Audio News for February 19, 2016

Trend Toward Mixing of Classical and Jazz – More and more musical groups are mixing classical and jazz in new combinations not necessarily heard before. An example is The Valinor Quartet, who perform a hybrid of jazz and classical. The guitarist of the group studied composition and guitar at the St. Petersburg Jazz Conservatory and got his B.A. in contemporary writig and production from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Their violinist was raised in England and moved to the U.s. for college – he is currently finishing studies at Berklee. The all acoustic grtoup encompasses the diverse cultural backgrounds of its members to influence its stylistic diversity and unique performance aesthetic. Their range of styles runs from classical to the Beatles, Gypsy jazz, Kelzmer, movie soundtracks, French and Tango.

Wireless Technology Continues to Grow – Over 110 million wireless speakers and AV equipment will ship worldwide this year and strong growth is expected thru 2020 according a forecast from SAR Insight & Consulting. Wireless technology has become an essential selling point for home audio decices and is now a common feature of many items sold. Almost 100 million wireless home audio devices will use Bluetooth this year. Wi-Fi is seeing rapid adoption as the multi-room audio market grows. It can now do multiple channels, longer transmission distances, more robust connections, and higher resolution streaming. The advent of Google Cast is bound to cause a major shakeup in the market. The next major thing will be Hi-Res Audio. By 2020 lossless streaming subscriptions are expected to account for almost 25% of all music subscriptions. This area is the industry’s next focus, with a continued rive towards improved audio source material, the technologies used to access it, and the equipment used to play it on. It is also hoped that it will reinvigorate the download market and help increase prices for primium products.

Trends in Home Theater – The move to hi-def UHD projectors with four times the resolution of 1080p. A control system that is easy to use, plus the option of using your iPhone or iPad to control it as well. Streaming movies from the Internet via Apple TV or a Roku Box. Really smart TVs. A clean installation with no wires showing. One installer says the biggest change to home theater has been the theater screen itself, instead of projecting on a white wall. Today’s projection screens have a fabric that rejects ambient light, so you can have lights on while watching a movie or TV. The phenomenon of home theaters hasn’t resulted in more TVs around the house. People who don’t want a TV in every room prefer a good hi-def set in their home theater room.

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