Home Sound Systems
Distributed Audio Offers the Ultimate Advance in Home Sound Systems
There have been huge advances in the world of audio entertainment. Some may still recall the days when a radiogram housed in a smart oak or walnut cabinet was often the centrepiece of the living areas, and when a relaxing evening meant listening first to the latest episode of Jet Jungle or perhaps the news, and a family chat or game of cards accompanied by a selection of vinyl records in the background. Today, of course, we are spoiled for choice and, although vinyl still has its devotees, as do compact discs, much of the music that we listen to today is streamed directly to our ears via the Internet, using devices small enough to fit in our pockets.
The iPod and devices like smartphones and tablets offer the perfect means to listen to music or news channels on the go, but are hardly the ideal choice for use as home sound systems. For a shared experience, the first things that need to go are the earphones. In their place, only an array of tweeters, mid-range speakers, and bass woofers has the capacity to deliver a genuine concert hall or discotheque experience that can be shared with friends and family. No less important for lovers of home movies, a setup such as this can produce theatre-quality audio in your own living room, whether streamed or sourced from a DVD or Blu-ray player.
To continue enjoying your music when fixing snacks or a drink in the kitchen, you could simply switch to your favourite mobile device and pop in some earphones. However, this is no longer actually necessary. Thanks to the exceptional intra-operability offered by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), it is now possible to share that living room experience anywhere on your premises. Not a technology, but an organisation, DLNA defines the standards that enable a wide range of digital devices to interact with one another and, most importantly, to share their content, such as photos, videos, and music. What does this mean to the consumer?
It means that home sound systems, for instance, can obtain their audio input from multiple devices and play it back via a suitable distribution network to each room in the house while allowing individual control at each location. Networks may be either cabled or wireless and for neatness, speakers may be ceiling-mounted. Alternatively, wall-mounted and freestanding units may also be used in any combination the user may prefer. Incidentally, new DNLA standards introduced recently are set to allow streamed video from a single set-top box to serve multiple TVs and other compatible devices.
While many of South Africa’s homeowners may have the necessary skills to undertake the installation of a home sound system with distributed audio, it makes sense to allocate the responsibility to a professional who, ideally, will also supply the quality components needed to ensure its long-term performance and reliability. For such assurances, the Pretoria-based digital specialist, Elite Technologies, is a company providing both residential and corporate, tailored, audio-visual solutions. We are widely known for our world-class products, our use of state-of-the-art technology and, perhaps even more significantly, our reputation for service excellence.