Dynamic Stream Balancing (DSB) gets more HiFi through your WiFi

Dynamic Stream Balancing (DSB) gets more HiFi through your WiFi

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Back in November, we took an in-depth look at Traffic Independent Synchronization (TIS), a Blackfire Research technology which allows precise syncing of your wireless speakers. And last week, we discussed Real-Time Packet Management (RPM), a technology for streaming music to your speakers without excessive buffering. Today, we’re finishing off the series with Dynamic Stream Balancing (DSB).

Dynamic Stream Balancing (DSB) is the way Blackfire makes the best use of the available WiFi bandwidth. If you have a wireless, multi-speaker system that uses conventional WiFi protocols, chances are that some speakers will be more affected than others by interference and heavy network traffic, which causes your music to break up and for speakers to go out of sync.

DSB monitors a special multipoint, real-time feedback signal from each speaker to identify the effect of noise on the audio data stream. By precisely identifying which packets are statistically most likely to be affected, DSB can then use the available WiFi bandwidth to selectively and predictively resend data just to the most vulnerable speaker before interference can cause any audible drop out. So less data is needed in the buffer, which means delays in the audio stream are reduced from 10’s of seconds to 10’s of milliseconds.

This is especially helpful when using a wireless surround sound system to watch video. With DSB, your Blackfire wireless system has minimal lag between the video on your screen and audio through your speakers. HD Audio in up to 24-bit/192kHz Studio Quality and even HD Video can be streamed to any device from any room, losslessly.

DSB, as well as TIS and RPM, is embedded into all Blackfire enabled products. Together, these technologies create FCP: Firecast Protocol – Blackfire’s solution to streaming music and video over your regular WiFi network, flawlessly.

Want to hear the difference for yourself? Firecast is found in all Blackfire enabled products, including The Harman/Kardon Omni Series and Pioneer MRX Series. Happy listening!

How Blackfire’s Real-Time Packet Management Keeps Your Music Together

How Blackfire’s Real-Time Packet Management Keeps Your Music Together

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Back in November, we took an in-depth look at Traffic Independent Synchronization (TIS), a Blackfire Research technology which allows precise syncing of your wireless speakers. Today, we’re going to look at another Blackfire technology: Real-Time Packet Management (RPM) for streaming music to your speakers without excessive buffering.

We’ve all been there: you finally find that perfect song only to click on it and have the “spinning pinwheel of death” appear. Or worse still, trying to watch TV with wireless speakers that play several seconds out of sync – like a bad art-house dubbed foreign movie. Those are the effects of buffering.

Some wireless audio systems are so susceptible to signal interference that they compensate by pre-loading (or buffering) the signal data before they start to playback. Without buffering on these systems you’d hear sporadic gaps in the audio (called drop outs) due to the lost audio data. So how much data is needed to buffer in order to prevent gaps or drop-outs?

Today’s most popular wireless speakers uses conventional WiFi protocol which has to queue the data. When you select a playlist from your smartphone or tablet, it takes several seconds for the first song to fill the buffer before it begins playing. While that first song is playing, the system is already buffering the next song to minimize gaps between songs. This is fine until, of course, you change the queue (say, by hitting “play next”) before it can re-buffer. In which case, hello spinning pinwheel.  Also, because of this delayed playback, you won’t be able to use these popular wireless speakers as a soundbar with your TV without a wire (i.e. an optical cable connection).

Real-Time Packet Management (RPM) is the Blackfire solution to buffering. RPM uses a special multipoint, real-time feedback signal from each speaker to monitor the effect of noise on the audio data stream. This allows a much shorter queue and requires much less buffering.
Want to hear the difference for yourself? RPM is embedded into all Blackfire enabled products, including The Harman/Kardon Omni Series and Pioneer MRX Series. Next week, we’ll look at Dynamic Stream Balancing (DSB) and how it works with TIS and RPM to create FCP: Firecast Protocol – Blackfire’s solution to conventional wifi protocols.