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Pioneer Electronics unveiled its first wireless

7/02/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – Pioneer Electronics unveiled its first wireless
tabletop speakers, expanded its lineup of computer
speakers, and added a new Blu-ray player to its homeelectronics
selection here at the Consumer Electronics
Association (CEA) Line Shows.

The company also announced a partnership with
smartphone maker HTC to
offer the industry’s first consumer
electronics products
designed to make it easier to
stream audio wirelessly from
an HTC smartphone’s native
music player.

With the HTC partnership,
Pioneer will become the first
company to offer consumer
electronics products certified
for use with select HTC
smartphones under the new
HTC Connect program. The
program is designed to deliver
“a seamless and consistent
audio streaming and control experience,” HTC said.

Certification reduces the number of steps that a
consumer must take on the HTC smartphone to initiate
streaming to the Pioneer A/V receivers (AVRs), and
it ensures reliable performance, which isn’t guaranteed
among DLNA-certified devices, Pioneer told TWICE.

The Pioneer products will appear on an HTC smartphone’s
screen as a compatible HTC Connect device,
enabling users to select them quickly, Pioneer said.

The HTC device will also stream album art and metadata
through the AVRs to a connected TV, Pioneer noted.

The 2012 lineup of Pioneer- and Elite-brand DLNAcertified
networked audio/video receivers, plus the three
wireless DLNA-certified Wi-Fi speakers, will be the first
CE products certified under the HTC Connect program.
The 15 AVRs will support HTC Connect when they get a
firmware update in the third quarter. The Wi-Fi speakers
are due in August.

Through a software update in the coming months, the
HTC One series of smartphones
will become HTC Connect-certified.
Even with certification, however,
third-party music applications might
not work with HTC Connect, Pioneer
noted.

In consumer electronics, although
the initial HTC-certified products are
DLNA-based home products from
Pioneer, the certification program
will expand to include car audio and
video as well as the Bluetooth and
nearfield communications (NFC)
technologies, HTC said.

In launching its first wireless
speakers, Pioneer unveiled a trio of
active single-chassis tabletop models that incorporate
Wi-Fi, DLNA 1.5 certification and Apple AirPlay.

The speakers, one of which is a portable AC/DC model,
will retail for a suggested $299 to $399. Each speaker
incorporates AAC, WMA, MP3 and uncompressed-WAV
decoders.

In what Pioneer called an industry first, the speakers
will stream music via Wi-Fi in homes that lack a Wi-Fi
network or in rooms that a home’s Wi-Fi network doesn’t
reach using the company’s Wireless Direct technology,
which lets the speakers act as their own Wi-Fi wireless
access point.