Integra has introduced the NAS-2.6 multizone Net-Tune audio server, capable of ripping, storing, and distributing over two thousand of hours of music. The unit is capable not only of streaming audio to up to 12 Net-Tune client devices, but also features four independent zone outputs for fixed/variable line-level distribution to conventional audio gear.
Integra’s NAS-2.6 can record and store up to 2600 hours worth of digital audio as uncompressed or compressed data files on 160 GB of hard drive space. When connected to a home network, the hard drive is available to home PCs as an external device, making it simple to transfer music between the server and other devices, such as a portable MP3 player.
The NAS-2.6’s built-in CD drive is capable of a 22x ‘ripping’ speed, storing a typical album to the hard drive in under five minutes. The server can store audio as uncompressed PCM files, or at MP3 bit-rates of 128 kbps, 192 kbps VBR (variable bit rate), or 320 kbps.
When storing new music, the NAS-2.6 can automatically retrieve information on the recording, such as Genre, Artist, Album, and Track names via Gracenote’s online CD Database (CDDB2), so organizing files is a snap. Music files can be easily sorted and played back by song, albums, artist, genre, or custom playlists.
Using the rear-panel Ethernet jack, a single Cat-5 cable can be used to connect the NAS-2.6 to networked home PCs and up to 12 audio ‘clients’, either stand-alone units such as Integra’s NAC-2.3, or Net-Tune ready home theater components such as the DTR-10.5 receiver, or DTC-9.4 processor. The NAS-2.6 can access the Internet either by broadband connection or using the built-in dialup modem.
For distribution to audio equipment without Net-Tune client functionality, the NAS-2.6 includes four rear panel analog outputs. Each of these zone outputs can be used as a completely independent audio source, delivering line-level audio to additional receivers or zone amplifiers, with complete control via IR input, RS-232 port, or using IP protocol over the network.
The Integra NAS-2.3 uses Imerge’s XiVA platform to manage the storage and distribution of digital media files, with user control from the front panel, infrared remote, and networked PCs.
The Integra NAS-2.6 will be available in April at a suggested retail price of $3,600.