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Multi-channel speaker systems are typically driven by central power amplifiers. This approach has limitations when faced with the increasing number of channels in existing systems. In this paper, more distributed approach to multi-channel systems is proposed where a USB cable is used as an interface to a living room PC to connect to the proposed main controller. The main controller connects all speaker channels serially via a network cable through subcontrollers that are distributed across the rooms. The network cable interface between the sub-controllers and the main controller uses a custom-made transmission protocol. This protocol allows the main controller to provide multiple CD quality audio sources to different locations in a house. Furthermore we demonstrate a bidirectional communication capability to allow seamless personalized listening at all locations in the home with the proposed protocol between the main controller and the sub-controllers.
Date of Publication: November 2010