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tamanaco
2008-12-30, 07:16
It appears that Cisco System will be announcing several products targeting the home digital entertainment at CES including a wireless digital stereo system. Article in yesterday's NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/technology/29cisco.html
(Note: If you get an add just click skip in the upper right to bypass it and go straight to the article)

amcluesent
2008-12-30, 08:35
>“Today your content is very tightly tied to a device,” Mr. Hooper said. “Your music is tied to your iPod<

LOL. So not much sign the Cisco 'suits' get it...I reckon they'll need to acquire someone with a track record. Sonos?

sander
2008-12-30, 10:12
As a consumer who spends a good portion of his time working with my home audio/video streaming, I say the more the merrier.

The greater the variety the better the chance we'll overcome DRM restrictions and iTunes style lock-in. That's why I was heartened by iLuv offering an Internet streaming radio for ~140$ recently.

Streaming digital entertainment is still in enough of an infancy that everyone joining really helps.

Regardless of how lame Cisco's entry will likely be. :P

tamanaco
2008-12-30, 11:55
Let's not forget that on the foundation (legacy) laid down by these "old suits" is where all these new digital SlimYahGoo (pun intended) is built on. As said above, having Cisco join the party is a good thing. Smart Cisco boxes for home entertainment derived from enterprise strength Cisco boxes (routers... etc) that properly prioritize and distribute the entertainment pockets is a very, very good thing.

James_B
2008-12-31, 04:01
Don´t Cisco own Kiss? And they hardly made the impact they should have there. But the more competition the merrier, I agree.

pippin
2008-12-31, 04:13
Let's not forget that on the foundation (legacy) laid down by these "old suits" is where all these new digital SlimYahGoo (pun intended) is built on. As said above, having Cisco join the party is a good thing. Smart Cisco boxes for home entertainment derived from enterprise strength Cisco boxes (routers... etc) that properly prioritize and distribute the entertainment pockets is a very, very good thing.

Ciscos track record in entering consumer markets is more than bad. Does anyone remember their DSL-Routers (owned one, 8 years back or so)?
Also, they have been pretty successful in running down any takeovers in this area they have made. Heard anything from Linksys recently?

No, I think Cisco entering that market is good news for Logitech since it may mean they do away with one of their competitors.

I agree they lay the foundations on which we build a lot of things, but groundworks people don't necessarily make for good interior architects.

bpa
2008-12-31, 05:08
Funny how Cisco seems to have forgotten previous product such as LInksys WMA11B music & picture streamer or the KIss networked video.

tamanaco
2008-12-31, 08:23
I agree they lay the foundations on which we build a lot of things, but groundworks people don't necessarily make for good interior architects.

True... but I rather live in an ugly house than in one with a cracked foundation and bad plumbing. I also agree that Cisco has not been successful in the consumer market or at properly assimilating the small companies they acquire... Linksys is a good example... but who knows... maybe this time they'll bring something innovative to the home market.

pippin
2008-12-31, 08:45
True... but I rather live in an ugly house than in one with a cracked foundation and bad plumbing. I also agree that Cisco has not been successful in the consumer market or at properly assimilating the small companies they acquire... Linksys is a good example... but who knows... maybe this time they'll bring something innovative to the home market.
Well, my point was: it's different businesses, a bit like IBM making gaming consoles.
Agreed, I woudln't want my backbone made by Logitech, but that Cisco DSL-Router I owned sucked, too

froth
2009-01-05, 13:19
I keep hearing more and more about this product. I guess we will know more very soon. But here are some of the points I have heard about.

- Wireless N network
- Receiver + amp available w/ color display
- Receiver w/ no amp w/ color display
- Device with built in receiver / amp / speakers / ipod dock / color display (boom type device)
- Wireless Controller with display
- Receiver w/ no amp about same cost as Squeezebox classic
- Potential of integration other media media offerings from the cisco branded companies (streaming video, HD PVR etc.)

No idea as to what kind of server drives this thing or anything more technical at this time.

Of course, you can offer all the features in the world but if they do not work well, then what is the point.

If Cisco throws bags of money at this they might end up with a decent product. Might also end up with a poor product.

Time will tell. I will be watching as I am most interested in products with built in amps and good integration with other multi media sources.

I like the Squeeze devices I have and have no real complaints. The price was right and the quality great.

Howard Passman
2009-01-05, 14:58
You'll have to learn IOS or use the world's worst GUI, then you'll have to beg for a service contract. Of course support will be decent, but if you think Squeezebox Wiki is bad, wait until you see CISCO's help pages. Or you could pay to take classes and get (insert name of their music prduct here) certified. And of course it will only work with their routers :-)

All joking aside, CISCO doesn't get "it". "It" being whatever product they're fiddling with. They don't even try to understand consumers. They lead and if you want it, you follow. I don't see any improvements or changes in Linksys since they purchased it and that's probably good.

I can wait.

Howard

Sike
2009-01-07, 00:21
http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/07/linksys-by-cisco-wireless-home-audio-system-unveiled/

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=30696&Itemid=44

They have a kind of Sonos/Philips solution. It would be interesting to see if it is cheap plastic or not. Anyway, give them a couple of years before pointing and laughing ;)

tamanaco
2009-01-07, 06:33
Engadget

"Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio System Unveiled"

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/07/linksys-by-cisco-wireless-home-audio-system-unveiled/

"Linksys announces Media Hub NAS"

http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/07/linksys-announces-media-hub-nas/

goody
2009-01-07, 07:34
Cisco's Network Audio announcement. Interesting...

http://i.gizmodo.com/5124844/linksys-wireless-home-audio-system-streams-all-around-your-house-secretly-aspires-to-kill-sonos


Cisco Multi-Room Home Audio Solution Enhances and Extends
the Listening Experience for Consumers

Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio makes it easy to play music
from a variety of sources wirelessly throughout the home

Las Vegas – January 7, 2009 – Cisco® today announced the Linksys by Cisco Wireless Home Audio system at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. From the world leaders in networking, the Wireless Home Audio system utilizes Wireless-N technology to deliver a rich audio experience to any room in the home. Users can create a party atmosphere with immaculate synchronization when listening to the same song throughout the entire home, or send different music to customized “zones”. The Wireless Home Audio solution also puts millions of songs at your fingertips through integrated Internet services such as Rhapsody, AudioLounge, and RadioTime. An optional Docking Station for iPod enables your content on Apple iPods™, including Podcasts, Audio Books, and purchased iTunes content, to be played through any Wireless Home Audio device on the network. Wireless Home Audio products also work great with the newly announced Linksys by Cisco Media Hub that gathers and presents the available media on a network................(full press release in link)

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-07, 08:26
Threads merged.

The product looks pretty impressive though pricey. Very thorough and complete, and an emphasis on lossless.

I don't understand the "Player" product though. You control it through an IR remote, but no display on the remote or the player? So how do you know what you're playing, and how do you change it?

Also we'll see how well this is supported as time goes on. What formats are supported, and will this ever change? Continuously evolving the product is an advantage Logitech will likely have over this - Cisco/Linksys has so many products that many simply get "lost" and Linksys abandons them after a year or two. How many new routers has Linksys introduced in the past, say, 3 years, and how many are still sold and supported today?

goody
2009-01-07, 09:18
Thanks for the merge.

Yes competition is good. It is going to be interesting how all this flushes out over the coming year(s).

I would like to see the ipod integration hit the squeeze.

JJZolx
2009-01-07, 10:47
$27 billion in cash

Be very afraid.

tedfroop
2009-01-07, 11:44
Just looking at what they are selling and the price of it makes me wonder.

Looks nice and simple until you ask the question - how do you get your music onto the thing? Once its there how do you back it up? Don't expect there to be a raid option either - Linksys released a NAS without raid in the last year.

If your music is ripped and in digital format doesn't that make an iPod dock redundant?

Then there's the audio quality. I have been buying audio products from Logitech for many years, Cisco - not so much.

The thing that got me interested in the SB was the software. It has evolved continually because of input from these forums. I have no doubt it will continue to evolve.

There is also no doubt Logitech has realized the value of community in development of new SB products and features.

It has yet to be seen if Cisco will figure that out.

froth
2009-01-07, 12:48
The player is just an expensive SqueezeBox Receiver. I looked over at the Sono's forum and there are many postings about this topic with pretty good detail about the Cisco product. There is a general concern on the Sonos forum about how this might impact thier product of choice. From what I see, choosing a Linksys or Sonos is not much different other than a few features here and there. Even with the Cisco product in the market, if I were to choose what product I was to purchase (Linksys, Sono's, Squeeze), I would still go with my first choice, the Squeeze products. Cost was a major factor as it did not cost much to get started with the Squeeze set of products. The touch screen is a nice touch but is it worth the extra money?

The competition is always good in the tech business, it just leads to more inovative ideas. I for one still would like to see Logitech/Slim come out with a receiver + amp device plus perhaps some bundled speakers. Maybe the boom with out the speakers. That way we get an amp (increase the power out) plus a way to use it if there is no remote handy. This would get me pretty excited.

jbart1965
2009-01-07, 13:48
I like the Squeezebox, but wireless N sure does sound nice given my occasional drops and inability to use a ethernet solution in my particular case. Wish the product or could be upgraded to N ...

JJZolx
2009-01-07, 13:56
After looking through the product announcements, the really amazing thing is how coherent the product line is right out of the door. Just goes to show what can be done with sufficient capital resources.

The iPod dock and the CD player are just a couple of interesting parts of the system. Having the ability to distribute music directly from CD or an iPod have been requested from Slim/Logitech forever.

There's little question that they're aiming higher than the market Logitech is now aiming for with their own streaming products. Sonos is the one that should be worried.

rainjacks
2009-01-07, 15:53
You'll have to learn IOS or use the world's worst GUI, then you'll have to beg for a service contract. Of course support will be decent, but if you think Squeezebox Wiki is bad, wait until you see CISCO's help pages. Or you could pay to take classes and get (insert name of their music prduct here) certified. And of course it will only work with their routers :-)

All joking aside, CISCO doesn't get "it". "It" being whatever product they're fiddling with. They don't even try to understand consumers. They lead and if you want it, you follow. I don't see any improvements or changes in Linksys since they purchased it and that's probably good.

I can wait.

Howard


Keep in mind that Cisco doesn't try to understand consumers because it hasn't ever sold to consumers until the purchase of Linksys. The devices running IOS are enterprise geared. They've slowly moved into the SMB (small medium business) space, but Cisco's view of SMB is typically much larger than the layperson would think. That old router mentioned in a previous post was intended to be configured, installed and managed by a service provider. Not the end user. Who cares how complicated it may seem if you never have to see how complicated it is? As for something only working with Cisco routers you need to realize that Cisco supports more open standards than anyone else in their respective product lines.

Now, onto this new entry. I have no idea what it will be or if it will be any good. But, I do know that Cisco has the resources to bury Logitech and Sonos both. Simply because they have the cash on hand to purchase both companies. Ideally, we will see a lot of great competition leading to better products all around.

So as you can all tell I am a very biased Cisco fan. Mostly because I make my living selling it (full disclosure). Rather than rip on them or anyone else, I'll sit back and watch what happens. And listen to my audio streaming through my squeezebox across a rock solid Cisco powered network.

kolding
2009-01-07, 17:07
After looking through the product announcements, the really amazing thing is how coherent the product line is right out of the door. Just goes to show what can be done with sufficient capital resources.

The iPod dock and the CD player are just a couple of interesting parts of the system. Having the ability to distribute music directly from CD or an iPod have been requested from Slim/Logitech forever.


The completeness of this system does point out one "problem" with the Logitech/SlimDevices solution, namely the inability to one-stop shop. With the Cisco thing out there, you can buy everything from one brand. Get your players, and NAS devices all from Linksys. Heck, even get your router/Wireless Network from Linksys as well. With Logitech/SlimDevices, you have to provide the computer and run the server (unless you want to be SqueezeNetwork only, but that's not the way I roll).

I'd really like to see Logitech/SlimDevices put a plug and play server in a box. Maybe as simple as rebadging a RipServer, but it would enable them to hit whole new markets that they don't already have. They could easily go from that to various plug-and-play bundles. "Just plug these into your network, do a little configuration, and insert your CD's".



There's little question that they're aiming higher than the market Logitech is now aiming for with their own streaming products. Sonos is the one that should be worried.

Always a funny thing to see written, given that the top end product in the Logitech line is $2000, and the $300 ones are no slouches....

Eric

JadeMonkee
2009-01-07, 18:07
I wonder if the amp with the CD player built in can actually rip music to the server. Now that would be a darn good idea.

thomsens
2009-01-07, 18:25
With Cisco's money, they can hire any interior architect they want.

I'm extremely impressed by the launch and agree with JJZolx on how complete the solution is. SD and Sonos have been at it for some time and this is basically 1.0 for Cisco. I've always thought they have a good chance at making waves due to their presence in the home with Linksys, complete understanding of the power of the network, and the fact that they generally do not try to lock in the customer with proprietary technology like Sony, MS and Apple try to do.

Whoever thought Cisco doesn't get it, really doesn't understand Cisco. They have been putting audio and video on IP for years and have been preaching network based applications forever. The only real question is their ability to deliver a compelling and user friendly consumer level product. And frankly, they are right - to the average person, their music is locked up in iTunes/iPod and/or striped across multiple computers in the home - just like Cisco suggested. Those with properly tagged NAS based libraries are definitely in the minority - just not on this forum.

That's where it really gets interesting though...Linksys products were basically contract designs and this product line appears to be one of the first types of products coming out with real Cisco involvement in the engineering of the actual product. If you look through the web site, they go to great lengths to establish a "cool" factor and the fact that Cisco actively participated in creating these products.

I like my SD products for now and they are probably safe as long as TP dominates the quality/price category, but for lower-end audio, I'm thinking the space is getting exciting. SqueezeCenter is the real gem in SD's possession for me, but it's still somewhat complex for the average person. If Cisco reduces the complexity, gives you better CD and iPod access and is a one-stop-shop, then it's very compelling.

furonfour
2009-01-07, 20:56
Apologies if this had been posted before, but could not find the link in this thread after a quick glance:

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/promo/Promotion-WHA

Edit after reading/viewing: Looks like they've been reading this forum a lot. I like some of the features they offer, but without knowing all the details I still prefer my Squeezebox setup and players. The touch screen is nice but the interface looks kinda silly, and with screens like that I'd expect video support of some kind, instead of only the interface. But maybe I missed that in the presentation. From the looks of it it only supports Windows as well, which just makes me yawn. Should be good to see some hands on reviews, and some audiophiles shredding them to bits :)

I do like the idea of the media hub, it would be nice if Logitech offered something similar.

I'll stick to my Squeezeboxes, but in my view it may make things interesting. Having some competition may drive the price of the Squeezeboxes down more, and it may make Logitech look at some other options like a device similar to the media hub. Don't get me wrong, I think my Squeezeboxes are worth every penny. I have loads of friends who would buy one or more if they were cheaper, and a load of them that do not like the idea of having a computer running 24/7 (or the knowledge to set up WOL properly).

But if these are cheap, hackable and capable of interfacing with Squeezecenter.... mmmm!

Edit (afterthought): Wonder if they'll only be able to be used with Linksys network hardware?

And another edit, found the prices too:

Basics:

Logitech Squeezebox Boom: $299.99
Comparable Cisco setup: $599.48 (Director + Speaker kit)

Logitech Squeezebox Classic: $299.99
Comparable Cisco setup: $449.99 (Director)

Logitech Squeezebox Duet: $399.99
Comparable Cisco setup: $799.48 (Player / Music Extender + Controller)

Individual products: http://www.shoplinksys.com/Home-Audio-Devices_stcVVcatId544640VVviewcat.htm
Starter kits: http://www.shoplinksys.com/Home-Audio-Kits_stcVVcatId544639VVviewcat.htm
Media hubs: http://www.shoplinksys.com/Media-Hub-Storage_stcVVcatId543892VVviewcat.htm

To be fair, I used the pricing information from the Logitech site, though you can get the Squeezeboxes cheaper. But I'm pretty sure that will be the case with the Cisco stuff too eventually.

The media hubs look kinda interesting though, they have prices comparable to other similar devices, but may have some features or functionality over other products, provided they can be used with non Cisco soft- or hardware applications.

toby10
2009-01-08, 04:58
..............
Whoever thought Cisco doesn't get it, really doesn't understand Cisco. They have been putting audio and video on IP for years and have been preaching network based applications forever. The only real question is their ability to deliver a compelling and user friendly consumer level product. And frankly, they are right - to the average person, their music is locked up in iTunes/iPod and/or striped across multiple computers in the home - just like Cisco suggested. Those with properly tagged NAS based libraries are definitely in the minority - just not on this forum......

I have *NO* experience with Cisco, I do have experience with Linksys products. Cisco may well get the design aspect, but they had better seriously ramp up customer support for such consumer devices.
If they rely on the Linksys model for customer support of consumer products then this entire line is DOOMED! :)

tamanaco
2009-01-08, 12:45
Maybe instead of viewing Cisco as a competitor Logitech/SD should try and partner with them to incorporate SqueezeCenter in their Media Hubs and media networking components to ease the home and internet networking hurdles. I think this would benefit both companies. I have no idea about the processor's specs of the Cisco Media Hubs, but if it's powerful enough and the possibility of putting SC on them exists... then SD folks should approach Cisco. Using Cisco hubs as the hardware server and their home network devices as the backbone can only be a good thing. The more the merrier. Keep your friends close, but your "potential" enemies closer. Apple allowed its mortal foe's operating system to coexist within their hardware. What I call, so far, the biggest digital Trojan Horse. I'm not an Apple fan, but that strategic move by Steve Jobs was brilliant.

thomsens
2009-01-08, 13:32
I have *NO* experience with Cisco, I do have experience with Linksys products. Cisco may well get the design aspect, but they had better seriously ramp up customer support for such consumer devices.
If they rely on the Linksys model for customer support of consumer products then this entire line is DOOMED! :)

That may well be the case. Cisco is one of the best in terms of enterprise support, but that support model is too expensive for the consumer. Perhaps they've continued to use the original Linksys approach for those products which is inadequate (I've never called them honestly). In my view, forums are the primary technology support approach these days, but I suppose I lot of people still call the support line. I honestly haven't done that for cheap gear (<$100) for years. They need to have an active support community for sure.

I guess my main thought is that this product set and the launch of the new site appear to be Cisco trying to re-engergize their approach to the consumer. It remains to be seen if it will be effective, but it's impressive so far.

Ross M
2009-01-08, 15:40
I don't own an ipod and don't feel the need for ipod intetgration with
squeeze.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com]On Behalf Of goody
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:19 AM
To: discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
Subject: Re: [slim] NYTimes - Cisco to enter the Home Digital
EntertainmentMarket


Thanks for the merge.

Yes competition is good. It is going to be interesting how all this
flushes out over the coming year(s).

I would like to see the ipod integration hit the squeeze.


--
goody
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View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=57371

Jonnio
2009-01-08, 17:04
I think these are some really cool products, but as has been said this is a direct shot at Sonos, not as much at squeeze.

This will likely go one of two ways - it will be a decent hit and grab some amount of the market share or help grow the market.

OR

It will be a huge flop - introducing all of the products at once like this they better have them COMPLETELY worked out. People won't put up with "growing pains" when they have thousands invested in the equipment, and there won't be any cool new products to bring people back in to try again. This gives them one shot with the majority of their people. If they don't make it count the products are doomed.

Goodsounds
2009-01-08, 17:32
My instinct tells me that this is a positive development for the Squeeze line.

I would bet that Logitech/SB rarely loses potential sales to competitors. Because, there are few competitors and few sales. This is a niche market that isn't very large or well known. Greater success must come from increased mass market awareness and penetration. The geek and audiophile crowds (that is, those audiophiles who accept digital music, many do not) are too small to provide much incremental market opportunity.

Most of the market only knows about ripping CDs to put them on iPods. That's why iPod docking stations are everywhere and outsell SBs - people have their music on their iPods. It's a dead-end street, they don't realize there is more that can be done.

Cisco will contribute to more noise. If, being pessimistic, Cisco wins most of the market growth and SB only gets 20 percent of the increase, that's still 20 percent of a sales opportunity it wouldn't have had otherwise. But I don't think that will happen, I think this product line is very competitive now and as-is.

syburgh
2009-01-08, 19:53
I agree above this being a positive development for the market, though it doesn't appeal much to me as an existing SB user. Assuming they deliver as promised it does look like a better Sonos than Sonos (feature by feature-- especially the iPod dock).

More interesting (for me), Cisco's approach suggests that the rest of the market sees value in a player design subject to fewer constraints than the existing SB2+ derived products-- maybe something with more CPU, more RAM, more flash, a USB port, and Controller-like open (well, mostly) environment?

Exciting changes from a consumer standpoint!

corbey
2009-01-09, 06:27
Don't forget that Cisco has also owned Scientific Atlanta, the set-top box maker, for the past couple of years. Cisco is making a serious push into the consumer market, and they want to have a whole house solution, based on Cisco products.

Their goal is to increase consumer media consumption, especially video, so that network infrastructure companies will need to buy more Cisco routers and switches to handle the load. That's where they make the real money.

HectorHughMunro
2009-01-09, 06:45
This should be a good development for everyone. The streamer market is still so small that new entrants are likely to expand the market rather than cannibalize other manufacturers.

Re; pricing, it would be unlikely that the launch prices would hold. Comparisons at the moment may not be accurate.

My first impression on seeing the specs and pictures was that it wasn't really adding too much to the party and certainly not enough take me away from the Duet. The 'N' cabability is interesting and Slimdevices has been a bit slow in adopting this. The handset looked a bit big as well. It'll be interesting to see the Mk2.

jt25741
2009-01-09, 13:10
No native FLAC in the player? Transcoding necesssary. 802.11n will be needed even more pushing around uncompressed files....good for the business of anyone who sells such devices :)

Jonnio
2009-01-09, 14:15
No native FLAC in the player? Transcoding necesssary. 802.11n will be needed even more pushing around uncompressed files....good for the business of anyone who sells such devices :)

Nah, they just compress that silly lossless file :)

HectorHughMunro
2009-01-09, 16:24
No native FLAC in the player? Transcoding necesssary. 802.11n will be needed even more pushing around uncompressed files....good for the business of anyone who sells such devices :)

Yes, that is a major problem.

JJZolx
2009-01-09, 16:30
Yes, that is a major problem.

I've played around with streaming Flac as WAV/PCM on my server and can easily stream to four sync'd Squeezeboxes while doing this (never tried more than that). Typically, Flac compression only nets about 30-40% in increased storage space or bandwidth, so if your wireless network can't handle streaming uncompressed PCM, it's probably pretty marginal to begin with.

jt25741
2009-01-09, 21:19
I've played around with streaming Flac as WAV/PCM on my server and can easily stream to four sync'd Squeezeboxes while doing this (never tried more than that). Typically, Flac compression only nets about 30-40% in increased storage space or bandwidth, so if your wireless network can't handle streaming uncompressed PCM, it's probably pretty marginal to begin with.

Wifi tends to be quite variable -- sometimes strong, with good throughput, sometimes not so strong. The maximum numbers for n/g/a are highly idealized and rarely even closely obtained. For instance... a microwave oven goes on in the house, the APs negotiate a much lower transmission speed during this time. Saving 30%-50% of the bandwidth necessary to move a file around can mean buffers don't deplete during these typical drop-offs etc.

Granted it doesn't take much to stream CD WAV files around uncompressed, and if that is all you are doing it is likely either hit or miss. But once you put a couple PCs in the house on the same wireless network, a NMT streaming DTS SD Video.... those bits of bandwidth become even more scarce. Keep in mind all these wireless technologies are simplex as well. Even a relatively good signal negotiated at 20mbps compared to the state of the art network gear from 12 or more years ago (100mb Switched full duplex) giving full duplex 200mb bandwidth per station, the difference can be huge.

upstatemike
2009-01-10, 13:48
Did anybody see hard specs anyplace? Maximum number of zones? Maximum number of controllers? Is there an option for using wired ethernet in locations where it is available?

JJZolx
2009-01-10, 14:00
Did anybody see hard specs anyplace? Maximum number of zones? Maximum number of controllers? Is there an option for using wired ethernet in locations where it is available?

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/DMC250

Looks like there's an ethernet port. I imagine number of zones and controllers may be limited primarily by your network and possibly the processing power of your server, since none of the boxes run the server itself (unlike Sonos).

jt25741
2009-01-10, 14:06
Did anybody see hard specs anyplace? Maximum number of zones? Maximum number of controllers? Is there an option for using wired ethernet in locations where it is available?

You can pull the other ones down under each component. Clearly it has Ethernet as well. I just glanced through this one without looking closely yet.

http://downloads.linksysbycisco.com/downloads/DMP100_V10_UG_90102NC.pdf

JJZolx
2009-01-10, 14:14
No native FLAC in the player? Transcoding necesssary. 802.11n will be needed even more pushing around uncompressed files....good for the business of anyone who sells such devices :)

I just noticed in the specs that it states that the three streaming formats are PCM, MP3 and FLAC, so it must do native FLAC decoding in the players.

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/DMC250

upstatemike
2009-01-10, 14:23
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/DMC250

Looks like there's an ethernet port. I imagine number of zones and controllers may be limited primarily by your network and possibly the processing power of your server, since none of the boxes run the server itself (unlike Sonos).

Lots of networking info but audio? What DAC does it use? How does it handle replay gain tags? Do the class G amplifiers stay powered all the time like Sonos?

jt25741
2009-01-10, 18:08
I just noticed in the specs that it states that the three streaming formats are PCM, MP3 and FLAC, so it must do native FLAC decoding in the players.

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/DMC250

Page 36 clearly states what is supported on the player, and FLAC is not there (mp3, AAC-LC, WMA9, and WAV). On another manual it states FLAC is transcoded...just poke around. The system supports FLAC, but not over the air -- two different topics.

JJZolx
2009-01-10, 18:28
Page 36 clearly states what is supported on the player, and FLAC is not there (mp3, AAC-LC, WMA9, and WAV). On another manual it states FLAC is transcoded...just poke around. The system supports FLAC, but not over the air -- two different topics.


May be Streamed in PCM, MP3, or FLAC

Sound like a conflict in the documentation. They obviously have a lot of documentation spread around, from data sheets to user manuals, to the web pages for 1/2 dozen new products.

What would you take this to mean:


Format Supports up to 24-Bits, May Be Streamed in PCM (raw), MP3 (transcoded), or FLAC(transcoded)

If you say that the FLAC is transcoded to something else, then I suppose you'd have to say that MP3 is as well.

No two documents on the site are the same. There's mention of Ogg and Real in some of them, but no mention in others. Just sounds like a poor job of documentation.

maggior
2009-01-10, 19:48
I just noticed in the specs that it states that the three streaming formats are PCM, MP3 and FLAC, so it must do native FLAC decoding in the players.

http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/DMC250

I wonder if it supports gapless playback. This is the sort of detail that is easily missed by companies whose core competencies are not audio related. That will irritate the hell out of audio enthusiasts that spend tons of money on this system. And how quickly do you think Cicso will address those types of issues? Probably no where nearly as quickly as Logitech.

Yes, competition is good, but I doubt very much that I'll be pining for this Cisco setup to replace my slim devices/logitech setup.

jt25741
2009-01-10, 20:28
I wonder if it supports gapless playback. This is the sort of detail that is easily missed by companies whose core competencies are not audio related. That will irritate the hell out of audio enthusiasts that spend tons of money on this system. And how quickly do you think Cicso will address those types of issues? Probably no where nearly as quickly as Logitech.

Yes, competition is good, but I doubt very much that I'll be pining for this Cisco setup to replace my slim devices/logitech setup.

We'll all just have to wait and see what this system really supports. But in the past, Linksys multimedia products have been very simply focussed as far as interoperability. If it is supported by Windows(like Media Extender technology), or maybe a Mac it is supportable. Native FLAC, OGG, or APE in the players would be a refreshing but unlikely departure and proof of a renewed commitment and focus.

upstatemike
2009-01-11, 15:55
I see they list Wal-mart, Target, and Office Max as retail outlets for this product. Maybe I'll stop at Wal-Mart on my way home from work tomorrow and see if they have a demo set up for me to try this out...

furonfour
2009-01-11, 17:02
Found a partial review on the Media Hub here:

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/content/view/30688/75/

It also includes some performance data comparing it against other NAS devices. Data transfer performance looks pretty good for a device in the price range its in.

Looks like they - sadly - limited it a lot. A flash user interface may look nice and spiffy, but customizing it is gonna be a lot harder than for example SqueezeCenter. Most of the features (backup, media importer) it supports are aimed at Windows based clients.

Judging from the file system it uses internally its OS is based on some kind of customized Linux implementation, though I admit it is a wild guess at this time.

JJZolx
2009-01-11, 17:53
Looks like they - sadly - limited it a lot. A flash user interface may look nice and spiffy, but customizing it is gonna be a lot harder than for example SqueezeCenter. Most of the features (backup, media importer) it supports are aimed at Windows based clients.

I thought the Flash interface was just the NAS management.

furonfour
2009-01-11, 22:47
I thought the Flash interface was just the NAS management.

Correct, it'll be interesting to see what those players use, but with the touch display and interface I doubt it will be much different.

Mark Lanctot
2009-01-12, 07:20
I see they list Wal-mart, Target

Really? At those release prices?!? Wow.

(Not that I don't believe you, I just find it strange that you can get a $1000 network music setup at Wal-Mart.)