Yamaha recently introduced the MusicCAST2 Network Music System. MusicCAST2 is a WiFi-based system with no unsightly wires that can be set up with ease. The system can distribute audio to up to 32 rooms from a vast array of sources, including Rhapsody digital music streaming service, Internet radio, computers (PC and Mac) and NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.
MusicCAST2 supports iTunes AAC files via TwonkyMedia Server software which is bundled with the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander. In addition, individual MusicCAST2 Network Music Players can playback music from iPod and Bluetooth devices via optional accessories, as well as from USB thumb drives.
The MusicCAST2 system consists of the Network Music Commander (MCX-RC100), a remote control with a full-color LCD screen, touch pad and intuitive graphic user interface (GUI), and Network Music Players (MCX-A300 and MCX-P200) that can be placed anywhere throughout the home. Depending on the size of the living space and individual preferences, users can employ any number of Commanders and Music Players, up to 32 each, to enjoy their music experiences.
MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander
The driver of the MusicCAST2 system is the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander, which controls the distribution of audio content to all zones in the house. The MCX-RC100 can be carried from room-to-room to operate all of the system's network players and connected components. It is easy and fun to browse and access all available entertainment options with the unit's full-color, 3.5 inch LCD screen, touch pad and intuitive GUI that displays zone and source icons, album art, song titles, and other information.
Alarm and sleep functions allow users to start and end their days with their favorite music. The controller includes a charging cradle that keeps it handy and ready for use anytime.
MCX-RC100 Advanced Control Capability
Right out of the box, and without cutting holes and running wires, MusicCAST2 can smartly integrate multi-room music distribution into existing home theater systems. When Yamaha network receivers, such as the RX-Z7 or RX-V3900, are on the same network, the MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander becomes a multi-zone remote control for these receivers. Utilizing two-way communication, the Network Music Commander can power A/V receivers on, browse and navigate content, select sources and adjust volume levels from anywhere in the house.
MCX-A300 and MCX-P200 Network Music Players
The MCX-A300 Network Music Player only requires speakers to deliver sound to the zone in which it is placed. The player can receive music streamed from the Rhapsody online music service, Internet radio and NAS drives even when the computer is not powered on. The player is compatible with a wide array of audio formats, including MP3, WMA (except lossless and PRO), AAC (except Apple lossless and Apple FairPlay DRM), FLAC and WAV.
The MCX-P200 Network Music Player is similar to the MCX-A300, only it is a pre-amp component with great setup flexibility. A line out terminal enables it to work in conjunction with any A/V receiver, HTiB or mini-system for amplification. The MCX-P200 can function as a universal IR remote with multiple IR outs that can control other AV components, such as a TV, set-top box or Blu-ray/DVD player, via IR flashers and the MCX-RC100 Commander's intuitive GUI display. The individual remotes sold with each of these receivers and systems can be put in a drawer.
Yamaha's dock port on back of the Network Music Players allows connection to iPods and Bluetooth devices via optional Yamaha accessories (YDS-11 iPod docks and YBA-10 Bluetooth receivers). The music players also feature subwoofer outs for additional bass response in a given zone. Top panel controls provide convenient access to basic functions, such as volume and muting.
Each MusicCAST2 component can be purchased separately, or as a start-up package (MusicCAST2 Zone Pack 2A) which includes one MCX-RC100 Network Music Commander and two MCX-A300 Network Music Players. The MCX-RC100, MCX-A300, MCX-P200 and MCX-ZP2A are currently available for $499.95, $399.95, $399.95 and $1199.95 respectively. The optional Yamaha YDS-11 iPod dock and YBA-10 Bluetooth receiver accessories are also currently available for MSRP $99.95 and $129.95, respectively.