Navvo Readies Wireless-Audio Line Extensions

By Joseph Palenchar On Jun 28 2013 - 11:37am

New York — Three additions to Navvo Group’s Voco wireless multizone-audio system will ship later this year, said senior VP Tom Gotuzzo.

The products, which were shown during CE Line Shows here, are the V-Bar soundbar for TVs, V-Base TV base, and V-Pack, which is targeted to installers. The V-Base and V-Pack will ship sometime around the CEDIA Expo, which runs from Sept. 25-28, and the V-Bar will ship before the end of the year.

The privately held company, led by former Best Buy executive Wade Fenn, already offers the $299 V-Zone Audio, which connects to existing sound systems, and the $399 V-Zone+, which adds YouTube video streaming. The $399 V-Spot network player is an amplified stereo speaker with V-Zone+ capabilities.

With multiple Voco network players in a home, consumers can stream up to 10 different songs simultaneously around the house via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n from multiple networked PCs, multiple network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and Wi-Fi-equipped Apple and Android mobile devices. Multiple songs can be streamed simultaneously from one PC.

Navvo’s Wi-Fi-equipped networked media players use Android and Apple tablets and Android smartphones as system controllers.

Navvo’s free Apple and Android apps deliver voice control of song selection of music stored on mobile devices, on networked PCs and NAS drives, and on USB storage devices.

If the song is not found in the networked and USB-connected devices, the apps access the TuneIn Internet radio to search for a currently playing song. The players also search YouTube for the requested song.

Songs on a mass-storage device connected to one Voco player can be streamed to other Voco players, as can music streamed to a new USB Bluetooth dongle plugged into select players.

The networked players stream more than 80,000 free Internet radio stations and podcasts via TuneIn and also access the SkyFM, and Digitally Imported streaming services, with four to five more music services planned by year’s end, said Gotuzzo.

The V-Base and V-Bar were originally slated for shipment earlier this year. The V-Pack is a newly announced product.

During CE Week, Navvo demonstrated a prototype V-Base, which lacks video switching but features HDMI output to stream YouTube videos to a TV. The V-Base also features HDMI audio return channel. Audio inputs include analog, digital optical, and digital coaxial. It measures about 6 inches by 36 inches by 16 inches and features about 200 watts of output and 11 drivers. An output for a wireless subwoofer is also available.

The V-Pack, which was not on display, features Ethernet port but lacks embedded Wi-Fi, though a Wi-Fi dongle will be optional. It’s small enough to be attached to the back of a TV, but three can be placed alongside each other in an equipment rack to integrate with multi-room audio and home-automation systems. It features HDMI out, analog-video out, optical digital output and 3.5mm line-in/out.

A mockup of the V-Bar was on display during CE Week, but product details were unavailable.

All Voco players also feature Wi-Fi Direct to stream from mobile devices without using a home’s Wi-Fi network.

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