InfoComm 2008—Las Vegas, NV
—Fort Wayne, IN-based Attero Tech has unveiled the MatchBox USB, a simple, low-cost solution for connecting desktop-computer audio to a CobraNet sound system.
Able to send up to eight channels of digital audio from a computer to a CobraNet network, or receive up to six channels from the network back to the computer, MatchBox USB is a one-box, one-connection solution for bridging the gap between computer-generated audio and flexible, networked sound.
“The beauty of MatchBox is that it handles all audio signals through a single Ethernet cable, for shorter installation times and reduced overhead costs,”? said Mike Sims, Director of Marketing and Sales for Attero Tech. “Systems integrators can eliminate the massive cable runs that are normally associated with sound system build-out, all without compromising on audio quality, system features, or the customer’s ease of use.”?
CobraNet Eliminates the Complicated Mess of Analog System Design
Traditional sound systems carry analog signals over cumbersome and expensive three-conductor-shielded cables, with dedicated lines for every audio channel. Lines must be spliced, routed, and terminated to connect with a range of external equipment, and then rerouted any number of times for the audio to reach the appropriate destination.
In addition to the time and expense of pulling cable, analog-audio-system designers also fight signal degradation caused by excessive cable length, RF interference, ground loops, and line noise. Plus, there’s the added expense associated with testing for broken connections or incorrect wiring.
A CobraNet system uses specialized hardware and software to digitize and send high-quality audio across a standard Ethernet network. Just one CAT5 cable carries up to 64 channels of uncompressed 48,000 kHz, 24-bit audio to the network, eliminating much of the patchwork of analog cabling.
With MatchBox USB, there’s no more need for an analog system’s crosspoint switches and matrix mixers to connect multiple sources to differing destinations. In a CobraNet system, all signal routing is done automatically over the network, which is intelligently controlled by the equipment software.
“Every systems integrator who has worked on an undocumented or mislabeled sound system understands the time-consuming nightmare of trying to straighten out and reconfigure what cable goes where,”? said Sims. “In contrast, CobraNet lets you reroute components without ever touching a single cable. Simply connect to the network with a computer, adjust device settings, and you’re done.”?
MatchBox Makes it Easy to Connect Computers to CobraNet
MatchBox is built with an eye toward installation simplicity, replacing up to eight analog lines with a single CAT5. User simplicity also plays a key role. Externally, MatchBox is a straightforward, half-rack box with just two inputs: a USB jack and an Ethernet port. All that is required of the user is to plug the equipment in, and the computer sees the device as a standard plug-and-play external sound card.
It’s an operating-system-integrated approach that is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. Users don’t have to deal with any specialized software to keep the device running. MatchBox automatically connects the computer to every amplifier, mixing console, audio processor, instrument, or other network-ready product in the larger CobraNet sound system.
PC-driven audio has many sound system applications, such as auditoriums, meeting venues, convention centers, seminars, churches, and even building-wide installations. At the same time, MatchBox’s ability to receive audio simultaneously gives it the versatility to also be used for recording audio onto PC to capture meeting notes, seminar audio, program recordings, and more.
“For the user, MatchBox USB makes connecting to a sound system just as easy as using regular computer speakers with a traditional sound card,”? said Sims. “Whether it’s Windows Media Player, iTunes, WinAmp, QuickTime, Audacity, Digital Performer, PowerPoint, Keynote, a game, or any other program, users can play, record, and process just like they would with a conventional computer set-up.”?
Attero Tech Quality
Attero Tech products are built from more than 20 years of experience in creating audio-visual systems for manufacturers and commercial audiences. MatchBox joins with the company’s other CobraNet components, InBox, OutBox, and VoiceBox 4 I/O, along with a range of OEM-applied equipment to make CobraNet-driven audio systems more accessible, cost-effective, and easier to install. For more information, visit
AtteroTech specializes in system, hardware, software, and embedded firmware design, for a wide range of markets and application areas: audio networking, digital video recording and playback, whole-house control, and signal routing. AtteroTech provides service in systems engineering, project planning and management, software and hardware development, and transition to manufacturing, on both contract and complete turnkey solution basis. For more information, visit
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