Russound and Colorado vNet Finalize Structure, Ready New Products
Sister companies have sorted out internal structure and are readying a slate of products based on streaming content.
CEO Charlie Porritt says the two companies have spent a lot of time dealing with internal organization and developing a more efficient strategy for engineering, manufacturing and sales structure between the two separate companies based thousands of miles apart.
“In the three years since I took over as CEO, the market has changed drastically,” says Porritt. “Housing continues to be down and the market has become one in which ‘the fast eat the slow.’ We needed to become more nimble.”
“Colorado vNet and Russound are separate legal entities and two distinct brands that go to market differently: vNet is sold direct to dealers and Russound is sold through distribution,” Porritt continues. “We have defined our product roadmap for both Russound and vNet. Now we have to execute. This is the advantage of being a privately held company. Maureen (Baldwin, company owner) really wants to kick this market in the butt.
To do that, the back-end resources that support both Russound and vNet have been combined, including accounting, sales and marketing, and product development/management. All of Colorado vNet’s manufacturing operations in Loveland, Colo. have been moved to either New Hampshire or to contract manufacturers. “vNet should not be in the manufacturing business,” says Porritt.
Colorado vNet’s core engineering team and tech support will remain in Colorado. “It’s a team of great engineers who, quite frankly, don’t want to move to New Hampshire. Now we have the ability to engineer product 24/7,“adds Porritt.
As the two companies were working out their structure, the market was changing away from physical media to cloud-based content. “How people access their content has changed,” says Porritt, citing data that 83 percent of content is now downloaded. Thus, a slate of new products from both companies has been unveiled that “will be leveraging that cloud content.”
New Russound Products
Russound is introducing several new products, including a multiroom audio streaming device, a new amplifier, speakers and a new A-Bus subzone.
The DMS-3.1 Digital Media Streamer ($2,100) will ship in July. It delivers up to three simultaneous stereo digital audio streams for distribution around the house. The sources for these three audio signals may be from the Internet (built-in AirPlay with Pandora app) or from music files on connected storage devices that are DLNA-enabled, as well as podcasts, Internet radio or USB playback). A fourth simultaneous signal is available from a built-in AM/FM stereo tuner.
“The new Digital Media Streamer is a perfect addition to our award-winning C-Series Multiroom audio system,” says Porritt. “Systems integrators can easily add streaming network content, Internet radio, to a C-Series installation and provide their customers compelling value.”
Occupying one rack unit at 17” W x 8.5”D x 1.7”H (43 x 21.7 x 4.3cm), the DMS-3.1 features rear panel stereo audio output jacks for each of the three audio streams plus another pair for the tuner, and a Source ID Switch for each stream to easily identify it within the system.
Designed to work with Russound C-Series controllers and multiroom audio systems, the DMS-3.1 connects to the controller via an Ethernet LAN (wired RJ45) home network connection. The DMS-3.1 can also play back audio files on LAN-connected DLNA devices, such as personal computers and network drives that may be located in various rooms throughout the home.
Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at email@example.com
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