French AwoX Comes to U.S. with Wireless Products – The French software company specializing in DLNA middleware has introduced three products in the U.S. market, all at $99. The StriimLight B-10 LED light bulb with built-in Bluetooth speaker, the StriimLink Wi-Fi & DLNA music streamer which connects via wire to home audio systems to create a multiroom multizone audio system, and the Wi-Fi and DLNA StriimStick, which turns an HDMI-equipped TV into a web-browsing Android tablet that downloads apps and streams 1080p video from computers and mobile devices. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi lights screw into standard medium-base light bulb sockets, including those in in-ceiling recessed lighting cans.
Sony Wireless Speaker Trio – Sony has begun offering three tabletop speakers, two which incorporate Wi-Fi, AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth and Internet music streaming. The third is a Bluetooth speaker. The price range is from $199 to $699. The two top models offer direct access to online music and Internet radio services such as Music Unlimited, Spotify and TuneIn Radio. The flagship AC-only STS-X9 adds playback of USB-connected audio, support for hi-res audio codecs, and 154-watt output. Its three-way seven-driver system features super tweeters, midrange drivers, a biamplified subwoofer and dual passive radiators. All three feature Sony’s Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, Clearaudio+ and S-Master Digital Amplifier technologies.
Spike in UHD TV Shipments in Q4 2013 – Global UHD LCD TV shipments reached 1.6 million units in 2013, with nearly one million along being shipped in the fourth quarter. However, the rapidly accelerating demand for the new technology is driving UHD LCD panels and TV prices down at a fast pace. Chinese brands comprised 84% of global UHD shipments in 2013. In China the popular screen sizes were 39, 50 and 55-inch, while outside of China sales were focused on the 55-inch and 65-inch models.
Reactions to Neil Young’s Pono Player – are rampant and both complimentary and critical on the Internet. Some hi-res aficionados think it’s terrific while others find that hi-res audio in general is not needed (of course we don’t agree). While the player will only play back FLAC files when it comes out later this year, you don’t need to wait until then to purchase downloads from the Pono Web store. A useful article on the Cnet site chooses the top six sites for buying FLAC music files, and in the process explains explains exactly what FLAC is: a sort of hi-res MP3.