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Neosonik Promises Home Theater Without Wires

12/18/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Multiple audio suppliers will use wireless technology to transmit music from a central source to tabletop clients at International CES, and at least one company will cut the cord to a powered subwoofer.

But taking the wireless concept to its ultimate expression, startup Neosonik from San Francisco plans to show preproduction samples of a wireless home theater system that can stream up to 7.2 channels of uncompressed PCM audio to DSP-equipped active speakers from a tabletop A/V controller. The system can also wirelessly deliver high-definition video to a flat-panel display via an optional 3 -inch by 5.5-inch by 1-inch wireless receiver that can be attached with Velcro to an HD display.

Signals transmitted are encrypted.

Here's how it works: Consumers plug audio and video sources such as cable or satellite set-top boxes, DVD players, CD players or high-definition disc players to the controller's analog, digital and HDMI 1.3 inputs. The controller decodes all surround-sound codecs that are optional and mandatory in the HD DVD and Blu-ray disc standards.

The wireless-video receiver, attached by Velcro to the back of a display, connects to the display's HDMI input. With this solution, consumers eliminate the need to run a thicker HDMI cable to an on-wall display, replacing it instead with a thin power-supply cord that can be attached to the display's power cord.

Neosonik uses proprietary technologies in the unlicensed 5GHz band, said president Ted Feldman, to deliver 60Mbps throughput and synchronization among audio channels at less than 250 nanoseconds. The system isn't vulnerable to signal dropouts caused by multipath or interference from other wireless devices, and it can stream more than 200 feet through multiple walls, he claimed.

During CES at the Venetian, suites 30-229 and 30-231, the company will demonstrate two 5.1-channel systems due around June. The company will also license the technology, which it calls Air Power AV. One system will retail at around $6,000, and another with larger speakers will retail at about $12,000. The optional video receiver that connects to a TV's HDMI input will retail for a projected $299.

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