You can’t keep a questionable idea down

Even after the passing of Prismiq, companies continue the quest to get audio from heyah to theyah inside the home. Philips, the most aggressive mainstream consumer electronics company in producing actual home networking products (as opposed to grand visions) is releasing the $99 Streamium digital media adapter, based on 802.11g.

The price point for the compact unit is a fraction of what previous DMAs have sold for, but consider that many consumers would want to connect this to some inexpensive boombox or shelf system in a bedroom. In addition, the perceived lack of need and complexity of home networking looms larger in keeping this market in a niche than price.

SoundCast is rolling out its iCast product, which uses low-bandwidth network-sniffing technology to avoid interference and is such interoperable with Wi-Fi. It actually sounds similar to the PlayLink cubes introduced by Logitech last year, which more flexibly served as an Ethernet bridge. The iCast’s Achilles heel is that, like AirPort Express, there’s no local control of the source audio.

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