated Adam Holladay, Market Manager, System Development and Integration Group, HARMAN Professional.

The Soundweb Contrio server is the first of the next generation of backward-compatible BSS Audio products and is designed to work in conjunction with BSS Audio’s new series of Soundweb Contrio wall controllers. The controllers are available in white or black and provide visual feedback for end-users to easily manage and adjust audio operation in a specific environment.

The headless appliance is just 1U rack space high and features a 500GB solid-state drive.

The Soundweb Contrio server will be available in September 2014.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 15,200 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.1 billion for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2014.

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