Audio News for February 13, 2015

B&O Improves Home Automation Integration – The company has integrated its AV products with major home-control systems. There is now two-communication with and control from major-brand home-automation systems. Programming is simpler and it is unnecessary to use B&O’s Gateway for third-party two-way status and control. An IFTTT programming option has been added, letting users combine such actions as “if the air is bad, start the ventilation,” etc.

Nine Atmos-Enabled Blu-rays Now Out – Dolby Labs has announced their release of four more Atmos object-oriented Blu-ray surround discs having been released, bringing the total of titles now to nine.

Dish Targets DirecTV Subscribers – Satellite-TV provider Dish has launched a promotion in shich it is guaranteeing DirecTV subscribers who switch to them a savings of $250 their first year, or Dish will give them $250. The deal is available on their website, YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook pages. Those who switch can received America’s Top 250 package of  over 250 channels for $39.99 per month for a year.

Samsung Response to Smart-TV Privacy Concerns – Samsung has clarified the wording of its privacy policy to alleviate fears that voice-command functionality could lead to eavesdropping on customers’ private conversations. They explained that two mics are embedded, one in the TV set and another in the remote. The remote one requires interaction with a server while searching content. “If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party thru your use of Voice Recognition. You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the settings menu.”

Onkyo Music Store Now in Operation – The Japanese firm has partnered with 7Digital to rejuvenate its online store for expansion into the US, UK and Germany. They have jundreds of thousands of hi-res 24-bit 44.1K to 192K songs and albums, along with thousands of 16-bit standard CD quality tracks. Prices for a hi-res album start at £12 and any music you buy from it will be compatible with all platforms. There is yet no streaming service.

Russound Launches KNX Interface – Russound has a new interface making it simple to integrate their multiroom audio systems with KNX-based home automation systems. Russound now supports Spotify, Pandora, Tunein, vTuner radio and SiriusXM.

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