ATON, a premier manufacturer of affordable, high performance speakers and audio/video distribution systems, announced today that the company is shipping the industry’s very first products utilizing DIGI-5 technology – the DH44/DH46X digital audio routers and their accompanying DHTP1 Amplified Touchpads. These products set new standards for affordable, plug and play audio distribution with no signal loss, leveraging the new technology of the DIGI-5 platform. Bob Williams, ATON’s General Manager, made the announcement.
“ATON’s DIGI-5 audio distribution solution exceeds the quality of existing analog over CAT 5 audio topologies by converting every signal to a digital one. By being the first to harness DIGI-5 infrastructure unveiled at CEDIA Expo 2007 in Denver; Digi-5 creates a seamless mix of intelligent design supporting state-of-the-art Direct Digital Amplification (DDX) that literally splits the amplifier’s functions between the master hub and each of the system’s zones for high efficiency and quality sound. The DIGI-5 infrastructure, developed collectively by the Linear Home Technology Group, will be cropping up in other manufacturers’ products over the next year, and as a recent addition to the Linear Home Technology Group we are especially proud to be the first to market with our DH44, DH46X and DHTP1 products, all which utilize DIGI-5 Technology,” said Mr. Williams.
Splitting amplifier functions is an ingenious solution for increasing performance while limiting amplifier noise and signal degradation. That means the amplifier interface is located with the source inputs and power conditioning, while the actual power or “amplifying” stage is located in each zone where it is directly wired to the speaker allowing for more power at the listing point. Since DIGI-5 literally places a power amplifier in each zone, the amplifier to speaker run is never more than a few feet long with zero signal degradation. That, in conjunction with a pure digital signal maintained system-wide, contributes to an amazingly clean sound that is usually the domain of expensive Class A amplifiers.
Intelligent design reigns over ATON’s implementation of DIGI-5 with plug and play simplicity. Each Zone’s DDX power device runs so efficiently it resides in a light-switch panel sized touchpad. While delivering 30 watts RMS per channel at 8 ohms to the speakers in that zone, the digital design keeps the pad cool to the touch requiring no in-wall ventilation. At the same time the amplifier’s power efficiencies produce sound levels on a par with the levels of higher wattage analog amplifiers. The DIGI-5 architecture delivers the audio signal, system power and two-way control information, so that installation is fast, easy and low maintenance using a single run of Cat-5 cable per zone. Since about 95-98% of all DH44 wiring is Cat-5 vs. the more expensive 16/4 speaker wire, the most time-intensive part of a conventional installation is cut in half while the cost savings on the wire itself are substantial. Unlike other Cat-5 audio systems that operate at lower voltages because of resistance issues, DIGI-5 dedicates extra real estate in the cable to power transport so that each zone showcases the clarity of the system’s all digital signals with the power to back up the low end with thundering bass lines.
Finally, all digital all the time, means just that. At the front end, and in each room’s optionl DHSIP Source Input Wallplate, ATON provides inputs for up to four Optical and/or Coax digital audio inputs to start with a digital signal. For older analog devices, there are also the standard analog RCA inputs, but these are immediately converted into digital signals so that no matter what the source, it is always in a pristine digital state from end to end. This is an important feature because many “digital” devices start with a digital signal that is downgraded to analog for use in less expensive Class A/B amplifiers. These units are easy to work with but have none of the noise defeating properties of a pure digital circuit.
From an engineering standpoint, there are many smaller components of the DDX technology and the DIGI-5 architecture that help the DH44 produce cleaner sound with less energy. The most dramatic is the way the system processes the signals. All communications systems transmit signals over a carrier. In the case of most conventional amplifiers, the carrier is an electrical current that is shaped by the audio signal so that the positive and negative power sweeps cancel each other leaving the signal. The carrier is always on with this approach and by definition is always creating interference while wasting power as part of the signal transport. DDX side-steps this problem by only supplying energy when the signal exists. This cleaner signal reduces noise by up to 20% and increases amplifier efficiencies by as much as three times. That is why the DH44 wallplate “amplifiers” can sound as good as their more powerful analog counterparts yet run cool-to-the-touch. It is also why something that sounds so good, can cost less money to manufacture, install and run.
ATON’s DIGI-5 products will be shipping mid-August including the DH44 Digital Audio Router (MSRP $799) DH46X Expansion Router (MSRP $699), DHTP1 Digital Amplified Touchpad (MSRP $199), and the DHSIP Source Input Wallplate (MSRP $129). All ATON DIGI-5 routers and support products including the renowned Musician Tuned Storm Speaker Series will be available for hands-on use demos at CEDIA Expo 2008 September 4th through the 7th at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado.
ATON products are designed using multiple control and distribution technologies to provide easy-to-install systems that route, control and deliver audio and video content throughout the home. The company’s core technologies include Dynamic Level Adjustment (DLA) Speaker Level Audio Routing, Radio Frequency (RF), Infrared (IR), and Category 5 (Cat5) digital distribution of audio and video. Organized in late 2005 as a development group, the company has been working on key products aimed at providing innovative, affordable systems for consumers. ATON, a division of ELAN Home Systems, LLC is based in Lexington, Kentucky, and sells through a distribution network to custom installers. To learn more, visit http://www.atonhome.com
ATON is a trademark of ELAN Home Systems, LLC, Lexington, KY.
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“ATON’s DH44 Digital Audio Router and DHTP1 Digital Amplified Touchpad are the Custom Audio Industry’s First Digi-5 Products.”