What’s a Nice Audio Company Like Attero Tech Doing in a Space Like This?
By: Mike Sims
So, Attero Tech has spent the first 14 years of our life quietly developing some of the best and most useful networked audio connectivity products in the world, and now we’re also doing control – what gives? Well, we’ve actually been involved in control since the first products we developed. All of our audio products are fully controllable over their network connections, so control – or more specifically, being controlled - is no mystery. We also like to partner with other manufacturers to come up with unique solutions that use our products with their products.
We do a lot of listening to integrators and consultants, and one thing that many of them have told us is that it’s not easy to find a cost-effective, general purpose, attractive and - most importantly - simple user interface. There are many very fine touch screen interface solutions from a variety of manufacturers. At a certain level of AV system complexity, a touch screen is really the only solution that makes sense. But for many other venues whose needs are more basic and whose budgets are smaller, simple is the right answer.
With all these conversations in mind, we set out to design a simple, good-looking and cost-effective in-wall control that could be applied to a wide variety of DSP platforms and other network controllable devices. Since “partnering” with other manufacturers to supply more comprehensive AV solutions is a key part of how we do business, we knew that choosing way the control communicated with controlled devices would be an essential design decision. Approaches like RS-232 and RS-485 were dismissed early on in favor of TCP/IP and UDP over a standard network connection. These network protocols are the most widely supported across all DSP platforms and other networked AV devices, and were the clear choice. Power-over-Ethernet was also a given to simplify infrastructure wiring as much as possible. To this one gang hardware, we added the capability to easily customize volume control and a source selection/preset recall menu structure and to send custom messages over the network to support the ability to control a wide variety of gear from other manufacturers.
Control has always been a critical feature on AV systems – from basic systems in restaurants and retail spaces, to more comprehensive ones in conference rooms and multi-zone hospitality venues. Attero Tech’s aim with the Axon C1 controller was to enable a consistent and straightforward user control experience across venues at all levels of size and complexity. We’ll continue to expand the universe of devices that the C1 can control as time goes on, and also explore other ways to make control easier for users, system designers, and integrators!
Mike Sims, Director of Sales & Marketing