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Tabletop Internet Radios Stream Into Home

1/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
LAS VEGAS — With the popularity of Internet radio streaming to PCs on the rise, CE companies are trying to take PCs out of the equation.

Companies such as Grace Digital, Pure, Sherwood and others are turning up at International CES to display new tabletop Internet radios. Here are some of the new products that dealers will find:

Grace Digital:
The company’s latest Internet radio features 3.5-inch TFT color display and a Party Mode button that syncs all radios in the Grace’s new lineup to deliver the same program throughout the house. It can be controlled from new apps loaded on iPhone/iPod Touches and on Android phones. The radio streams Internet stations as well as Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius Internet Radio, Live 365, iHeartradio, Weatherbug, NOAA, NPR, BBC and other services. Additional details were unavailable.

Pure: The U.K.-based company debuted last year in North America with the launch of three tabletop Internet radios, which stream more than 15,000 Internet radio stations, access on-demand podcasts, and tune into FM radio stations.

This year, Pure is coming to CES to launch two more Wi-Fi-equipped Internet radios, one of which is its first with iPod/iPhone dock. A third new product is the company’s first stand-alone iPod dock, which connects to any music system.

The two new Internet radios — the Contour with iPod/ iPhone dock and the AC/ DC One Flow – also access Pure’s new cloud-based music service, FlowSongs, which lets consumers tag a track playing on any Internet radio station or FM station, then buy the track directly. Once purchased, the songs can be streamed on demand from any Flow-equipped radio, and the tracks can be downloaded in MP3 format to a PC or Mac. The price of a download was unavailable.

The $299-suggested Contour features a black semicircle front face with red accent. A pushto- eject iPhone/iPod dock emerges from the front of the housing. Contour features Class D amplifiers, 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB connector for software upgrades and Ethernet adapter; 3.5mm or RCA composite-video output, and IR remote.

The AC/DC One Flow portable at a suggested $149 accesses the same music sources as the Contour, but iPod/iPhone-stored music is reproduced through a 3.5mm aux input rather than through an iPod/iPhone 30-pin dock connector. The radio features black satin-touch finish, interface with context-sensitive buttons, and optional rechargeable ChargePak 40- hour battery.

The stand-alone $99.99 i-20 iPod/iPhone dock charges a docked device and connects to any sound system’s analog or digital inputs. It captures the PCM digital output of a docked Apple device, then sends the audio in digital form via its co-axial SPDIF and optical TOSLINK outputs. A built-in digital-to-analog converter sends audio through a pair of analog RCA outputs.

Video outputs enable users to view stored video on a TV via a multiway output socket that supports both S-Video and component video from the dock.

Sherwood: The component-audio company’s Internet streaming appliance is the iPod/ iPhone-docking iNet-2.0. It streams the Pandora and Rhapsody music services, streams news services, doubles as an 8-inch digital photo frame, and features alarm clock functions. Amplification is rated at 2x10 watts. It was shown last year with Rhapsody and Napster. Price and ship date were unavailable.
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