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DTS Play-Fi Wireless HD Audio Streaming Unveiled

by October 01, 2012
DTS Play-Fi

DTS Play-Fi

With Apple Air-Play getting all sorts of recognition and press, it makes sense that other people would want to get in on the action. We expected Android to be involved, but we didn't expect that DTS would have a hand in it as well.

Play-Fi is the new audio streaming solution from DTS that promises lossless audio streaming wirelessly from your Android phone/tablet to a compatible speaker/receiver. With the Play-Fi app installed on your mobile device, you can stream music and other audio content over your Wi-Fi connection.

According to DTS, Play-Fi will include:

  • Quality Sound Experience – DTS Play-Fi is able to wirelessly transmit up to high-definition "lossless" audio, with no impact on sound quality – unlike Bluetooth, which degrades sound quality via file compression.
  • Multi-Room Listening Experience – Connect up to eight different audio systems to one network and enjoy music and audio in every room of your home or office, perfectly synchronized with no lag. Or, stream different songs to different rooms via different mobile devices.
  • Connectivity Range – Unlike Bluetooth, DTS Play-Fi-enabled mobile devices connect wirelessly to playback systems via a standard wireless home network, enabling DTS Play-Fi connectivity anywhere within the home.
  • DTS Play-Fi Mobile App – Turns the mobile device into an audio control center to enjoy audio content stored on the device or on cloud-based libraries and streaming services over DTS Play-Fi-enabled audio systems.

We fully expect there to be DTS Play-Fi enabled receivers on the market in the next generation or two of releases. Right now, there is only one company making products for Play-Fi and that is Phorus. Featuring a speaker/dock and a receiver (the latter for connecting to your existing stereo), that's not a lot of support at the moment. Unlike Apple where all the devices are standardized, the speaker dock features a shelf with a USB port for charging. The receiver has a 3.5mm output with a Y cable to split it to RCA. It also has not only Wi-Fi but Bluetooth, something DTS was quick to put down in their press materials about Play-Fi. The receiver will run $149 while the speaker/dock will cost $199. Both will be available October 1st. We couldn't find the Play-Fi app in the Google Play store so we're guessing it will be available around the same time.

One thing that AirPlay has going for it, other than being first and a fanatical Apple fanbase, is that it can also stream video to Apple's Apple TV. Currently, there is no word on video streaming via DTS' Play-Fi. We're guessing it won't be too far off though. 

As a whole home audio solution, Play-Fi seems to be an interesting option. Of course, don't expect it to work with your iDevices any time soon (or ever). If you (or your family) are primarily Android users, Play-Fi could be useful. One thing we've seen with Apple's AirPlay is that the end device (like the Apple TV) will up (or down) convert the signal rather than pass it through unmolested even though the signal is sent un-converted. With Android, this may not be the case.

When receivers start showing up with both AirPlay and Play-Fi logos, this may become a moot point. We're also curious to see how Play-Fi interacts with other apps and whether it can stream their audio content.

For more information, please visit www.playfiaudio.com.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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