Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc., and the leading global manufacturer of broadband, wireless, and networking hardware for home and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) environments, today announced a new wireless multimedia product called the Wireless-B Media Adapter (WMA11B) that allows users to enjoy digital music and pictures stored on their PC to view and play on their TV and stereo system. This is the first in a line of new Wireless Home products from Linksys.
In spite of the high growth and fast acceptance of MP3 players, Internet-delivered music, and digital cameras, the average home entertainment system is still designed for analog input. The new Linksys Wireless-B Media Adapter bridges the analog and digital worlds using 802.11b wireless networking to deliver digital content to conventional TVs and home stereos.
The Wireless-B Media Adapter sits by the television and stereo and connects to them using standard A/V or S-Video cables. Then it connects to your home network by Wireless-B (802.11b) wireless networking, or if users prefer, it can be connected via standard 10/100 Ethernet cabling. The media adapter also works in peer-to-peer mode (direct connection between the media adapter and wired or wireless enabled computer) so no Internet service is required.
Listen to your digital music collection through your stereo system
The media adapter enables the user to stream MP3 and play WMA music files on the home TV and stereo system. Users can set the adapter to play songs individually, by directory, or create M3U or ASX playlist files. Linksys is also working to include playlist support from popular music providers and music services such as the RHAPSODY digital music service from Listen.com® and MusicMatch®. Users can also set up their own play lists by album, song title, genre and much more. Other convenient options include Repeat and Shuffle. Users can select music on the TV menu screen and the easy to use remote control.
Browse your digital pictures on your television
InfoTrends Research predicts that by the end of the year, 60% of Internet-connected households will own a digital camera (over 26 million homes). The Linksys Media Adapter provides a more convenient way for this growing group of users to view pictures. Using the included remote control and the user-friendly menus on a TV, users can browse through the digital pictures on their wireless-enabled computer by folder, filename, or thumbnail. Pictures can be viewed one at a time, or through an automatically created slideshow of all the pictures in a given folder. The Media Adapter utilizes Intel’s XScale™ architecture PXA250 application processor not only to decode digital music files, but also to support popular picture formats: JPG, GIF, TIF and BMP. The remote control’s zoom button enables close-up details in the pictures being viewed. For added entertainment, streaming digital music can also be played at the same time the pictures are being displayed.
“Linksys is innovating products that extend the network beyond traditional applications such as internet, file and resource sharing for which home networks were developed. The result is a new line of Wireless Home products that add on to the home network to provide connectivity and access to other devices around the home,” said Mike Wagner, Director of Marketing at Linksys. “The wireless media adapter, our first Wireless Home product, not only brings together consumer electronics and home networking but also provides users the ability to do more with the networks they have installed.”
Pricing and Availability
The Wireless-B Media Adapter comes complete with an Infrared Remote Control with 2 AAA batteries, Audio/Video cable, S-Video cable, Ethernet cable, power adapter, setup CD-ROM and installation guide. The WMA11B is immediately available through retail, online resellers, distributors and direct response for an estimated street price of $199.
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