It's always an exciting time at Pulse Cinemas when the big
trade shows come around, we love to get to grips with all the new equipment announcements
and, of course, pass all that info on to our customers.
At this year’s CEDIA Expo, StormAudio is launching Mark 2 versions of its immersive audio line-up delivering 16-, 20- and 32-channel analogue preamp/processors, a digital AES 32-channel version, and 8- and 16-channel amps.
Scheduled to hit the market in early 2020, the new models boast a fresh industrial design and many performance enhancements.
Adding to the existing line’s built-in compatibility with Dolby Atmos, DTS :X, Auro-3D, Dirac Live Room Calibration and StormAudio’s proprietary web-based remote monitoring tool StormMonitoring, are eARC HDMI, DTS:X Pro and IMAX Enhanced, 13.1.10 decoding, rapid codec switching, and improved bass management including the new Dirac Live Bass Management tool. The brand really does now have all of the format and configuration bases covered.
The processors also incorporate StormAudio’s new 7+2 eARC HDMI card, which makes for quicker and more robust switching with full HDMI2.0b/HDCP2.2 support.
Designed in-house, the card delivers 4K,18 Gigabytes per second bandwidth on all input and output ports, DolbyVision and HDR10 is also supported. The integrated eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), a feature of HDMI 2.1, provides a decent boost in bandwidth and speed, sending the high-quality audio from the 8K TV to the processor and on to the amps and speakers.
The new Mark 2 platform can decode up to 24-channels (Dolby Atmos 13.1.10) and features ultra-fast codec switching time and substantially reduced latency, (50% reduction).
With respect to immersive audio formats, the processors are ready to support both DTS:X Pro and IMAX Enhanced. Also added is Auro-3D Version 2, which enables use of back speakers in a 13.1 layout with a 9.1 or 11.1 Auro-3D stream. Auro-3D V2 also brings improved centre channel dialogue when up-mixing from stereo.
The processors feature StormAudio’s updated Bass Management system, which allows for multiple bass zones, (customisable selective redirection). As a big supporter of the Dirac platform, the processors are ready for Dirac Live Bass Management support which is also launching at CEDIA Expo. This premium license supports phase and time alignment of multiple subwoofers within a cinema.
The StormAudio 2020 model line-up
– ISP.16 Analog Mk2 16-channel
– ISP.20 Analog Mk2 20-channel
– ISP.32 Analog Mk2 32-channel
– ISP.32 Digital AES Mk2 32-channel
The Mark 2 line’s modular approach, the same as with the current preamp/processor line, will bring options such as Digital In, Audio Video Bridging and RCA out, with more card options planned for 2020.
StormAudio’s 2020 line-up of power amplifiers
– PA.8 Ultra Mk2, Class D, 8-channels x 200-watts; 4-channels x 800-watts bridged mode
– PA.16 Mk2, Class D, 16-channel x 200 watts (8 ohms)
2020 Brand Refresh
New equipment is not the only news from the brand, Mark 2 represents an updated new hardware look and also incorporates a new logo.
StormAudio CEO Olivier Thumerel, says, “This past 18-months StormAudio has grown from a small adventure to a technical and commercial success, thanks to the dedication of its team and partners.
“To reflect this change and initiate a new era for our company, we felt it was time to simplify and modernise our image. We are excited to present ‘the new StormAudio’ to the industry at 2019 CEDIA Expo.”
StormAudio underlines that its philosophy is that luxury immersive hardware doesn’t need to be complex and time-consuming to setup.
The brand says its web-based user interface still remains the fastest, most intuitive GUI in the channel. Literally in minutes, from a laptop, StormAudio says installers can have the system up and running, including engaging advanced control options and use of StormMonitoring Web-Based Remote Monitoring.
It’s also worth noting that the processors can be customised and upgraded at time of order, or in the future by way of their scalable, modular platform. For example, stepped-up to fully support 32-channel outputs (digital) over AES/EBU or Audio over IP or support a DCI server/player 16-channel AES/EBU interface.
The StormAudio proposition was already very impressive, so we can’t wait to begin to assist our install partners with including these new and enhanced products in future projects.