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Gefen Enters Home Automation Space with Web-Enabled Controllers

New GAVA system enables control of audio, video and home automation via any Web browser or iOS/Android device; Orrin Charm leads new control group.


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Orrin Charm, Gefen’s new automation product manager, shows the (optional) Gefen Audio/Video Automation (AVA) processor for use with the PACS and Mini-PACS device controllers. Gefen demo’d the new products at CES 2012.

Gefen is getting into the A/V control business. The famous maker of A/V switchers, extenders and adapters demonstrated for the first time its new GAVA (Gefen Audio Video Automation) system during CES 2012.

The new GAVA line includes the GAVA processor and two control hubs: the Professional Automation Control System (PACS) and the Mini PACS, which differ only in their I/O feature set. Both models offer RS-232, IP and IR communications, as well as relays for triggering motorized shades or other automated devices (more details in PR and specs, next page).

The PACS can be used in a rack in the case of a centralized A/V and control system. For a more distributed architecture, use the Mini PACS at each equipment cluster. When plugged into a home network, the GAVA processor brings added control to the PACS solution.

But that’s just the hardware. GAVA is really a software product, enabling control of audio, video and home automation products via any Web browser, smart phone, tablet or traditional home controller. The PACS and Mini PACS have built-in Web browsers, and Gefen provides easy-to-use configuration tools.

“There’s no programming required,” says Orrin Charm, a home automation veteran recently hired by Gefen to spearhead the company’s new automation initiatives. “You just tell it which products you’re using.”

GAVA is not unlike similar solutions offered by Global Caché and Bitwise, but Charm says the Gefen solution offers more built-in memory and provides streaming capabilities and content management not found in other Web-enabled controllers.

The streaming is “a big one,” says Charm. “It’s not just control.”

Furthermore, Global Caché and Bitwise are more like platforms on which third-party developers can create applications for A/V and home control (and they have do!). For now, Gefen is only using the GAVA hardware with its own software; however, Charm says the solution will "evolve to allow other apps."

Home systems integrator and CE Pro contributor Rich Fregosa says, “Hagai Gefen's company has certainly evolved and expanded from its initial 'Touch the Music' CD Management System from the early. It was revolutionary at the time.”

Available now for pre-order, the PACS (EXT-PACS) retails for $799.

Next page: GAVA and PACS press release and specs.

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Audio · Distributed Audio · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Events · CES · Ces 2012 · Gefen · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

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