AV Stories May 6, 2013

Denon launches 4K ‘AVR-X4000’ AV receiver with AirPlay, Spotify, and iOS remote control app

There might not be many of us yet with a pricey 4K TV set, and even less 4K content to go around, but today Denon is launching its latest line up of ‘INCOMMAND’ network-connected AV receivers that now support 4K pass-through and upscaling. The new Made for iPhone certified AVR-X4000 includes AirPlay support, access to SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora for subscription holders, and an iOS app for remote control of the receiver’s streaming features. Other specs include: 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs, 125 watts for each channel, and Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz and DTS Neo:X decoders for surround sound. The AVR-X4000 will sell for $1300, while additional models with scaled back feature sets are now available for $450, $650, and $900 through Denon.

The Denon Remote iOS app is available on the App Store here.

Denon’s new lineup follows the launch of 2 new AirPlay capable, network connected receivers from Harman Kardon that also provides 4K upscaling features.

(via Engadget)

AV Stories March 4, 2013

We reported over the weekend that there was some confusion over exactly how Apple’s new Lightning digital AV adapter works and why it lacks the ability to carry a native 1080p signal. One theory is that Apple was using an AirPlay wireless streaming protocol, but we’ve since learned that is not the case. According to a post  that purports to be from an anonymous Apple engineer explaining how the cables function, Apple does not use Airplay protocol. It instead uses the same H.264 encoding technology as AirPlay to encode the output into the ARM SoC. From there, the data is decoded and sent over HDMI:

It’s vastly the same thing with the HDMI adapter. Lightning doesn’t have anything to do with HDMI at all. Again, it’s just a high speed serial interface. Airplay uses a bunch of hardware h264 encoding technology that we’ve already got access to, so what happens here is that we use the same hardware to encode an output stream on the fly and fire it down the Lightning cable straight into the ARM SoC the guys at Panic discovered. Airplay itself (the network protocol) is NOT involved in this process. The encoded data is transferred as packetized data across the Lightning bus, where it is decoded by the ARM SoC and pushed out over HDMI.

Perhaps even more interesting is that Apple could improve the quality with future software updates since the firmware is stored in RAM as opposed to ROM. The poster noted that Apple deemed the quality “suitably acceptable” but *will* make improvements with future iOS updates: expand full story

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