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Sony, Best Buy Co-Develop Wireless Multi-Room Audio Line

New York – Sony Electronics and
Best Buy have launched a co-developed
line of Altus sub-brand audio products that distribute audio wirelessly
throughout the house.

The lineup includes music systems, speakers and home-theater products.
All are available for presale at
and will be available in September at 700 Best Buy locations nationwide, other
select retailers and Sony Style stores, Sony said.

“We’re breaking new ground in the consumer electronics industry
with this unique cooperation between manufacturer and retailer,” said Sony
Electronics executive VP/chief marketing officer Mike Fasulo.

Mike Vitelli, Best Buy executive VP and a 22-year Sony veteran,
joined Sony’s sales and marketing staff in a New York City press conference Tuesday
to announce Best Buy’s collaboration with the manufacturer on a special designed “tech
table” kiosk that will showcase each of the wireless Altus components. Sporting
a “Music Everywhere, Wires Nowhere” sign, the kiosk will be positioned
prominently in the front of Best Buy’s home-theater departments, Vitelli said.

Sony and Best Buy worked with an outside design company to create
the display, and to ensure that the in-store infrastructure would properly
support each component, Vitelli said. He added that he could see the approach
expanding in the future to support other product categories and concepts.

The Altus (which is Latin for “higher” and “deeper”) wireless lineup
includes two iPod/iPhone docking systems. The ALT-SA31iR system at about $700 features
an AM/FM-equipped docking station that transmits music from the docked device
to two single-chassis speaker systems, each with stereo drivers for two-room music
distribution. An S-Air RF remote commander with LCD displays song metadata. Two
IR remotes are included. The system also sends music to other Altus and S-Air
compatible devices.

The second docking system, the AIR-SW10Ti at about $400, consists
of a docking station with built-in FM tuner and two built-in speakers, complemented
by a wireless subwoofer. The system’s maximum output 60 watts RMS. IT comes
with IR remote. The system also transmits wireless audio to compatible Altus
and Sony S-Air receivers.

The Altus brand also offers two PC audio multi-room packages. The
ALT-SA32PC package at about $500 consists of three products: two single-chassis
wireless powered speakers, each with stereo drivers and an IR remote, and an S-Air
transmitter that connects to a PC via USB input. The ALT-A33PC package at about
$500 comes with USB S-Air transmitter and digital media adapter that connect to
existing music systems via analog inputs. Both systems are compatible with all Altus
and Sony S-Air products.

Another system, the ALT-SA34R Socket speaker package at about
$350, consists of two small wireless powered speakers and a remote commander with
LCD display for viewing music metadata. It works with all Altus and Sony S-Air

The Altus selection also includes Sony’s BDV-E500W 5.1 Channel
Blu-ray Disc home theater in a box system, originally unveiled in the spring at
approximately $800. The system features wireless surround speakers, and it streams
music wirelessly to up to 10 separately sold Altus and S-Air receivers. It
comes with iPod cradle and the ability to connect other portable music players via
optional cradles. The system is already available in Sony Style stores, Best
Buy and other authorized retailers for about $800.