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DANNIE LAU THE ERT INTERVIEW


The benefit here is really connecting the Philips ecosystem of audio and display products together.


Q: What’s new with DTS Play-Fi then? DL: We are at the cutting edge of technology with some great advantages available to consumers right now. Take an Android TV, it has lots of ways to get music with things like Google built-in and music service apps, but those have limitations. With Google Cast you can stream a music service, and do the same to a Google Cast speaker, but people don’t realise they cannot group an Android TV and Google Cast speaker together to form a multi-room system – the audio won’t synchronise. But with our technology that’s not a problem. Play-


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Fi TVs can be grouped with Play-Fi speakers. One of our latest partnerships was with Philips,


launching technology in TVs and I think it gives you a glimpse of what we can really do in this space.


Q: How did the partnership with Philips come about ? DL: We presented our technology to them a few years ago and gave them some demos and caught them totally off guard. One of their comments was “wow, I’ve been asking our engineers about this for years, we were told it wasn’t possible!” From there it took off really quickly. Philips is using Play-Fi in 47 different TV models today,


either newly-launched models or it’s available via software updates. They have launched seven new sound bars with Play-Fi built in as well as two table-top speakers.


Q: Do you hope to work with other manufacturers in the future? DL: Absolutely! We are expanding in this market very quickly and working with other manufacturers in the TV and set-top box space; you’ll see similar features and announcements coming early next year on some new models. So stay tuned!


Q: How do you see audio technology moving forward? What’s next for the sector? DL: I think over the next few years we’ll see wireless and Wi-Fi-based audio become ubiquitous. Price points are getting lower and there’s an expectation that every speaker has wireless capabilities – that will certainly continue in the AV space. Wherever you see wires between TVs and


soundbars in the home these will disappear, and we are definitely blazing the trail to make that happen. As everything now has network capabilities there


will be certain expectations of how these audio products will work together with IOT (Internet of Things) products in the home. In the smart home, of course, there are smart audio


capabilities everywhere. Yet, for example, you need a separate doorbell chime or separate siren for your alarm system – these will soon all become integrated, minimising the number of repetitive pieces of equipment you need in your house to do these things Audio products can share their capabilities and


benefit from more cohesive usage. You walk into a room and the lights automatically turn on, but perhaps the music turns on as well.


October 2020 ertonline.co.uk


Q: How will you be developing the Play-Fi platform further? DL: There are a lot of hints in what we’ve discussed so far! It is safe to assume that wherever you see an audio wire, we are trying to kill it! There are a lot of different use cases where wires


are the most popular way to connect audio devices, but as Wi-Fi becomes ubiquitous we believe they don’t need to be there, yet with Play-Fi you can have the same performance and audio quality. I also think audio IOT will be a huge space.


Outside of voice control and music, there isn’t a whole lot of IOT connectivity for audio today. It’s kind of a shame that there are more dishwashers and refrigerators that have more IOT capabilities than most audio products, but I think that will change and we’ll be at the forefront of that.


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