Hello from the New WiSA Association President

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Hello from WiSA Association! My name is Tom Lee and I am your new President.  If we haven’t already spoken I am sure that we will have a phone conversation in the coming days.  I have been on the job now for a little over three weeks.  I am quickly learning a great deal about WiSA, our members and the tasks ahead of me.

I’d like to share a bit about my career, background and the path that led me to this new exciting position.  As difficult as it is to admit at times, I have been in the technology industry for over 35 years and have seen many changes – especially in the world of audio.

In my early days I worked for Intel in a number of progressively senior marketing and business development roles.  I spent most of those Intel years in Hillsboro, Oregon (in fact, I grew up in Oregon and attended the University of Oregon studying Computer Science and Finance).  I was also fortunate to get an international assignment for about two years running marketing for Intel’s System Group in Japan. It was great getting exposure to the international business environment and culture.

I had the desire to try a startup, so in the mid-90’s I moved my family to Texas where I was part of a team that took one of the world’s first 3D printing companies  (DTM Corporation) public through a NASDAQ IPO.

I also spent many years working at Cirrus Logic learning about the pro and consumer audio business.  I ran the audio DSP marketing organization as well as the ARM MCU group — defining products and taking them into the market.  Much of the MCU business was targeted at consumer and pro audio products so I’m sure that I have already met some of you over the years.

I have spent the last several years in senior roles in a number of startup companies developing semiconductor products for high volume consumer markets.

My specialty is  developing innovative approaches for taking new technology products to  market.  Determining the best way to explain and sell technology in terms that consumers will understand is a real challenge and huge focus of mine as your new President of WiSA Association.

In addition to my business background in audio I also have a personal interest/hobby in audio technology and music.  Please excuse me ahead of time if I ask too many questions about your products.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you in person over the coming weeks.  I hope to see many of you at CEDIA 2014 in Denver on September 11 – 13, 2014 or at CES 2015 on January 6 –9 in Las Vegas.

You will be seeing increased communication from the WiSA Association in the coming weeks.  I will be keeping all of you up to date on our expanding membership, new working committees, updated versions of the compliance test specification addressing whole home and Pro AV, audio industry education,  marketing and education programs and important news on what is going on in the competitive wireless audio landscape. The Association needs to play a much larger role to be meaningful for your company beyond publishing an interoperability specification and attending trade shows.  In the coming weeks I will be asking for your feedback and sharing my ideas about how to add more value to our partnership.

I am excited about the new opportunity and I am dedicated to building a large and successful ecosystem of WiSA compliant products.

Please contact me any time if you have questions, ideas or feedback about the WiSA Association:

Tom Lee

tlee@wisaassociation.org

+1 415 236 3355

skype: thomas_l_lee

By the way, we also have a new office address for receiving mail:

WiSA Association

458 Market Street

Suite 7-1026

San Francisco, California 94104

Regards,

Tom Lee

President, WiSA Association

CE Week Was A Smashing Success!

Hello from the WiSA Association! We had a strong showing at CE Week in New York last week. We spoke with over 40 reporters, received some great press coverage and spoke with a variety of attendees and exhibitors.

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We were thrilled to demo the Sharp Wireless High Resolution Audio Player SD-WH1000U, named favorite show discovery by Kalman Rubinson of Stereophile Magazine.

We also got to introduce booth visitors to Bang & Olufsen’s newest WiSA-compliant high-end wireless speakers, the BeoLab 20 and check out their new Madison Avenue retail store.

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Both the Universal Player and BeoLab 20 were covered on this Twit TV Home Theater Geeks episode by Scott Wilkinson so you can get the full scoop, even if you weren’t able to make the show!  Look for Jodi Sally of Sharp at minute 5:30 for more on the Audio Player and minute 55:10 for WiSA Association speaking with Dave Zapfel of Bang & Olufsen.

Reporters and attendees were also abuzz about WiSA’s emerging speaker technology that will pump sound wirelessly through three walls.


Thanks again to all who supported us and our CE Week efforts! And please look for us at the upcoming CEDIA 2014 show.

Get Ready New York, Here We Come!

Those of you who are plugged in to what is going on in consumer electronics know that CE Week is coming up pretty quickly.  While certainly not the largest of consumer electronics exhibitions by any stretch of the imagination, it is, nonetheless, one of the important ones.  For starters, it is in New York City, the crossroad of the world. Everybody knows how to get to NYC.  Secondly, it is a mecca for the influential press that covers the latest happenings in the industry. It is where fashion meets technology showcasing the latest wearable technology.  So if you have a new technology, gadget, or product rollout, CE Week is the place to be.

The WiSA Association will, once again, be attending CE Week and this time we will be showcasing WiSA-compliant products that are actually on the market; you can buy them today! At previous events, we were only able to demo prototype systems with the promise that products will be available “in the near future.”

Bang & Olufsen, a WiSA Member, have loaned us a pair of their recently announced WiSA-compliant BeoLab 20 speakers. We will team this up with the Sharp SD WH-1000U WiSA-compliant High Resolution Wireless Audio player as our featured demo. Both members will have their own exhibits and press events showcasing their WiSA products.   

CE Week will only last a couple of days but it is shaping up to be quite an intense couple of days for sure.


There has been a lot of industry curiosity surrounding the efforts of the WiSA Association with membership doubling year-over-year.  And, we will be announcing several new brands in the coming weeks.  However, , I guess the real question is: Is the migration to wireless for high-resolution audio as inevitable as all the other devices that have moved on to wireless?

- WiSA Association President, Jim Venable

WiSA Association Rocked Wireless Hi-Res Audio at InfoComm14

Thanks to everyone who attended and showed their support to WiSA Association at InfoComm14 earlier this week. We had a fantastic presentation with Pete Putman on “Future Technologies, Smart Display Interfaces: The Next Generation and Wireless AV” - over 300 people attended.

InfoComm14 also served as a coming out party for Bang & Olufsen’s BeoLab 20, which got rave reviews from attendees. We’re off to CE Week next week to keep the momentum going and people buzzing. Cheers to taking wireless technologies to new levels!

Join WiSA at CE Week for wireless high-resolution audio system demo

A leader in the wireless high-resolution audio category, WiSA Association is proud to announce our second appearance at CE Week in New York City, NY from June 25-26, 2014.

The market shift towards wireless audio has developed some exciting new products. We’re thrilled to be just one of many CE Week exhibitors taking wireless technologies to new levels and giving you a personal sneak peek at the show!

Visit us at booth #108 in the Altman Building to experience Sharp’s SD-WH1000U, the first WiSA-certified High Resolution Wireless Audio component, transmitting both audio and video. We’ll be demonstrating the Sharp player with Bang & Olufsen’s newest WiSA-compliant high-end wireless speakers, the  BeoLab 20s.

WiSA-compliant products go beyond other wireless technologies on the market like Bluetooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi, etc. to offer 24-bit music and video games in their original sampling rate, up to 96kHz - no compression, no dropouts, just pure interference-free, HD-quality sound.

Planning on attending CE Week? Let us know in advance by leaving a comment here on our blog and/or contacting Linda Ferguson at lferguson AT wisaassociation.org. We look forward to seeing you at the show!

You Say You Want Wireless High Resolution Audio for ProAV? Check Out The WiSA Association’s Vision at InfoComm!

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The Wireless Speaker & Audio (WiSA™) Association is gearing up for another great year at InfoComm and we’re looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas the week of June 16th!

We know our way around the home theater space and we’ve felt the strong pull by the ProAV community for high resolution wireless speakers for quite some time. We think ProAV wants the same things as the home theater market: convenience, cost savings, simple set up and teardown, reliability, and, more importantly, interference-free wireless interoperability.

This will be the third year in a row that industry luminary, Pete Putman, contributing editor, Sound and Communications, editor of HDTV Experts.com invites WiSA Association president Jim Venable, to demonstrate WiSA-compliant products as part of his AV wireless presentation. Jim will be demonstrating the brand new WiSA-compliant Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 20 speakers and engaging with attendees to hear how WiSA-compliant gear could overcome challenges facing the ProAV market.

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Join us for “Future Technologies, Smart Display Interfaces: The Next Generation and Wireless AV” on Tuesday, June 17th at 10am. Pete will speak about the progress wireless high-bandwidth display and audio connectivity have made in coming to market and the battle between proprietary standards and conventional 802.xx-based systems. He will be giving you the full scoop on:

  • How well they actually work

  • Where can you use them

  • Interference and spectrum challenges the systems face

  • WiSA’s roadmap for addressing key needs for the Pro market - what we’ve done, what the requirements are and what WiSA technology will support.

They’ll also answer all your burning questions and, of course, you’ll want to be there for their live demos!

We’ll be sharing some exciting plans for our summer, including information on a product the high-end custom install market is going to love from one of our very own WiSA members.

That’s the update on all of our plans. Tell us, will YOU be at InfoComm14, too? If so, what gets you most excited about the idea of wireless in the ProAV space?

WiSA Association to Showcase WiSA-compliant Products in Amsterdam at Integrated Systems Europe 2014 

By Jim Venable, President, WiSA LLC.

We are barely done with a very successful CES in Las Vegas and now we’ll be off to Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam this coming Saturday 1 February 2014.  The Association will once again have a sound room where we’ll be demonstrating the industry leading Bang & Olufsen 7.1 WiSA-compliant system.  This system was such a stunning hit at CES; totally blowing everyone’s mind at how such extraordinary, robust sound could be coming from a wireless system.  Many thanks to the B&O team for assisting us in getting everything we needed for a successful demo at CES and ISE.   

Additionally, we will also be showing a 5.1 demo provided by members Accusound and Hansong. This system shows how one can get a high resolution, beautifully rich sound from such a compact, cost-effective product.  Truly amazing.

For those of you who are not familiar with ISE, this is a show sponsored by CEDIA and InfoComm drawing approximately 50,000 attendees with exhibits spread over 12 buildings.  Last year we had about 500 people that came through our sound room area over a three day period and with the expected increase in attendance this year, we are planning for even more. It should be another great show for the WiSA Association as we continue to build the momentum toward industry-wide adoption.

The WiSA Association sound room is located at 7-R170 in the Amsterdam RAI, NL.  The ISE 2014 show runs from 4 February through 6 February. Please stop by to hear a demonstration if you are there! J.V.

The WiSA Association Demonstrates Award-Winning Products and Sets Roadmap At #CES2014

By WiSA Staff Writers

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The Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association demonstrated a variety of new high-resolution audio (24-bit / 96 KHz) products from their Members at #CES2014 including the Sharp Universal Player with built in WiSA transmitter, the Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 11 TV, also with a built-in transmitter, and the Beolab 17, 18, and 19 speakers, the first WiSA-compliant speakers on the market. B&O also introduced some WiSA-compliant accessories at CES to bring high-resolution wireless audio to legacy B&O speakers: the BeoLab Transmitter 1 and BeoLab Receiver 1. The Sharp Universal Player with WiSA transmitter and the B&O Beolab 17 and 19 models all won CES Innovation 2014 awards.

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WiSA also showcased a new compact 5.1 wireless surround sound bookshelf speaker system from Accusound, scheduled to shipping to 500 Australian retail locations later this quarter.  By utilizing adjoining suites on the 30th floor of the Venetian Tower, the WiSA Association was able to simultaneously demonstrate three complete wireless audio systems, each transmitting up to 8 audio channels.

One of the new WiSA-compliant products that may have slipped under your ‘CES radar’ was the new WiSA-compliant Wireless Audio Bridge from Sharp. This device directly answers the question that many consumers and AV installers have asked numerous times at industry trade shows, where the consumer already purchased stereo speakers and an amp or receiver that they want to keep, but they also want to upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. The Sharp wireless audio bridge is a WiSA-compliant receiver that only requires AC power and outputs line level audio received from any WiSA-compliant transmitter.

On Thursday January 9, 2014, more than twenty executives and engineers from the WiSA Association Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met to discuss their next steps in high resolution wireless audio. The WiSA TAC established two special interest groups (SIGs) within the WiSA Association, to address two distinct vertical markets:

  • Whole-Home / Multi-Zone Wireless Audio SIG

  • Professional and Commercial Wireless Audio SIG

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We want to thank our WiSA Members, our Technical Advisory Committee, and everyone who stopped by the WiSA Association suite at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. And special thanks to Stephen Rochlin from EnjoyThe Music.com, who managed to interview Jim Venable in the 2014 CES WiSA demo suite, without actually visiting the WiSA demo suite or even being in Las Vegas!:

Visit The WiSA Association at #CES2014 In Suite 30-226 Of The Venetian Towers

By WiSA Staff Writers

Once again, the Wireless Speaker and Audio (WiSA) Association is gearing up for the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 7-10, 2014.  We will be unveiling some new wireless products, and demonstrating high-definition wireless surround sound audiovisual systems from WiSA member companies, including Accusound, Bang & Olufsen, Hansong, and Sharp.

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Speaking of WiSA members, we are happy to welcome three new brands: Anaview,  Danville Signal Processing, and Tymphany, as official Members of the WiSA Association. The Association’s membership has steadily grown from 10 companies in 2012 to 23 brands in 2013.  In addition to the three new members, the Association includes: Amber Technology, Accusound, Bang and Olufsen, Ceton, Dali, Definitive Technology, GGEC, Gibson, Hansong Technology, Klipsch, Martin Logan, Meiloon, Nyne, Onkyo, Paradigm, Pioneer, Polk Audio, Silicon Image, Summit Semiconductor, TEAC, and Sam Runco.

Let’s get back to CES2014.  Similar to last year, we will have two adjoining rooms in our demonstration suite, with a working door in between the rooms, so that multiple wireless surround sound systems can be demonstrated at one time. We will have a total of three systems working concurrently at CES, each with multiple WiSA-compliant components. So how does each of the three systems know which wireless speakers to “talk to”?  Well, it’s all about the setup!  By bringing up the three systems one at a time, the transmitters always know which speakers are on their Dynamic Frequency Selection channel.  Then, each system works as a “team”, automatically jumping to an open DFS channel simultaneously if any interference is detected.

In the first room, we will be showing two systems, each comprised of components from different WiSA Members.  This shows the interoperability of WiSA-certified products, so consumers are free to mix and match speakers, TVs, and sources from different WiSA brands.  For example, the first demonstration system will be using a normal 1080p HDTV with a Hansong HDMI adapter as the WiSA wireless audio transmitter.  The Hansong HDMI adapter will transmit the audio to a 5.1 Accusound speaker system.

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In that same room, but on a lower level, we will be showing the new Sharp Universal WiSA Player, which will be transmitting wireless audio to Bang & Olufsen’s new Beolab 17 speakers, announced in October 2013.  The Sharp Universal Player will also be transmitting wireless video to an 80” Sharp Aquos display. The Sharp Universal player can play Blu-ray discs, stream audio and video directly from the internet, and also includes a hard drive to store your media files locally.

The second room of our WiSA Suite will be completely dedicated to Bang & Olufsen.  The HD television display will be B&O’s BeoVision 11, a work of art in and of itself.   This display will send the surround sound audio wirelessly to the new Beolab 17, Beolab 18 and Beolab 19 speakers. 

If you are a loudspeaker brand, or audiovisual manufacturer, , and would like to setup a special meeting with the WiSA Association, please contact Jim Venable, President of the WiSA Association, at jamespvenable@gmail.com. If you are with the media, please email Linda Ferguson, PR Counsel, at lcourtneyferguson@comcast.net.  Otherwise, just stop by our Suite 30-226 of the Venetian Towers.

CES Awards Go To WiSA-Enabled Products

By Jim Venable, President, WiSA LLC.

It was a pretty good week for the WiSA Association and a couple of our members.  Bang and Olufsen was awarded two honorees from the International CES: CES Best of Innovation 2014 award for their recently announced BeoLab 18 wireless  tower speaker and the CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering award for their BeoLab 17 compact wireless speaker.  Both products leverage the WiSA standard for multi-channel wireless sound and are available through Bang & Olufsen’s company stores and their dealer network worldwide.

Sharp Corporation was also awarded the CES Innovations 2014 Design and Engineering award for their new WiSA-enabled Universal Player which they plan to introduce at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show  in Las Vegas. The player transmits 24bit, 96Khz audio wireless to any WiSA-compliant speaker systems.

These prestigious awards are sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association who produces the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  The WiSA Association will be showing a complete 7.1 Bang & Olufsen wireless system as well as the Sharp Universal Player at this year’s event starting January 7th and running through the 10th at the Venetian hotel. Make plans to stop buy and be prepared to be WOWed.