Home Audio Makes New Connections – Home audio has changed from CD/SACD/DVD players, turntables and FM tuners to networked sources such as computers, Internet radio outlets, Cloud-based music services and handheld mobile electronic gadgets. In the 1980s the marriage of audio and video began by connecting hi-fi VCRs and TVs to stereo systems. This marriage later produced multichannel home-theater surround sound. Now things seem to be going back to two-channel music, but giving consumers access to more music from more different sources than ever before.
Music on an iTunes-equpped computer can be streamed via Wi-Fi to audio components and powered speakers thruout the house. Music stored on a Bluetooth-equipped phone can be streamed to component-audio systems and to tabletop speakers. These can also rich out to the Cloud to stream the many thousands of Internet radio stations and subscription music services. Even the outboard DAC has evolved to serve new music sources. Their USB ports improve the audio quality of data-reduced MP3 files and of music streamed thru media streamers. Wireless DACS can stream uncompressed music wirelessly from a computer to a high-end stereo system in another room. Several audio component companies have built component-sized audio streamers with high-quality built-in DACs, Internet tuners, and technology to stream music from a networked computer.
Best Buy Offers Rocketboost Wireless Audio – Best Buy’s iOS app gives users of handheld remote control a do-it-yourself wireless multi-room audio system that incorporates Rocketboost wireless audio technology. It is available free at Apple’s app store, and operates on iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads. Another app will direct music from a computer equipped with a Rocketbooast sender to Rocketboost-equipped products thruout the house. Other Rocketboost sources include Insignia-connected TVs, Insignia AV receivers and an Insignia HTiB. Products that can reproduce music from Rocketbooast sources include wireless active speakers, an Insignia soundbar, and sender-receiver that can be added to any sound system, and an amplified sender-receiver that connects to any pair of speakers. Some of the products have Rocketbooast wireless, while wother require adding an optional wired dongle. A combination of up to nine sending and receiving devices can be set to stream up to five Rocketboost sources simultaneously. Music is sent as an uncompressed 48K/24-bit-encoded audio signal.
Sony 2012 Audio Products – At the recent CES, Sony’s home audio group showed three new 3D Blu-ray HTiBs, expanded its selection of tabletop audio products equipped with Airplay and stereo Bluetooth, and launched the second model of its high-end audiophile speaker series. All three 5.1 HTiBs also access Sony Music’s Unlimited streaming service, and Sony Home Share technology streams music via Wi-Fi from networked computers, and can send and receive music to and from other Home Share-equipped audio products. The two top models of the HTiBs feature wireless surround speakers.
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