Catching Up With...: Niles and the new Niles Auriel MRC-6430
Technology Integrator: What led to the development of the Niles Auriel MRC-6430 product?
Yann Connan: Niles created the whole home innovation category in 1979 and the brand has always stood at the forefront of bringing meaningful product innovation to the market for both dealers and end users. In developing the new Niles Auriel System, we knew that we needed to create a true next-generation solution that is easier for our dealers to install as well as easier and “friendlier” for our consumers to enjoy.
It needed to be a solution built upon an extensible platform that could scale to adapt with the technology of home control as a category (including lighting, temperature, security, etc.). This is the achievement of Niles Auriel. It is a rock solid solution that is built on the ELAN g! Home Control Platform, an award winning, future-proof solution.
TI: What are the key benefits to the homeowner?
YC: The number one concern for buyers of multi-room audio controllers is complication. So, we developed the Auriel software application to show these buyers just how accessible multi-room audio control can be. With any iOS or Android device, or Niles in-wall touch panel, keypad or remote control, users can now quickly select what source they want to play and in which rooms they want it to play in.
The Niles MRC-6430 can then be managed from an Apple or Android phone or tablet, or from a Windows or Mac computer to deliver complete access to the configured sources and zones.
The system also has optional interfaces that can be programmed to add more features if a homeowner desires. For example, the Niles DBI-2 or ELAN C2 may be added so that homeowners can route their doorbell chime through the system. This feature temporarily mutes music so the doorbell may be clearly heard in every room.
TI: What are the key benefits to the integrator?
YC: We had system integrators in mind throughout the development of Auriel and the MRC-6430. The wizard-based configuration reduces installation and set-up time to a fraction of other multi-room systems. The Auriel wizard on a tablet or PC enables the installer to make simple decisions that quickly configure the system for sources, zone preferences, user interface customization and home theater control.
TI: What are Niles and Core Brands doing to help their dealers introduce and establish the Niles Auriel System?
YC: Core Brands is providing the support materials to quickly get installers fluent in Auriel and expert in the new chassis. In addition to the installer’s guide, we’ve created video tutorials and online training resources. Plus, our regional technical specialists will be focused on helping dealers who have questions. We’re rolling out sales and point-of-purchase programs for distributor partners to help them showcase Auriel and the Niles MRC-6430 most effectively. Product sheets will be available on and offline; software updates are always announced online and through email and sales support. We are looking ahead to how we can continue to add benefits to this platform over the coming months and years.
TI: What are the future trends you see shaping the whole-home audio market?
YC: In addition to all of the wireless interfaces and the convenience of using Apple and Android devices, we’re also looking at supporting source input devices as they become available in the market. Adding to home distribution and theater control, our consumers are looking to how they can leverage the multi-room controller to affect whole home—like lighting and climate—
and plan to extend the audio experience beyond wired into
TI: Any other observations that you would like to make?
YC: We set out to create a new multi-room controller for Niles, a brand that has a history of innovating whole home solutions. The platform and software interfaces both for consumption and configuration has been incredibly well received by our installer base, which validates what we’d originally set out to do: bring innovation to the home audio control category. The initial sales response has been tremendous and exceeded expectations, further validating our approach. The frequent enquiries coming in from dealers about how they can leverage the platform for home control also validates our position for the MRC as it relates to home control innovation. As one of the key products Core Brands is bringing to market in 2014, it serves as testament to the intent to have all of our brands working together—in this case Niles working with ELAN and the g! Home Entertainment and Control System. •