By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Indianapolis — Monster plans October shipments of its Streamcast HD wireless multi-room audio system, which uses PCs and other audio products as music sources.
The company also plans by year’s end to expand its Streamcast selection with three tabletop single-chassis speaker systems.
Here at the CEDIA Expo, the company is demonstrating Streamcast HD, which delivers up to four audio streams simultaneously to up to 12 zones, each zone capable of playing any one of the four streams. Range is up to 100 feet. The system consists of a $69 Streamcast USB-stick transmitter, a $99 receiver, and a $200 Bridge.
The USB transmitter plugs into a PC that, when loaded with Monster Media Player software, lets users assign up to four playlists simultaneously from PC-stored music libraries. Internet radio services can also be streamed wirelessly. The system is controlled from the PC, from an Android app and from a planned Apple app.
The $99 receiver plugs into the back of Monster’s already available $699/pair Clarity Model 1 powered bookshelf speaker pair. One speaker in the pair features a 30-pin iPod/iPhone dock and multiple analog and digital inputs. The receiver will also plug into three planned Katana single-chassis networked speaker systems that lack iPod/iPhone docks but feature built-in Wi-Fi. Pricing was unavailable.
At $200, the Bridge features an analog and digital output to connect to legacy sound systems, enabling them to play back music streamed wirelessly from the PC. The Bridge, however, also has three analog inputs to connect music sources, turning them into wireless music sources for the Streamcast network. The Bridge’s built-in Bluetooth also turns Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices into sources that stream over the network. The Bridge’s Bluetooth transceiver streams AAC and the AptX music codecs over Bluetooth.
Monster’s Streamcast HD receivers are compatible with Clearnet wireless technology, a four-zone single-source wireless technology used in some laptops to stream wireless audio.
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