It’s that time of year again – The Consumer Technology Association’s annual International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) is back in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 5-8. International CES is the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, boasting more than 165,000 attendees from 150 countries and showcasing “more than 3,800 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, and technology delivery systems.” (ces.tech)
This year, we will be exhibiting Blackfire IXD, the first ever WiFi compliant low-latency surround sound technology for TVs and Set top boxes. The exciting news for consumers is that Blackfire IXD finally makes real the promise of banishing cables – and unnecessary speaker boxes – from your living room. And no matter what new streaming technology comes along next – like Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay, Amazon Alexa, Google Cast or even future Apple Siri speakers – you will be able to play it all on the same set of Blackfire IXD wireless speakers that give your TV immersive surround sound.
What makes Blackfire IXD unique is a patented technology that allows a SmartTV to use a home’s standard WiFi to send wireless signals to surround sound speakers in the living room. Conventional multiroom “wireless” music systems still require a cable connection from the TV, and even then, many will only support a soundbar – so they are not truly independent left, center and right channels. This is because they introduce a delay into the audio stream – which causes a highly annoying “lip sync” mismatch between what you hear and what you see on the screen.
Other systems create their own, closed, non-wifi compliant networks to reduce the delay. However, this often causes interference with your wifi network (i.e. your TV might sound OK, but the Netflix WiFi stream is being interrupted by your non-compliant speakers.)
Blackfire IXD (2.4Ghz/5Ghz) produces the industry’s best synchronization and latency performance for multiroom music streaming and multichannel surround sound configuration, and supports lossless and lossy audio compression, as well as up to 32bit / 192KHz sample rates. Blackfire IDX can stream either 5.1 or 7.1 as discrete audio channels of lossless, multichannel audio from either cloud streaming services or local files. And like all Blackfire wireless technologies, Blackfire IXD is fully compatible with all Blackfire enabled systems currently on the market.
We are excited to unveil the Blackfire IXD wireless audio solution at CES this week, but that is just the beginning. With 4K video and HD audio on the rise, Blackfire Research will have even more exciting news to announce later in 2017. Stay tuned.