Emotiva Pro Builds Processor/Receiver with Control4 Inside
Popular Internet-direct brand Emotiva launching Pro division at CEDIA, showing A/V processor/receiver with built-in Control4 automation.
One of the most popular audio brands you’ve never heard of is coming to CEDIA Expo.
Emotiva (Pavilion #1836) will launch a new division called Emotiva Pro and demo its first line of products for CE pros. The most notable introduction will be the PMC-1, an HDMI 1.4 processor/7.1 receiver with built-in Control4.
Emotiva is an Internet-direct (ID) brand with a strong following among enthusiasts who enjoy the company’s high-performance amps, preamps and speakers. Unlike some ID brands, Emotiva does not simply import products, it designs them from the ground up and charges a premium for them.
“We’ve developed a loyal, pretty passionate following that are audiophiles,” says founder and CEO Dan Laufman. “We were pretty content to stay in that market, but we got more and more requests from CIs [custom installers]. They said, ‘Hey, we really want to carry your brand.’ We kept turning them away.”
Laufman eventually went to work on the custom channel, hiring former integrator Fred Hartman to head up the new Emotiva Professional Services group. The duo realized they would have to “differentiate, to approach the market differently,” Laufman says. “The needs of the CI are different from the hobbyist.”
Both Laufman and Hartman are long-time fans of Control4. “We saw the synergy possible behind high-end home theater and Control4 and merging those two worlds together,” Hartman recalls.
Those two worlds will first merge in the PMC-1, a 7.1-channel audio/video processor with seven HDMI inputs. Inside the component is a full HC200 Control4 processor that offers “the same I/Os as the HC200, minus the component video,” says Laufman.
The A/V and automation in the first-generation product “looks like two pieces,” says Laufman. In future generations, “the Control4 operating system will be completely resident in our hardware.”
Even as two separate pieces integrated internally, the Emotiva/Control4 solution still brings plenty of value, Laufman explains. Dealers can get away with a single box, which saves rack space and reduces installation time, wiring runs and mistakes.
Emotiva will have samples of the PMC-1 at CEDIA Expo, with a formal release scheduled for January.
Committed to the Channel
The PMC-1 “is not built on existing Emotiva products,” Laufman says. The Emotiva Pro group is building products from the ground up for the CI channel.
“Our platform, our development, our IP [intellectual property] is in there,” Laufman says. “We’re in it for the long haul.”
Emotiva will demonstrate at CEDIA Expo the PMC-1 and the PMA-7350 7x350 amp, each of which will retail for $2,999, with industry-standard dealer margins built in.
“You get the stack for $6,000,” says Laufman. “I think it’s pretty compelling. You need to see the build quality.”
He says the amp, which weighs more than 100 pounds, features solid billet aluminum that is one-inch thick.
Emotiva will showcase additional A/V processors, receivers, power amps and speakers at CEDIA Expo.
Emotiva Pro will sell direct to dealer, with no distribution and no manufacturers’ reps. When installed by an authorized dealer, the Emotiva Pro products carry a 10-year warranty, and a one-year advanced replacement.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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