One of the main reasons for us to build the Home Technology Demonstration Project is to create problems and scenarios that people will run into while networking their home … and solving them. Our scenario is this:

In the home theater room we have a terrific Imerge SoundServer that stores and plays all of our music on the theater sound system and displays menus, playlists etc. on the screen. In the lab we have a Multi-Room audio system that plays music in several other rooms … but not the Home Theater. The Imerge has 2 distinct outputs … so it can actually play 2 different music selections at once … on separate channels if you will.

Here’s the scenario … or a better description … Bob Wants This – Output 2 of the Imerge needs to be connected as an audio source on the MultiRoom system so we can listen to our music collection in every zone. But the rooms are 75 feet apart … that’s way too far for line level audio to travel … and anyway … we didn’t run wire for that. But we do have extra runs of CAT5 in place.

A quick call to Pragmatic Communications solved our dilemma. The ECAV setup that they sent over allows us to send the line level audio (and video by the way) up to 150 ft. over CAT5. ECAV consists of 2 little black boxes (just a few inches long … correct word for it is a balun) with RCA Left and Right Audio, Video and CAT5 plugs. One ECAV at the sending end plugs into the Imerge outputs and into the CAT5 wire. The receiving end in the lab connects to the other end of the CAT5 and from there to our multi room preamplifier.

That’s all there is to it. Just like that … our music collection in every zone … and I can’t detect a degradation of quality either. Next step will be to transmit the video menu so we can select different playlists in other rooms as well. Stay tuned for that one … we’re still building the video network. I did a quick test of the video however … same result … I sent the Imerge video menu back to a small TV in the lab and voila … no brainer … it just worked … and a clear picture too.

The ECAV setup retails for $279.00 per pair and can be purchased through Pragmatic sales reps. in territories that are covered. Places with no sales rep coverage are serviced directly from the factory in Santa Clara, CA.

Video bandwidth: 5 MHz
Audio bandwidth: 20 KHz
Operating temp. -40 deg. to + 85 deg.
Warranty 6 years
Size: 2.4″(w) x 1.6″(h) x 1″(d)
Weight: 1.6 oz.