Another step in the DLNA direction from the Danish king of design


Bang & Olufsen unveils Playmaker wireless audio bridge, makes sure AirPlay and DLNA speak Danish – Engadget

From the horse’s mouth

Bang & Olufsen – Product Page

My Comments

Previously I had touched on Bang & Olufsen launching the Beosound 5 Encore which is their first DLNA-enabled music system that put Sonos on notice as far as “cool” hard-disk-based music systems were concerned. Again B&O have launched another music system which, this time, can be driven by a computer or a mobile device, achieving this same goal of effectively putting Sonos on notice.

This device, known as the Playmaker, can connect to any B&O Beolab active speaker system and works to the AirPlay or DLNA Media Renderer standards, thus being able to be under the control of a computer running iTunes, TwonkyMedia or similar software. Even your iOS device running its stock iTunes implementation or your mobile device running a DLNA controller app like TwonkyMobile or PlugPlayer can be the control point. Of course, you could adjust the volume or move between tracks using a Beo4 or Beo6 remote control.

Like an increasing array of network media players made by companies who have their feet planted in good sound, the B&O Playmaker supports FLAC and other codecs considered as part of high-grade sound reproduction. This is in the same manner as what I was often seeing at the Australian Audio & AV Show at the Melbourne Marriott Hotel where all of the network-capable audio systems were working to DLNA setups and using FLAC and other high-grade audio codecs.

Here, this Danish design king has provided two paths for DLNA-based audio – a system with a local control surface and display in the form of the Beosound 5 Encore and a system that is managed entirely from remote control in the form of the Playmaker. These are another example of “audio companies of respect” embracing standards-based high-grade network audio reproduction.

As I have also said before in the article on the Beosound 5 Encore, this is one design masterpiece that would come in to its own playing that piece of European chillout music in that trendy inner-urban café, wine bar or beauty salon.

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