Blackfire Research Introduces New Wireless Real-time Entertainment Distribution Framework

June 26 2017, 03:10
Blackfire Research Corp., a wireless network specialist from San Francisco, CA, announced the availability of Blackfire RED, or Real-time Entertainment Distribution framework. The company says that Blackfire RED is the industry's only wireless and entertainment-centric infrastructure software framework built from the ground up to both overcome the limitations of Wi-Fi when used for media, and wireless entertainment-related consumer applications and products.

With over 30 patents, Blackfire developed the Blackfire RED framework proprietary solution, built from the ground up to overcome the limitations of conventional wireless technologies, including TCP protocol and WiFi standards. Using a combination of real-time packet management, traffic independent synchronization and dynamics stream balancing techniques, Blackfire RED is able stream both lossless 5.1 and high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz audio and 4K video simultaneously across multiple devices over standard Wi-Fi.

As the company explains, "it is not enough to just have Wi-Fi connectivity between consumer products. Real-time exchanges of entertainment content require a common framework that can work reliably over Wi-Fi and has a rich set of features for a broad spectrum of entertainment products. This is what Blackfire RED offers, making it an essential component to truly enable smarter Home Entertainment. Blackfire RED rescues consumers from "islands" of incompatible media devices, and finally allows Smart Home owners to enjoy all of their digital content wirelessly, synchronously and seamlessly throughout the home."

Top global audio brands, including Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Integra have already licensed the Blackfire RED framework and are currently shipping products that leverage its capabilities. 

The Blackfire RED framework is comprised of a Software Engine, a Communication Protocol, and a dedicated Programming Interface. The Software Engine is a small lightweight piece of software, embedded in consumer electronic products, and is network, chipset and operating system agnostic, making integration easy. The Communication Protocol is what allows Blackfire RED enabled products to talk to each other, over a standard network stack. This was designed and tailored specifically to overcome the limitations of traditional Wi-Fi by working around the effects of interference and ensuring a reliable, high-speed connection. Finally, the Programming Interface allows easy real time distribution and handling of entertainment content from and to the products.

"Today's Smart Homes, while certainly more intelligent than a decade ago, have left consumers stranded," says Ravi Rajapakse, founder and CEO, Blackfire Research Corp. "Smart technology has created entertainment islands, but I wanted my entertainment to be accessible anywhere in my home without compromising on performance or quality, which is what led me to create Blackfire RED. I wanted to see the Smart Home Entertainment promise through to fruition and for people to finally have the wireless entertainment experience for both audio and video that they have long deserved."

Blackfire RED features and capabilities include creating reliable multi-room, multi-channel, low latency wireless audio and video over Wi-Fi, all while supporting advanced multi-source media pipeline handling for services such as Google Chromecast Audio and Spotify Connect. Thanks to Blackfire's cooperation with companies such as Broadcom and Realtek, the framework also allows native integration into Smart TVs, enabling the TV itself to decode and send multi-channel audio to wireless speakers, or a Smart Set Top Box to transmit wireless 4K video and audio simultaneously to multiple TVs and speakers throughout the home. Blackfire is also working on Voice AI integration into multi-room, enabling a whole-home voice-control system.
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