DTS Play-Fi Embraces Custom Integration

More Play-Fi products, services, features on way, including wired multi-room audio capabilities
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MartinLogan’s 100-watt two-way Crescendo X speaker features Play-Fi

More audio products with DTS’s Play-Fi wireless multiroom-audio technology are on the way.

New Play-Fi features are also now available, as is the product that integrates Play-Fi tabletop speakers with a wired custom-installed multiroom-audio system.

During a New York City press event on Monday, DTS and licensees unveiled more than a dozen new Play-Fi-equipped products, including the first models from Anthem, MartinLogan, Paradigm, and McIntosh. Existing licensee Wren also showed a new speaker, and Polk and Definitive Technology showed the recently launched Polk S6 speaker and Definitive Technology W Studio Microbar.

For its part, Fusion unveiled the first multisource music server with embedded wireless Play-Fi.

Here’s a look at some of the new services, features and products:

New Music Services
Play-Fi speakers will access the CD-quality Tidal music service in October through Play-Fi’s iOS and Android apps, and they will support Spotify Connect Multiroom capability. Rdio and Rhapsody will be available on Play-Fi’s iOS app, joining availability on the Play-Fi Android app.

New Features
With Play-Fi HD driver software, consumers will be able to watch video on a Windows PC or Windows tablet and sync the audio through a Play-Fi speaker. The driver will be available this week for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Existing users will get the upgrade automatically.

“This feature is only available for technology that works at the operating system level, not at an app level, so it will not be available from our Android or iOS Play-Fi apps,” said VP Mike Kilroy. The feature “is not available from any other whole-home streaming technologies because none of them offers OS-level software,” he added.

Separately, the company unveiled a redesigned Play-Fi user interface that will roll out shortly. It’s promoted as offering a clean, streamlined way to access basic and advanced features. It also features built-in help.

Like before, Play-Fi systems stream high-resolution audio files but down-sample them to CD quality for transmission over Wi-Fi and Ethernet. “We down-sample regardless of network topography,” Kilroy explained. “It helps us deliver a consistent experience to all users. For example, often in a home some speakers are wired and others are wireless. Even if one speaker is wireless in a group, synchronizing a 24/192 file over the network will be problematic.”

DTS chose to down-sample these files rather than compress them to provide a CD-quality experience, he noted.

For a closer look at new products featuring Play-Fi, click here to visit TWICE.com.