| 07/26/01 - In an agreement announced here today, the Integra division of Onkyo has become the first company to license A-BUS multi-room audio distribution technology from its licensors, Russound of Newmarket, N.H., and LeisureTech Electronics of Sydney, Australia. A-BUS provides a simple and relatively inexpensive way to deliver very high quality sound to loudspeakers located throughout a home. Integra will debut its first two A-BUS Ready home theater receivers in September. A-BUS goes hand-in-hand with everything Integra wants to do, said Mark Friedman, Senior Vice President, This technology makes it very easy and seamless for an installer to use an Integra receiver to create a four-zone multi-room audio system. This is important since the entire focus of Integra products is to meet the diverse needs of installers and their customers through one brand. These receivers, the Integra DTR-8.2 and DTR-7.2, each incorporate A-BUS hubs with four RJ-45 multi-zone connectors. These can be linked via Category-5 cables to A-BUS audio systems in four remote rooms. Cat-5, Ethernet-style cable is used because it is inexpensive, durable, relatively easy to install, and, with its configuration of four twisted-pairs of wire, very resistant to interference over long runs. These cables carry 24 Volts of DC power for the zones, plus audio data, infrared data, and status signals between the receiver and the zones. Each zone has a power amplifier and keypad combined into a single-gang box. To the system user, the keypad looks similar to a single light switch. The keypad provides on/off and volume control for one pair of speakers, and includes an infrared eye that allows a hand-held remote control to operate the Integra receiver and any connected components. A-BUS technology was originally developed by LeisureTech Electronics. Russound is the licensing agent for A-BUS, and also manufactures and sells a full range of A-BUS components that will enhance the capabilities of any system connected to an A-BUS Ready Integra receiver. Additional stand-alone A-BUS hubs can be used to link one receiver to an essentially limitless number of zones. With Onkyo taking the lead in A-BUS, it opens the doors for many custom installers to use A-BUS components easily with an Integra receiver,said Peter Hoagland, Russound's Director of Marketing. We feel this is an important step in establishing A-BUS as the de facto standard for multiroom audio distribution.