Established in 2009, Theatron now has a six-model-strong range of single and mulitroom media servers. Headed by managing director Asher Charman, Theatron's products were inspired by the desire to provide custom installers with more affordable and feature-rich media server solutions.
"The financial crisis at the end of 2008 really was a watershed moment," recalled Charman. "Our tech-savvy customers were demanding more for less. I was consistently being asked for good value media centre solutions, but having worked with most of the servers available on the market under the £4,000 mark I was underwhelmed considering the features offered and, more importantly, the user experience and installer support offered. I realised I could create a far better solution for that money."
Having considered Linux, Charman opted to press ahead with the latest Microsoft OS, Windows 7, as a platform. The resulting product range includes the Theatron Stellar, which provides a specification featuring: a two-way interface for use with Crestron, AMX, HAI, RTI and URC; output of one full HD AV stream and four audio streams; storage of Blu-ray Discs and DVD; access to iPlayer and Sky Player; Freeview TV with four simultaneous recordings; and picture, photo and music libraries.
Charman underlines Theatron's focus of expanding interoperability with control systems and multiroom solutions, and emphasises the value of custom installers. Accordingly, servers are only available to purchase from custom installer dealers. "We believe a good installation is the key to our success," he said. "We believe a good installation is the key to our success. An upfront quality install satisfies everybody. In turn, we realise the importance of installer support because we have been there. So if an installer is having trouble with an install at 1am on Sunday night, we will support them."
Regarding long-term objectives for the European market, Charman told IE Residential: "As we continue to establish ourselves as a reliable and positive brand within the UK and Ireland, we are also enthusiastic about offering our products and services throughout Europe as a whole. Having identified the opportunity to expand into more of the continent, one of our objectives over the next 12-18 months is to enable installers throughout Europe to easily access and purchase our media solutions. The desire for solid products and excellent value is just as strong from our contacts across Europe as it is from the UK. As such we will be looking to add suitable dealers over that time-period. Additionally, as part of our commitment to the European market, we are working on translations of our user interface to enable a native language experience for as many people as possible."