CasaTools Previews Gadget for Windows SideShow: CasaTunes is First Whole House Audio Distribution Gadget

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CasaTools, a leader in whole house audio systems, today announced that the CasaTunes Gadget is the first gadget to support Windows SideShow for whole house audio distribution. The CasaTunes Gadget is currently being tested with early Windows SideShow production models from various vendors, as well as the simulation tools from Microsoft. A preview version is immediately available with the CasaTunes Multi-Zone Music Server.

As these Windows SideShow devices become readily available, we anticipate that Windows SideShow will be a key technology in the adoption of Microsoft Vista media centers PC in the home

    "As these Windows SideShow devices become readily available, we anticipate that Windows SideShow will be a key technology in the adoption of Microsoft Vista media centers PC in the home," said David Krinker, CEO of CasaTools. "It's anticipated the low-cost of these devices, and the rich interface they provide, will help accelerate the adoption of Windows SideShow Gadgets, bringing home automation to the average consumer."

Windows SideShow uses gadgets, convenient mini programs, extending audio information from the computer to remote control devices. Using the CasaTunes Gadget, users can view and control their music in any zone as well as turn all zones on and off for personal listening preferences. Users can browse their PC and iPod music by song title, album, artist, genre and play list, and control their AM/FM, XM or Sirius tuners if present.

Information about the music that is currently playing is easily viewable from the CasaTunes Gadget. Further, the CasaTunes Gadget displays a rich graphical interface with 'Glance Content', or summary information, allowing homeowners to quickly see where music is playing in the home and what music is being played in each room.

Typical home automation systems have limited keypad capabilities which can prove to be a challenge as users listen to their music in various rooms. The CasaTunes Gadget provides an additional control option, in that it is tightly integrated with Windows SideShow, in addition to the existing browser and Windows Media Center support. Thus, allowing users the freedom to move around the home while selecting and changing their music options via a low-cost remote control.

The CasaTunes Gadget can support multiple remote controls in the home and unlike typical gadget applications, each remote control can operate independently of the other remote controls. Installers and DIY (do it yourself) homeowners now have a lower-cost alternative compared with using a display panel or UMPC device. In the near future, installers will be able to download multiple gadget applications from other vendors who support Windows SideShow, providing homeowners with a complete home automation control solution.

CasaTunes Multi-Zone Music Server with the preview of CasaTunes Gadget is available immediately through the company's web site, http://www.casatools.com, with a suggested list price of $249. Ideal for the mid-tier, multi-room, music system market, CasaTunes is also sold through a nationwide network of resellers, integrators, installers and distributors as well as direct to the DIY market. The final version of the CasaTunes Gadget is expected to be released as Windows SideShow remote control devices become readily available. CasaTunes supports Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate, and Windows XP Media Center Edition.

About CasaTools

CasaTunes integrates legacy multi-room audio vendor technologies with Windows Media Center, allowing users to control and listen to music through out the house. Its flagship product, CasaTunes, is currently available through a network of sales partners or via the company's web site. Founded in 2006 and privately held, CasaTools is headquartered outside Orlando, FL. Visit http://www.casatools.com for more information.

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Jan Jahosky
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