Thursday, December 24, 2009

Switched On: Multi-room music's rocket ride


Ross Rubin (@rossrubin) contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

Multi-room music has a long history as the province of the wealthy, the corporate, and those with the forethought to build or buy new construction with the structured wiring to support it. But over the past few years a number of companies have tried various wireless technologies to bring multi-room music closer to the masses. Some companies have used proprietary wireless systems while others have used WiFi, and yet others have tried both approaches in different products at different times.

Those approaches, though, now face competition from a new ingredient brand called Rocketboost. While it may sound like a powdered nutritional supplement that Jamba Juice adds to smoothies, Rocketboost uses the second generation of a wireless audio technology dubbed AudioMagic 2G, which developer Avnera claims is the first multipoint to multipoint HD wireless audio platform. Indeed, AudioMagic 2G can support up to five sources and nine receivers -- significantly shy of Sonos's 32 zones, but enough to cover many homes. Each Rocketboost receiver has, at minimum, a button to cycle through active sources, and the standard also supports displays that would enable more flexibility in source selection, particularly AudioMagic 2G has a data channel for sending information about a source and the content it is playing.

Continue reading Switched On: Multi-room music's rocket ride

Switched On: Multi-room music's rocket ride originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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