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Klein + Hummel will expand its innovative K8 digital audio distribution system at InfoComm08. With the addition of four new components — including the K8-ESB EtherSound Bridge, K8-AO2 Analog Audio Output, K8-AESI16 AES3 Audio Input and K8-AESO16 AES3 Audio Output—the K8 system achieves even greater flexibility and compatibility for a multitude of sound reinforcement applications.

Klein + Hummel introduced the K8 system last year as a cost-effective method to distribute sixteen channels of digital audio out to multiple locations with a total system latency of 0.5 milliseconds. Using the new K8-ESB EtherSound Bridge, users can take any eight or sixteen EtherSound audio channels and encode them onto the K8 system. A stereo pair of digital audio channels can be taken from the K8 digital bus using the K8-AO2 Analog Audio Output, which will decode them into individual line level analog outputs. The K8-AESI16 allows the system to be fed from any device with AES3 standard outputs, putting sixteen audio channels from AES3 onto the K8 bus with a single rack unit box accepting any sample rate from 32kHz up to 192kHz, while the K8AESO16 takes any four or eight AES3 stereo audio channels and decodes them into line level analog outputs.

These new components join the recently released K8-AI8 eight-channel analog audio input and K8-AO8 eight-channel analog audio output.

The K8 digital audio distribution system from Klein + Hummel is ideal for transporting professional quality audio across a facility for simple point-to-point connections, or can form a distribution backbone for sending up to sixteen audio channels to multiple remote locations. It carries eight or sixteen channels of uncompressed digital audio over a standard Cat-5 cable, at a rate of 48kHz, with a depth of 24 bits, and a total latency of less than one millisecond. The same cable also carries bi-directional data for remote monitoring and control of all devices connected within the K8 system over a single RJ-45 port.

The K8 bus may then be run up to about 200 meters over Cat-5 cable for distribution directly to K8-enabled power amplifiers, K8 self-powered speakers or to K8 analog output devices feeding other system components.

According to David McNutt, industry team manager for installed sound at Sennheiser, "K8 makes Cat-5 distribution of digital audio available to a wide range of system sizes and adds both control and monitoring capabilities. And because K8 is plug and play, it does not require extensive training to implement."

The same cable also carries bi-directional data for remote monitoring and control of all devices connected within the K8 system over a single Ethernet port. Cable lengths may be run up to 200 meters through passively daisy-chained K8 devices. Actively refreshing the line with a K8 distribution amplifier allows endless additions of 200-meter cable lengths and adds less than one ms of delay. For advanced applications, multi-output K8 distribution amplifiers may be used to implement a star distribution configuration and the entire system may be monitored from a single Ethernet port with no additional cabling.

The K8 line is available now.

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