24 agosto 2009

Revo IKON: DAB, iPod e Web radio "touch"

L'ultimo comunicato stampa ricevuto stamane da David Baxter, CEO di Revo Technologies, sembra suggerire che l'azienda scozzese sta compiendo un netto salto di qualitàcon la sua prossima radio digitale. Revo è stato uno dei primi costruttori ad arrivare sul mercato con un ricevitore digitale compatibile con il sistema DAB+, ma l'ingegnerizzazione e l'estetica del prodotto lasciavano a desiderare. Ora la nuova radio multifunzione IKON (DAB, DAB+, DMB, FM-RDS, Internet Radio-wifi, iPod/iPhone docking, mp3), basata su un innovativo schermo a sfioramento a colori e su una nuova piattaforma Frontier Silicon, mi pare decisamente più convincente sul piano manifatturiero (sarebbe interessante esaminare schede e componentistica all'interno). Disponibilità a ottobre e prezzo non proprio economico: 280 sterline.
Questa radio digitale rientra nella strategia di rilancio del sistema DAB attraverso la creazione di un framework per la realizzazione di apparecchi capaci di immergersi in una realtà diversa da quella inizialmente preconizzata. Una realtà in cui i contenuti non vengono distribuiti solo in modalità broadcast via etere, ma anche (forse soprattutto) via Internet. Resta, se mi permettete, un certo disappunto per l'assenza di un preciso segnale verso apparecchi software-defined autenticamente "universali", cioè in grado di sintonizzarsi su altri sistemi e modulazioni, in particolare sul Digital Radio Mondiale, recentemente approvato dall'Etsi nella sua versione Plus, adattata alle frequenze dell'FM analogica. Purtroppo, le barriere ingegneristiche e di costo rimangono e per avere terminali utente ancora più versatili dovremo attendere ancora.

Revo announces IKON, the world’s first colour touch-screen, multi-format digital radio

Lanark, Scotland, 24th August 2009: Digital radio takes a generational leap forward with the introduction of IKON, a multi-format digital radio that combines the benefits of a full colour 3.5” touch-screen, icon-driven user interface, multi-standard radio capabilities and iPod and iPhone docking.
IKON is capable of receiving the full roster of digital radio standards including DAB, DAB+ and internet radio – as well as conventional FM radio with RDS. Where available from the broadcaster - colour station logos, station descriptions, track and artist information, news headlines etc. will be displayed on IKON’s colour screen.
IKON will also wirelessly stream digital music files from any ‘connected’ PC or Apple Mac, displaying full colour album artwork and track information where available.
Completing the hardware picture, IKON is one of only a handful of digital radios that is Apple certified for use with iPod or iPhone, allowing IKON to double as a high quality iPod/iPhone sound system.
Revo Technologies CEO, David Baxter, said “We believe that IKON is the first product to truly deliver on the promise of digital radio, delivering a next generation radio experience complete with icon driven colour touch-screen interface, coverage of multiple radio formats, iPod and iPhone docking and access to premium online music services such as Last.fm, Sirius, Rhapsody and Pandora.”
In addition to its terrestrial and internet radio capabilities, IKON will also provide access to online music service Last.fm*. Simply choose an artist or genre and let Last.fm build the perfect playlist from its library of 5 million tracks – unique to the user, and fresh every time. Alternatively, an existing Last.fm profile can be used.
IKON includes a free 30 day Last.fm trial subscription, thereafter a £3.00 per month subscription charge applies.
Owen Parry, Last.fm Product Manager said "We're delighted that Revo has taken the decision to include Last.fm functionality as a standard feature on their new IKON 'touch-radio'. The combination of high quality audio, large colour display, and a free 30 day trial subscription, makes it easy to explore and enjoy music through Last.fm, right out of the box."
IKON is the result of a long and fruitful collaboration between Revo Technologies and Frontier Silicon, the industry leader in connected audio technology. At the heart of REVO’s IKON radio is Frontier Silicon’s new multi-standard Venice 8 module.
Anthony Sethill, CEO of Frontier Silicon, commented, “Touch-screen user interfaces on handheld devices have proven to be immensely popular with consumers. The introduction of our advanced Venice 8 platform, as used in Revo’s IKON radio, marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the development of digital radio, leading to a world of feature-rich audio visual content and greatly enhanced usability.”
IKON’s superb audio performance is thanks to the inclusion of NXT’s patented ‘Balanced-Radiator’ (BR) loudspeaker technology. BR drive units combine the performance attributes of an NXT flat panel speaker with the pistonic movement of a conventional loudspeaker, resulting in a high performance compact drive unit that can cover a wider range of frequencies while providing even room-filling sound.
The result of this collaboration is 30 watts of high resolution digital audio from IKON’s Class D amplifier, a smooth frequency response, expansive sound stage and deep satisfying bass.
IKON has an SRP of £279.95, and will go on sale worldwide in October 2009.
A pre-order service is available from www.revo.co.uk, www.hughesdirect.co.uk, www.advancedmp3players.co.uk, www.petertyson.co.uk and www.superfi.co.uk
REVO will be exhibiting at the IFA Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin from the 4th until the 9 th of September 2009. REVO is located in hall 1.2, stand number 137.


Frontier Silicon brings the world's first colour touch digital radio platform to market
Frontier Silicon's touch radio platform is at the heart of future home audio products enabling manufacturers to produce cost effective devices with highly intuitive user interfaces the likes of which are only seen on handheld MP3 players today

London, 24th August 2009: Frontier Silicon, the leading supplier of connected audio technology, has announced that its Venice 8 module together with colour touch screen interface is enabling the "IKON" radio announced by Revo Technologies Ltd today. IKON, which is expected to be on sale in time for Christmas 2009, takes radio to a new level of usability. It is the first to feature a full colour touch screen interface supporting advanced multimedia capabilities, providing consumers with an all-in-one device which is able to receive radio programs wirelessly via the internet, DAB, FM, Last.fm as well as playing their music collection via a home network and docked iPOD.
Anthony Sethill, CEO of Frontier Silicon, commented, "Touch user interfaces on handheld devices have proven to be immensely popular with consumers. Frontier Silicon is now able to bring this experience to the home audio market triggering manufacturers to produce highly innovative cost effective connected audio products."
IKON broke cover for the first time today in an official Revo press launch. David Baxter, managing director of Revo Technologies Ltd., commented, "Frontier Silicon's new Venice 8 module is a massive step forward for digital radio devices, allowing the combination of a colour touch-screen interface with multi-format radio capabilities and premium online music services such as Last.fm. Revo are proud to have been a lead manufacturer for this exciting new platform, and are delighted that our IKON touch-radio will be the first product to showcase its many and varied next-generation features."
The Venice 8 FS2028 module provides manufacturers with a fully customisable 320 x 240 colour touch UI (user interface) providing seamless access to a vast range of audio visual content:

* Internet radio
* Home network streaming
* Premium audio streaming services from Last.fm and Pandora
* WorldDMB profile 1 DAB/ DAB+/ DMB-Radio
* USB music player

Several hardware and software configurations are available, for Wi-Fi and Ethernet networks, DAB Band 3, L-BAND and FM-RDS reception. Frontier Silicon is also working with radio broadcasters around the world to deliver WorldDMB Profile 2 advance DAB features such as Slideshow and the MPEG-4 BIFS specification to further enhance digital radio to become a rich audio visual experience.
The Venice 8 module is also available in a reference platform, Jupiter 8, with IR 3.0 software which is designed to operate seamlessly with the rest of the digital audio world. In addition to being capable of addressing the various digital radio standards, suitable end-products based on this platform should be able to obtain certification for various other industry standards such as CE/FCC approval, iPod and iPhone certification, wireless, DLNA and DRM certification.

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