The Renovia power line carrier (PLC)-based whole-home audio system is in its beta-program stage through the end of July, but integrators are getting a gift of advance support from NuVo Technologies in the form of a tool that David Rodarte, company president, says will go a long way in “helping our integrators be confident, well-trained, educated and able to do a reliable installation” when Renovia formally ships in the fourth quarter.
“The key,” says Rodarte, “is that everything has got to be connected properly – otherwise, there’s a very unhappy customer.” To ensure that is the case, NuVo has devised a testing tool – the NuVo Site Analysis Tool (NV-RVSAT) – so that custom crews can confirm in advance of the Renovia install that there are no anomalies – for example, high amounts of unusual noise over the electrical lines, or the ill effects of power bars which can sometimes short the delivery of the audio signal – that could degrade signal transmission when the installation is actually done.
“The greatest analogy for this product is a CAT5 tester,” he adds. “A good installer does not do an installation without checking all the terminations by plugging in a very simple device to make sure all the connections are proper. When you’ve got a lot of zones, one wire out of many with a problem could affect the whole system.”
The NV-RVSAT is a two-part PLC tester system that includes hub and zone elements, and comes with an easy-to-read OLED display. The installer plugs the hub portion into the location where the Renovia Main Source Hub will be, and moves from room to room with the zone element, plugging that in to evaluate the quality of the signal at each location. A document included with the site analysis tool kit tells installers how to troubleshoot any situation needing attention.
“In studies on the use of PLC over power line, over 95 percent of homes tested worldwide have full and complete signals of the power line carrier, so we don’t anticipate many problems,” says Rodarte. “It’s all about identification in advance of situations where the signal may be poor and not reliable like it needs to be, and knowing what you need to do to correct it. The beauty of our particular tool is that it is truly a design tool.”