Published On: May 17, 2010

Xantech Using Apple iPad As Controller

Published On: May 17, 2010
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Xantech Using Apple iPad As Controller

In a move I see more and more manufacturers making, Xantech is turning their control over to the hot, touch panel of choice -Apple's iPad. While the iPad may be revolutionizing tablet computers it's poised to turn the CE world on its head with virtually every manufacturer scrambling to maximize their involvement with the sleek little tablet.

Xantech Using Apple iPad As Controller

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Xantech-Ipad.gifAlmost everyone is playing "catch up" to the new iPad® these days. One notable exception is Xantech, which is now following-up on its first iPad-enabled A/V system with its next-generation of devices designed to ensure even smoother integration of tablet technology into the home entertainment infrastructure.

Read's Apple iPad 3G Feature Review here.

At InfoComm 2010 in Las Vegas, Xantech will demonstrate its iPad-enabled MX- audio/video and home automation controller, which the company introduced earlier this year and will now be shipping this quarter. This first Xantech iPad-enabled product allows an iPad to control an entire Xantech multi-room audio/video system. Also at InfoComm 2010, Xantech will debut two more iPad solutions. The first is a Xantech control & interface system, which will enable an iPad to control any other infra-red (IR) equipped audio/video components and systems on the market. Since IR is ubiquitous in almost every residential and commercial A/V application, this means Xantech's next iPad innovation will significantly expand the range of iPad control options in any installed A/V system. The second is the Xantech MRIP, which will enable integrators to upgrade other Xantech audio/video systems with IP connectivity and iPad® control.

Xantech's President Graham Hallett stated "It is fitting for our company, which essentially invented the concept of audio/video control decades ago, to be a pioneer with this promising new technology. We approached the iPad concept with the advantage of a 'triple-play' skill set: in touch-screen technology with the introduction of our acclaimed SmartPanel• series; in digital audio with our recent award-winning technology; and in IP connectivity and control through our A/V line. Combining all of our expertise into an iPad-capable audio/video and home automation system is simply something we've been cross-training to do long before the iPad was even a rumor. Whether the iPad is here for the long haul, it has brought great excitement to our industry and we are in the right place at the right time -- with the right technology at the right price."

Analysts are predicting that about 8 million iPads will be sold in 2010-2011, and -- like the approximately 75 million iPod touch® and iPhones® already out there -- will see mainstream acceptance as multi-purpose devices. As users start looking for ways to use their iPads for more than web-surfing, email and e-book reading, Xantech will be ready to take them into an intuitive whole-house audio/video control and media experience.

Xantech's new MX88 IP-enabled multi-room audio/video controller is engineered for iPad control along with Xantech keypad and Xantech SmartPanel LCD touch-screen control. An integrated audio/video and home control tour-de-force, the network-ready MX88 combines an audiophile-grade 16-channel/8-zone multi-room amplifier and a highly efficient auto-sensing universal power supply with advanced audio/video distribution and automation features including IP communication and two-way interface with an iPhone, iPod touch, or an iPad.

The MX88 continues in the proud tradition of Xantech's MRC88 audio/video controller, which recently earned recognition in prestigious A/V installations featured in CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles® Magazine and elsewhere. With its on-board, IP-based iPad interface, the MX88 ensures that the built-in entertainment system is compatible with the latest in PC-based control technology innovation. Xantech also plans on showing an upgrade solution at InfoComm 2010, the MRIP, which can interface with selected models of the company's acclaimed MRC-series of audio/video controllers to offer iPad® control capability to an even wider range of initial users.

Xantech's iPad® integration approach involves using WiFi to interface an MX-series controller to an iPad and designing a web application which is embedded in the new MX88's architecture. This allows the controller to serve web pages back to an iPad and receive information and commands directly from it. In this way, minimal application processing is used by the iPad itself -- the Xantech audio/video controller does all the processing and control "heavy lifting" necessary to manage media. System control and status monitoring can all be accessed within the immediate environment of a local area network, as well as remotely over the Internet. Full metadata, menu navigation and even album artwork are all transitioned from media source to the iPad through the Xantech audio/video controller itself.

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The potential for iPad-enabled multi-room A/V systems is substantial since every MX controller has a unique IP address. This makes system size practically unlimited, depending on the amount of parallel web sessions a tablet computing appliance or a PC can run. Custom installers can design systems featuring arrays of networked MX-type controllers depending on the desired overall multi-room A/V system size. In addition, multiple iPads can interface with a Xantech system simultaneously, essentially creating a wireless network of interactive 2-way control portals within a whole house system.

Read's Apple iPad 3G Feature Review here.

As Graham Hallett noted, "We regard Apple ®'s latest technology as another great opportunity in the same class as our other Apple-enabling innovation, the 'Audio Product of the Year' -- our XIS100 iPod ® interface had just won Platinum (first place) in that category in CEA's Mark of Excellence awards in 2010. Our previous generation of audio/video controllers is fully compatible with the best performance deliverable from an iPod. So, making sure that our next generation of controllers is perfected for the iPad is something we took very seriously. We look forward to more industry recognition for our efforts in 2011 -- and in the meantime, integrators wishing to design their current projects around the iPad can do so in confidence with Xantech."

Xantech's iPad -ready MX88vi (video+audio) and MX88ai (audio only) controller-amplifiers, previewed at CES this past January, will ship in May 2010. Xantech's iPad-enabled new audio/video controller line will be followed by the MRIP IP upgrade solution for other Xantech audio/video controllers as well as the XenBridge interface, the device which allows an iPad to control virtually any remote-controllable A/V component simply and reliably. The debut for both is planned this June at InfoComm 2010 in Las Vegas. 

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