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Wireless Theater In B&W Debut

Speaker maker Bowers & Wilkins unveiled a wireless 5.1-channel home theater system targeted to retail at a tentative $15,000 to $18,000 when it ships mid-year.

The 2,600-watt Liberty system features powered in-room speakers and a central one-piece console equipped with CD/DVD player, 1080p-up-scaling HDMI output, HD-Radio tuner, surround processor and VGA touchscreen. The console delivers music and movie soundtracks to the speakers in uncompressed PCM format over 802.11b/g/a frequency bands, but it eschews the Wi-Fi standard for an adaptive frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology that reduces latency to 10-12 microseconds from Wi-Fi’s milliseconds. The low latency ensures audio synchronization with video and synchronization of arrival times among the speakers, the company said.

The technology is based on technology from STS Wireless combined with a B&W-proprietary software stack.