Multi-room sound and vision from Philips

CES 2008: New Streamium and Ambisound systems debut

Philips is expanding its range of multi-room audio and home cinema systems here at CES 2008, with both Streamium and Ambisound ranges gaining new models.

The Ambisound home cinema systems get the biggest update with two new entry-level models, the HTS6100 and HTS6515D. Both feature 5.1-channel amplifiers, DVD players and iPod docks, as well as Ambisound's signature virtual-surround system.

This gives you an immersive surround sound experience from a single 'soundbar' build into the device, Philips claims. There's no need for extra speaker boxes or trailing cables.

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The HTS6100 and HTS 6515D both go on sale in May, priced at $599 (£303) and $499 (£253) respectively. They join the existing HTS8100 and HTS6600 Ambisound home cinema systems from Philips.

Streamium multi-room audio

Offering a different, but no less unique home entertainment experience is Philips' Streamium, a multi-room audio system that can pipe songs stored on a central hub to up to five different rooms in your home. It can do this by connecting to wireless extenders located in each room, which each extender housing its own speakers, amps and system controls.

This enables you and your family to listen to different tracks in each room, or to enjoy the same track in every room, all of them served from a central point.

The latest addition to Philips' Streamium range is the WACS7500 hub which features an 80GB hard disk for storing up to 1,500 CDs worth of songs and has a 40 per cent sharper LCD display than before. It can be teamed with the new WAS7500 wireless extender, which is equipped with a colour LCD so you can view album artwork stored on the hub to make your music selections easier.

Other key features include the ability to back-up or transfer music to or from your PC wirelessly, or via the built-in Ethernet connection, and access thousands of internet radio stations.

The Philips WACS7500 hub and WAS7500 extender goes on sale in April stateside, priced at $1,000 (£507) and $300 (£152) respectively.