Play-Fi, the multiroom audio platform from DTS, is getting a home theater upgrade with Play-Fi Home Theater, a new set of wireless audio features designed to cut down on the amount of cables needed when using a TV with external speakers. Play-Fi Home Theater works using a TV’s built-in Wi-Fi with “no adapters, no dongles, and no add-on boxes” according to DTS, and is launching with as-yet unnamed TVs in the third quarter of this year.
DTS’s Play-Fi standard has been around for close to a decade, and is designed to let you build up a multiroom audio setup using speakers and other components from different manufacturers. That’s in contrast to systems like Sonos, which only streams to Sonos-branded equipment. The standard can already be used to pair Play-Fi wireless speakers to use as surrounds with a Play-Fi soundbar, but now compatible TVs will support a wider range of setups natively.
According to DTS, Play-Fi Home Theatre-enabled TVs will be able to wirelessly output audio to a Play-Fi soundbar, or to wireless speakers to use as front or surround channels. There’s also support for up to two wireless subwoofers, or the option to use your TV’s built-in speakers as part of a surround sound setup. The latter case might end up sounding a little odd given the huge disparity in quality between the built-in audio in most TVs compared to standalone speakers, but it could work as a compromise as you build up a setup over time.
“Consumers no longer need to compromise aesthetics for an improved audio experience,” says DTS Play-Fi’s general manager Dannie Lau, “They can attain better sound quality simply by using a wireless subwoofer placed out of sight or build a high-performance home theater using a full complement of wireless speakers and subwoofers.”
DTS says Play-Fi already works with “hundreds” of speakers, TVs, soundbars, set-top boxes, and AV receivers across over 30 brands. When Play-Fi Home Theater launches, that means there shouldn’t be a shortage of audio accessories to connect to a compatible TV.