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Thiel, Olive Partner For Multiroom

Las Vegas – High-end audio supplier Thiel will partner with music-server maker Olive at CES to launch a networked multiroom-audio system that combines an Olive server with networked Thiel speakers.

The Olive+Thiel HD Music System consists of a proprietary version of Olive’s existing 4HD music server and Thiel’s SCS4 IP-based active loudspeakers. The server and speakers use Thiel’s proprietary zoet IP-based Ethernet-networking technology to stream up to four different songs simultaneously over Ethernet cables to four different pairs of SCS4 speakers via the server’s four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch. In addition, the Olive server features analog and USB digital audio inputs to allow streaming from such connected music sources as TVs, satellite radio or PCs. Thiel’s zöet technology is said to eliminate the latency issues that often plague network-based multiroom-audio systems.

Olive+Thiel will ship within weeks after CES. One server and a pair of speakers will retail for $7.900. The system will be demoed during CES in the Venetian Bassano Ballroom 2601.

The system’s 2TB server stores up to 6,000 CDs or 20,000 24-bit music tracks in lossless quality, features built-in 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen to find and select music, and comes with embedded Wi-Fi, which works in conjunction with an app that turns an iPhone and iPod touch into a Wi-Fi-based remote. Also for other-room remote control, a supplied IR remote controls the system via an IR receiver in the speakers.

Music can be copied to the server’s hard drive via the built-in CD-RW drive, which also burns discs for playback in the car, or from a networked PC or Mac. Olive also offers a CD-preloading service, with the first 100 CD conversions free.

The 17.13×3.35×11.42-inch server also features IR receiver input and an HDMI output to connect to a TV for on-screen display.

The 8.37×17.62×11-inch two-way speakers feature coaxial/coincident-driver design, 6.5-inch woofer, 200-watt class D amplification, Burr-Brown 24-bit/192kHz DAC in mono mode, 48Hz-20kHz (+/- 2dB) frequency response, IR Input, and 1-inch thick cabinet walls.

Thiel demonstrated a different Ethernet-networked multiroom audio system, called zoet, at last year’s CES, but shipment is still pending as the company makes refinements. Some of the zoet technology is used in the Olive+Thiel system.