January 7th, 2009 -- by Tom Martin
Linksys intends to exploit its wireless prowess, strong brand and broad distribution o take on Sonos in the wireless multi-room audio category. At CES, Linksys announced a full system that can integrate with existing audio products or operate pretty much standalone.
The complete release is here:
Cisco Multi-room Home Audio Solution Enhances and Extends the Listening Experience for Consumers
Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio Makes it Easy to Play Music from a Variety of Sources Wirelessly Throughout the Home
LAS VEGAS – January 7, 2009 – Cisco today announced the Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio system at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. From the world leaders in networking, the Wireless Home Audio system utilizes Wireless-N technology to deliver a rich audio experience to any room in the home. Users can create a party atmosphere with immaculate synchronization when listening to the same song throughout the entire home, or send different music to customized “zones”. The Wireless Home Audio solution also puts millions of songs at your fingertips through integrated Internet services such as Rhapsody, and RadioTime. An optional Docking Station for iPod enables content on Apple iPod™, including podcasts, audio books, and purchased iTunes content, to be played through any Wireless Home Audio device on the network. Wireless Home Audio products also work great with the newly announced Linksys by Cisco Media Hub that gathers and presents the available media on a network.
The Wireless Home Audio product family includes three available options for playback devices that allow consumers to bring wireless audio to any room – the all-in-one Conductor, the Director with powerful amplifier, and the Player - which is the ideal addition to existing sound systems. A Wireless-N Controller enhances the Wireless Home Audio experience by providing touchscreen access to all available audio from anywhere in the home. Consumers can easily unleash audio from their iPods by simply slipping it into the available docking station for instant access to all of the songs, playlists, and other audio content on the device. In addition, with millions of songs available from Rhapsody in the U.S. and audiolounge in Europe, Wireless Home Audio users can search for tracks, discover new artists, and create playlists to be sent to any room. A “Favorites” function gives one-touch access to any content from any source.
Great Audio Quality, Precise Synchronization
Cisco, the world’s leader in networking technology has applied its years of knowledge and expertise to develop an amazing lossless digital audio delivery solution that preserves the full depth and richness of the recording, as originally intended by the artist. Through distributed decoding technology, each Wireless Home Audio device receives unmodified audio source material without any transcoding or compression. The audio is then reproduced and synchronized to within microseconds, virtually eliminating echo artifacts so often evident in other wireless audio systems.
With Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio, music can be unleashed from existing digital libraries that are stored on a PC or other device, integrated Internet services, or even an iPod, with no need to run new wires around the home, or undergoing complex home renovation to install the devices. As a complete wireless solution, Wireless Home Audio products enable consumers to fully equip their homes with a world of music that is at their fingertips.
Following Cisco’s standards-based approach to networking, the Wireless Home Audio products utilize Wireless-N technology to provide greater value to the consumer by allowing each device to achieve its full potential as an extension of the solution rather than requiring that one of the devices be hard-wired to a router. Wireless Home Audio products have been built to utilize the DLNA 1.5 standard, extending the value of the solution by making it accessible to and from a broad variety of devices. The products are compatible with standards such as HomePlug, Wireless-G, and Ethernet to allow consumers to choose the mix of networking technologies that is right for them.