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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cisco has just announced their 'Wireless Home Audio' system. You can view some pictures and the manual by clicking here even though the product still won't be officially shown or described until CES.


It also works on a mesh wireless network and seems to have the same design as the Sonos but with some pretty impressive additional features:


- USB port on the player so that you can used pretty well any external hard disk with a USB interface or even a flash drive

- ability to set up the wireless audio network without a physical connection to the router

- iPod docking station to allow one to play tunes on the Ipod through the system and control the iPod from the Controller. It looks like this may allow you to play DRM-protected files through the analog loophole.

- IR remote to allow you to control devices

- Standby mode on the player

- User interface on the players themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The manuals and pictures for Cisco's new Home Audio Product Family, being released by the Linksys division, can be found by clicking here and also here . I took a look at the documents and have summarized them here for you:


- Amplified Player - Director Wireless-N Music Player (DMC250) - Similar to Sonos Zoneplayer 100/120, this is an amplified player with a colour 3.5" LCD user interface on the player itself. It also includes a USB port for external storage, iPoD connector and headphone/line out jack, all of which the Sonos does not have. It also includes the following input ports: analog stereo L/R RCA jacks, 1 ethernet jacks and the following output ports: S/PDIF jack, analog stereo L/R RCA jacks, L/R speaker terminals, and subwoofer;

- Controller - Wireless-N Touchscreen Remote (DRMW1000) - Simliar to the Sonos Controller with a colour 3.5" LCD touchscreen, but with a black case as are all the system components (never liked the white Sonos components, especially the Controller case). No word on whether you can use it in the shower like you can Sonos' or whether they have iPhone/iTouch software (but they are bound to eventually if they don't at release time, in order to stay competitive);

- Unamplified Player - Wireless-N Music Extender (DMP100) - Similar to the Sonos Zoneplayer 80/90. It has a manual volume control and also includes the following input ports: analog stereo L/R RCA jacks, 1 ethernet jack and the following output ports: S/PDIF, analog stereo L/R jacks, headphone/line out jack

- Conductor - Wireless-N Digital Music Center (DMC350) - A unit with built-in speakers, CD player, and color touch control screen that can be controlled by the wireless remote. Sonos does not have such a product. The great thing about this unit is you can control tunes on the CD from the remote. It also includes an optional docking station for an iPod.

- Docking Station for iPod® (MCCI40) - You can use this to connect an Ipod to the system (either to the Conductor or a Director amplified player) and recharge the iPod at the same time. Sonos does not have this, except as a typical external source which cannot be controlled. You can control the iPod from the Director, the Conductor, or with either the IR Remote or Wi-Fi Controller. The manual says you can play music from the iPod and iTunes so I assume this allows one to play DRM protected files.

- Stereo Speakers (DMSPK50) - Similiar to Sonos' speakers.

- IR remote - Allows you to control the system, including the iPod. Sonos does not have this.


The system includes support for Rhapsody and Internet Broadcasts. Also, of course, you can connect external sources and a play files from a computer (in addition to a directly connected USB drive, as mentioned above)


I haven't heard about pricing, but I bet it will be competitive with Sonos. EDIT: Pricing below:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I discovered the MSRP's on Cisco's product:


Ampliified Player - Director Wireless-N Music Player with Colour LCD Screen (DMC250)- $449 vs $499 for Sonos ZP120, which has fewer features - $50 cheaper


Unamplified Player - Wireless-N Music Extender (DMP100) - $299 vs $349 for Sonos ZP90 - $50 cheaper


WiFi Remote - Wireless-N Touchscreen (DRMW1000) - $349 vs $399 for Sonos Controller - $50 cheaper


Docking Station for iPod® (MCCI40) - $79


Wireless-N Digital Music Center with CD Player (DMC350) - no pricing yet


IR Remote (DMRIR500) - no pricing yet


Speakers (DMSPK50) - no pricing yet



Bundles:


DMC250+ DMP100 + DMRW1000 - $999 - This more fully-featured combination includes the more basic functionaliity of Sonos' $999 BU150


2 x DMP100 + DMRW1000 - $849 - Sonos does not currently have a bundle like this available.



Also, a few other details from a Cisco presentaton: Plays synchronized music throughout the home • Proprietary algorithms keep audio in sync across rooms and zones • Supports Single and Multi-Zone configurations • Allows you to play music throughout the home or just in specific rooms • Based on Wireless N, UPnPBased on Wireless N, UPnP, DLNA 1.5 • Standards based approach allows all of our devices • Allows all of our devices to stream content throughout the home • e.g. PC, NAS, WiFi Mobile Phones


Now that we have the pricing at a lower cost that Sonos and a product with more features it remains to be seen that the product actually works as well as Sonos and that they can provide product support like we enjoy from Sonos.


I expect to see Sonos at least drop their pricing to match, at CES, and maybe even speed up the announcement of products that they were going to wait longer to introduce or they won't be competitive. And, yes, I know that Cisco's product may not ship instantly and hasn't been proven in consumers' homes yet, but Sonos has to battle the perception (and reality when Cisco's product ships and works) that they are not competitive in features and pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And for those of you who want to see where Cisco is going with all of this, check out this presentation:


Corrected Link:

LinkSys Connected Home



Their business plan is 'Any Content on any Service on any Device'. (The entire presentation is interesting, but Page 14 briefly describes their new wireless music system).
 

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Your linksys link above does not work
 

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Tis unfortunate that the system requires a windoze vista box for all the "connected home" products .... and "Windows 2000 or XP" for the Network Storage.


Pity.... but now I can stop reading anything more on the product until they make it more universal



SONOS does not require any particular computer .... although this Linksys system is broader in that it handles multiple forms of media - video/audio.

Too bad really .... can't agree that the approach of tying to vista is good.


Cheers

sd


http://www.linksys.com/.....


DMA2100 Linksys Media Center Extender

DMA2200 Linksys Media Center Extender with DVD
Quote:
Minimum Requirements

“Certified for Windows Vista” or equivalent computer with Microsoft Vista Home Premium or Ultimate edition (Intel P4 2.4 GHz or higher or AMD equivalent, 1.0 GB of RAM, 100Mbps Ethernet connection) with CD-ROM drive and Internet Connection •

Model NAS200 - Network Storage System with 2 Bays
Quote:
Minimum Requirements

Windows 2000 or XP•

WMB54G Wireless-G Music Bridge
Quote:
Windows 2000 or XP with Service Pack 1 (or later)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The link above should work now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dimond /forum/post/15449610


Tis unfortunate that the system requires a windoze vista box for all the "connected home" products .... and "Windows 2000 or XP" for the Network Storage.


Pity.... but now I can stop reading anything more on the product until they make it more universal
...


Cheers

sd


WRONG - It looks like you did not even read my posts. You are talking about DIFFERENT products than the ones I am talking about. Those are old products which have nothing do with the new products I talked about extensively in my posts above which, by the way, do not need Vista or even a computer to operate.


So, sd, I would suggest you start reading about the product.
 

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Does anyone know if the DMP100 unit will work with an audio player that's NOT part of their software package? I have a slate PC with touchscreen on it that has wifi and I'd love to load AlbumPlayer on it, and use the Linksys unit to connect to my stereo.



Then my jukebox can roam the house a bit.
 
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