Second-Screen App the Most Widely-Distributed in the World – Peel Technologies’ app, which provides easy-to-navigate visual TV listings that go beyond the usual on-screen grid, is now the most widely-distributed second-screen app, with a presence in over 20 countries. Available in Europe and Southeast Asia as well as North America, the app is now pre-installed on all Samsung tablets, enabling them to search, discover and play TV shows. The app can also be used as a remote control, to set alarms to avoid missing a favorite show, or to share what is being watched with friends on a social network.
Thiel Under New Ownership – Bill Thomas is the new CEO of Nashville-based Thiel Audio and Kathy Gornik is leaving. She had co-founded the loudspeaker firm with the late Jim Thiel in 1976. The private-equity firm which bought Thiel plans to improve marketing initiatives, shorten delivery time and explore new product categories.
NuVo’s Wireless Multiroom Audio System – The new NuVo Wireless Audio System will be displayed at CES in January. Using Wi-Fi-equipped amplified zone players, it streams Internet radio sources, music stored on networked computers and NAS drives, and USB hard drives and sticks plugged into a zone player. The lineup is: two zone player-amps, a wireless gateway connecting to a home router to dedicate bandwidth to the system, and apps to control the system for iOS or Android smartphones or tablets. A dedicated $399 wireless hand-held control is also planned for later shipment. The zone player/amps are either 20 watts or 60 watts, with the later adding Bluetooth and aptX. An amp/switcher delivers music from the various sources over speaker cable to already-installed architectural speakers. It and the zone players can stream Pandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, and iTunes in music-streaming apps. They also decode MP3, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC and Ogg Vorbis audio, and the system integrates with home automation systems.
Marantz Launches Flagship AV Preamp/Processor – The Marantz AV8801 ($3599) is an 11.2-channel component with DTS Neo:X post-processing—which adds two front-height and two front-width channels to traditional 7.1 home theater systems, and it supports the full Neo:X 11.1-channel capabilities. It also has Audyssey’s XT32 room-equalization technology and Audyssey Sub EQ HT processing, which optimizes sound for dual-subwoofer setups. A four-port Ethernet switch is also built in. Other features are DLNA 1.5 networking, AirPlay, HD Radio, AM Radio, Internet radio, Pandora, Spotify, Flickr, SiriusXM, 4K passthru and up-scaling (from any video input) with GUI overlay, 3D passthru, optional stereo Bluetooth, two simultaneous HDMI outputs, a third HDMI to a remote zone, Audyssey DSX, 192K/32-bit processing, and the InstaPrevue function—which lets users preview video in multiple picture-in-picture windows. To deliver all 11 channels, the preamp/processor can be paired with Marantz’ 7×150-watt power amp plus their 5×140-watt power amp. The aluminum front panel has only two big knobs and Marantz’ traditional illuminated front porthole display.
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