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Local startup Avega Systems unveiled the world’s first UPnP-enabled WiFi speakers at this year’s CES Show in Las Vegas.

UPnP is set to be the standard for home entertainment networking and forms part of Intel’s ViiV specification, and Avega says the Oyster speaker system is fully UPnP compatible.

Available in stereo pairs or in home theatre configurations like 5.1 and 7.1, each Oyster speaker communicates via 802.11a/g and can be fed a signal via a PC, UPnP-compatible storage unit, DVD player or even an MP3 player.

Each speaker in the set is also capable of surround sound decoding – eliminating the need for a separate amplifier or decoder. While the Oyster system communicates with a home network, in the absence of one it will automatically set up its own network. This would occur if you connect the system to a CD player or DVD.

Avega stresses that the Oyster is an audiophile-level product, and hopes to dispel commonly held conceptions about 802.11 being incapable of producing high quality audio. A remote control has been announced, which will also be WiFi, but UPnP compatible controllers such as the Nevo SL can also be used.

The Oyster supports most compressed formats, as well uncompressed PCM and WAV, and will decode Dolby Digital/EX,/Prologic IIx, and DTS ES/Neo:6 and 96/24. External inputs include two S/PDIF optical ports and a USB input. The audiophile-grade Oyster range is due by the end of Q1, with a mass market derivative available by the end of Q2.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but Avega said to “expect unprecendented price/performance ratios across the entire Oyster product range”.


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