Marantz Brings Power-Line Networking to Audio

Marantz ZR6001 A/V receiver and ZR4001 DAvED power-line audio networking client

Traditionally, supplying music to rooms throughout a home has meant installing multiple amplifiers and running hundreds if not thousands of feet of wiring. While this usually isn't a problem if done during new construction, it can be an expensive or even impossible proposition in an existing house.

For everyone wanting to avoid a costly retrofit, there are solutions like Sonos' Digital Music System and Yamaha's MusicCAST that use WiFi technology. These systems create their own wireless home network, which can sometimes be susceptible to interference from other devices or appliances that use the airwaves. But there's another approach: how about using your home's existing electrical wiring to distribute signals around the house? While many companies are looking to power-line carrier (PLC) technology as another avenue for broadband home networking, until now no one has really exploited it as a means of audio distribution.

Marantz is looking to change that with its new ZR6001 audio/video receiver ($1,299). The ZR6001 comes loaded with the usual barrage of Dolby and DTS surround options, seven 90-watt amplifier channels, and component-video switching. But it also uses what Marantz is calling DAvED (Digital Audio via Electrical Distribution) to route audio and control signals through a home's existing power lines.

Remote rooms can rock out via ZC4001 clients (as many as six per system), which sell for $329 each. Installation couldn't be simpler -- just plug them into the wall! Each client features powered stereo speakers as well as an aux input for local sources, such as iPods. They also incorporate SRS WOW processing to add spaciousness to the sound and can control sources connected to the ZR6001 as well as play audio from them.

Marantz expects both products to be available sometime during the first quarter of this year.

06_ces_marantz_2 Marantz's ZC4001 DAvED power-line audio networking client has built-in powered speakers.

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