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Sony Expands Wireless-Multi-Room Audio

3/09/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sony brought its S-Air wireless-audio technology to A/V receivers (AVRs) for the first time, expanded its selection of Blu-ray-equipped home theater in a box (HTiB) systems to four from two, brought the opening price of a Blu-ray HTiB down to an expected everyday $600 from $1,000 and expanded its 3.1-channel sound-bar selection to two.

During its dealer event here, the company also maintained its support for S-Air in HTiBs. The technology is embedded in select new integrated DVD HTiBs and in one of the new Blu-ray HTiBs. In other HTiBs and three of the four new AVRs, it requires the purchase of an add-on $50 S-Air transceiver.

Last year, S-Air appeared for the first time in Sony products as a standard or optional feature in multiple HTiBs. They included the company’s first two Blu-ray HTiBs, which launched in the fourth quarter at $1,000 and $2,000 with embedded S-Air. The two models remain in the line.

S-Air uses proprietary 2.4GHz wireless RF technology to send music, including music stored on docked iPods, up to 164 feet to up to 10 $150 amplified speaker clients, or AirStations, in other rooms. S-Air also delivers surround channels to wireless S-Air speakers. Wireless can be activated without such Wi-Fi set-up requirements as selecting security keys, IP addresses, WEP keys and pin codes, Sony said.

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