Sharp SD-WH1000U Wireless Universal Player
Don’t have WiSA-compliant speakers? (Bang & Olufsen is the only company currently selling them; see Premiere Design on page 74.) Sharp offers the VR-WR100U Wireless Bridge ($600), which adapts any amplifier/speaker for WiSA action. If wireless sound isn’t enough to justify the $4,000 price tag, the player is also equipped to wirelessly transmit high-definition video via its WiHD output.
A little background on the technology: The WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) protocol operates in the 5.2-to-5.8-gigahertz band, which is considerably less crowded than the spectrum in which everyday Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies operate. The system avoids interference by switching between 24 channels and has a range of about 40 feet. Other attributes include robust error recovery, low latency, and negligible speaker-to-speaker delay, according to the WiSA Association, which does product testing and certification. The association has 28 members, including Anthem, Bang & Olufsen, Klipsch, MartinLogan, Monitor Audio, Onkyo, Paradigm, Pioneer, Polk Audio, and Sharp. Visit wisaassociation.org for more information.
The WiHD (WirelessHD) standard operates in the 60-GHz band and was created by the WirelessHD Consortium to stream high-definition video up to 1080p, multichannel audio, and data at distances up to 32 feet. The protocol is said to support data rates of up to 10 to 28 Gigabits per second. Members include Intel, Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips, and Silicon Image. Visit wirelesshd.org for more information.
Beyond its marquee wireless features, Sharp’s Universal Player is built in the tradition of fine audio components with an ultra-rigid disc-drive mechanism, insulated dual-core aluminum base to minimize vibration, expanded circuit board topology to eliminate interference, and a power supply with custom-tuned capacitors and an efficient R-core transformer. Connections include three HDMI inputs, two USB ports, and Wi-Fi.