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Media Distribution Expands To Multiple Platforms Following CEDIA Expo 2008

Sep 15, 2008 12:00 PM, By Rebecca Day


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When MusicGiants hired IPTV veteran Thomas Wendt as chief technology officer last summer, it was clear where the future of online content was headed for the custom-electronics industry. At CEDIA Expo 2008, the company tacked an exclamation point on its video direction with several announcements including the new HD MediaStore application for music and video on the Windows Vista platform.

Now branded HDGiants in an effort to bring music and video under one brand, the online content provider will supply high-resolution music and videos to an array of Vista-based home-theater media servers via its proprietary content delivery platform.

The HD MediaStore application is being developed along with Aspen Media Products, which hopes to use the application as a value-add feature for its server products. Music and videos are written directly into the Media Center server, enabling consumers to access high-definition content easily and legally.

HD Media Store will also be available over the coming months on servers from Crestron, Russound, Inteset, Niveus Media, ReQuest, Olive, and Qsonix. On the content side, Linn Records announced at CEDIA that its collection of classical, Celtic and jazz recordings will be available through HDGiants, joining Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Concord Music Group, EMI Music, Warner Music Group, Paramount, Image Entertainment, and Koch Entertainment. HDGiants promised two additional major studio announcements over the next two weeks on the video side.

MusicGiants’ HD downloads use the WMA lossless format, and the store also offers Super HD downloads created from proprietary hardware and software using sampling rates of 88.2/24 and 96/24. The company says the proprietary files recreate the listening experience of multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio. VideoGiants content ranges from 420p to 1080p at up to 45Mbps, depending on hardware partner capability.

HDGiants’ news was just one of a wave of video-related server announcements at CEDIA.

New hardware and software from Sooloos stores music, photos and video and pulls AV content and digital images from a PC, distributes it to TVs throughout the house, and brings it all under the Sooloos user interface. The company announced software updates that will enable Sooloos hardware to access and store online content that will be managed by the unified interface.

Sooloos unveiled a new centralized processor device called Core that acts as a smart switch for management of all Sooloos networked devices. With Core in place, dealers can add storage, output, and control elements as needed to expand a customer’s system. Sooloos storage drives are automatically backed up and can be expanded without limit. Third-party drives can be used as well. On the output side, the Sooloos Solo single-zone audio output device and Sooloos Quartet four-zone audio output device are joined by the single-zone Sooloos Cinema, which outputs for video and surround audio in both HD and SD.

To complete the collection, Sooloos also debuted a 17in. wired touchpanel. Sooloos systems can also be operated by third-party control companies including Crestron, as well as iPhone and infrared controllers.

Also at CEDIA, ReQuest unveiled the Intelligent Media Client, an expandable media platform said to enable multiroom playback of music, videos, and photos. The IMC includes a slot-loading DVD slot for local playback of music or movies or archiving content to ReQuest’s iQ or F-Series media servers. The IMC also acts as a gateway and offers access to YouTube. Future plans include integrating more services like YouTube for streaming and downloadable content of music, video, and photos. The client upscales video content to 1080p.



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