Company unveils IP-enabled, iPod-friendly home theater distribution tech

Picture this. You've got a big house, with a really nice home theater.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor

Picture this. You've got a big house, with a really nice home theater. But what do you do to route the sound from your home theater system to the other rooms of your house?


Yes, I know. Problems, problems.


But let's not cop class warfare here. After all, the solutions you seek can push forth the pace of innovation.


Innovation such as devices that can distribute surround sound from IP-addressable speakers in your system to IP speakers throughout your home.


Home audio distribution solutions provider NetStreams has just unveiled two devices that do just that. These devices enable installers to build a bridge between your basic home theater system and multiroom audio.


The two devices are called TheaterLinX and CinemaLinX. TheaterLinX is scheduled for a December, 2007 debut at $4,000. Pricing for CinemaLinX, which is due by June of 2008,  has not yet been announced.

So why drop $4,000- or more?


NetStreams president Kevin Reinis tells TWICE (This Week In Consumer Electronics)  Joseph Palenchar that:

"One of the classic problems with installations that feature a home theater and a multiroom audio system is that the two systems are separate. Sources located in the home theater are usually limited to that room, and sources available on the multiroom audio system are not easily available for playback in the home theater."

Palenchar then describes how these technologies will work:

When the TheaterLinX or CinemaLinX devices are paired with the company’s currently available IP-based multiroom-video system, consumers will be able to distribute standard- and high-definition video to remote rooms while streaming their multichannel soundtracks directly to those rooms’ IP-addressable in-wall and in-ceiling home theater speaker systems. In the remote rooms, consumers will be able to use the in-wall touchscreens of their IP-based DigiLinX multiroom audio system to control the main home theater’s audio and video sources, including networked settop boxes and DVRs.


These technologies will also be controllable by browser-based devices such as WiFi enabled touchscreens.

For those of you who are still with me so far, I bring you more details from Palenchar on how this will work.

The TheaterLinX device connects to the line-level analog and S/PDIF audio outputs s of an AV receiver or home theater preamp/processor. The device converts stereo and multichannel audio into an IP stream that is delivered to a home theater room’s IP-based architectural speakers and to IP-based architectural speakers throughout the house. TheaterLinX also makes it possible for the AV receiver to reproduce a remote room’s networked audio sources, including PCs and iPod docks.


Can you wait? Even cooler, NetStreams says thatn the future, dealers will be able automatically and easily calibrate the EQ for the room, and the speakers themselves can dynamically adjust the sound equalization for changes in the room such as the movement of furniture, addition or subtraction of people in the room and even whether or not the drapes are open or closed.

Now that's cool, but hey its Monday. Time to get to work to earn enough for a home theater system, as well as a house big enough to put multi-room audio in.

Editorial standards