Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the vAutomation 2.0 platform & LiivControllers
What is vAutomation 2.0 (vAuto2/vAuto2.0 for short)?
vAutomation 2.0 is the brand name of our custom, proprietary software platform that provides "Total Control of Any Device from Any iPad, iPod, or iPhone." Its runs natively on our LiivController.
Q: What is a LiivController? How does it work with vAuto2.0?
A: The vAuto2.0 software runs on our LiivController hardware, which provides the IR ports, with voltage, current, and contact sensors, RS-232/serial ports, plus TCP/IP communications backbone for control. In short: vAuto2.0 = software, and LiivController = the hardware that runs vAuto2.0 software.
With just the LiivController by itself, you get : Multizone Audio + automation controls. (No additional VidaBox hardware is required).
Q: Do I need a VidaBox media server for this to work?
A: Not at all! You DO NOT need a VidaBox media center or any of our media systems for vAutomation. They are separate product lines that can be integrated together if you wish - but we DO NOT require a media server to be present to work!
Q: Do I still need a LiivController for the iPad controls, if I already have a VidaBox media server / center?
A: Yes - if you want iPad Controls, a LiivController is required.
iPad controls are powered by vAutomation 2.0 software, which runs exclusively on the LiivController.
Q: When will this be available?
Production units will start shipping on/after September of this year, and will be available via dealers / integrators, or via select physical and online retail outlets, depending on your region.
Multi-room Audio Feature:
Q: How does the multi-room audio feature work?
A: Every LiivController already has multi-room audio distribution capabilities built-in, starting with our 4-zone LC-200 LiivController, or our 12-zone LC-500 LiivController. Simply connect its 4 or 12 audio outputs to a multi-channel amplifer - and you're set!
Q: Where can the music be stored? Can it work with NAS devices?
A: On the LC-500, the system will have 1-Step Drop-n-Rip that archives the music onto its onboard storage - that's where the music will be stored. Both the LC-200 & LC-500 can be pointed towards NAS devices and pull music across the network from those devices as well.
Q: What kind of audio outputs do the systems have?
A: Both LC-200 and LC-500 will have 3.5mm line-level, unamplified outputs. You need to connect this to a multi-channel amp before connecting it to speakers. We will have a recommended list of amplifiers for best / cleanest sound & performance at the time of release.
Q: Do I need an additional audio matrix switcher?
A: No! The beauty of the LiivController is that it can synchronize its outputs internally, eliminating an expensive matrix switcher! Just add amplification & your favorite speakers to enjoy!
iPad / iPod / iPhone Browsing:
Q: How does the music cover art browsing work? What hardware is required?
A: For music browsing, only the LiivController, WiFi Router/Access Point, & an iOS device is needed. The music cover arts will show up once properly configured and detected. It's designed to be very simple
Q: How does the movies cover art browsing work? What hardware is required to get that to work?
A: For the movie browsing to work, you would need to add a VidaBox media center, or server-extender combination. Our systems will auto-magically connect to each other after the initial setup, allowing you to browse for both movies and music via the iPad! Non-VidaBox media centers/extenders will not work.
Integrating non-VidaBox media servers:
Q: I already have a non-VidaBox media center / extender - can I get music cover art browsing to work as shown in the demo?
A: Yes - as long as you set up the shares/permissions correctly. You can set shares to be open on your server, then detect/link them in the vAuto2.0 GUI, and the LiivController will then access these music shares across the network & stream MP3s, WAVs, AAC, FLAC, and WMAs stored on the system.
Q: What about movie browsing with non-VidaBox media centers/extenders? Will the Blu-ray/DVD movie browsing work as shown in the demo?
A: No. Only VidaBox media centers & extenders will integrate with our movie browsing function.
Q: What if I buy a VidaBox chassis and build my own system? Would I be able to get access to the software and browse my movies that way since the case is a VidaBox piece of hardware?
A: No. It is not a complete VidaBox system.
vAutomation 1.0 vs 2.0
Q: What's similar between vAutomation 2.0 & vAutomation 1.0 (the original, CQC-based version?)
A: Here's the breakdown:
- Both feature touch-panel based controls
- Both are ideal for AV integration
- vAuto2.0 has multiroom audio support build in. vAuto1.0 does not.
- vAuto2.0 works natively w. iPad/iPod/iPhones. vAuto1.0 is designed to run on more proprietary tablet-style touch panels.
- vAuto2.0 is not fully customizable; vAuto1.0 is.
- In terms of difficulty, vAuto2.0 is far easier to program then vAuto1.0 - but it's not as powerful/flexible.
- When considering cost, vAuto2.0 projects can be started at a much lower price point compared to vAuto1.0
Q: Can I upgrade my projects from vAuto1 to vAuto2?
A: Possibly - note that there are significant design differences between the two platforms. Dealers and integrators will need to determine if the newer, yet simpler platform will fit their clients needs.
Q: Will vAuto1.0 still be available?
A: Yes - as stated in the Q3 2010 pricing update, vAuto1 availability and support will continue into Nov. of 2011, so that all dealers will always have a vAutomation control option available.
Q: Can I buy the vAutomation 2.0 software by itself?
A: No, it is tied to our LiivControllers. We do not sell software separately.
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