Market overview and design considerations of the h

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Strip speakers: Market Overview and design considerations

can flat panel TVs also provide high-quality audio experience? In most cases, the answer is clear - No. It is impossible to integrate high-quality speakers, high-quality amplifiers and low resonance box sound components into flat-panel TVs. The market trend of DTV seems to be against designers all the time. Therefore, most flat-panel TVs can only provide sound experience below the average level at most, and listeners can only feel small output power from small speakers, which often cannot meet the expectations comparable to the video experience

overview of bar speakers

the so-called "soundbar" is not a place for singles to go in and drink and listen to music with headphones. It is a luxurious, thin and fashionable active speaker, which is usually placed directly under flat-panel TVs, which can significantly improve the sound experience of consumers, and there are no complex matters such as suspended surround speakers and wiring involved in the whole home theater device

like the receiver in front of DVD and the docking station used by iPod (they rose many years ago and have now become a standard product type in the field of consumer electronics), strip speakers are at the beginning of a growth period and will eventually become a mature market

bar speakers have entered the home theater market with their charming appearance and attractive value orientation. They fill the gap between DTV with sound defects and high-end home theater systems with integrated a/v receivers and perfect surround speakers

as one of the most popular products in the field of consumer electronics, the growth rate of strip speakers is expected to reach about 80% in 2008. Some people estimate that the total market volume (TAM) is nearly US $200million. This is an emerging market that has just started for more than a year

early companies that entered the active or amplifier strip speaker Market include Yamaha, Philips, Sony and Samsung (see Figure). They have realized that if strip speakers want to be accepted by consumers, they must also adopt the secret of flat-panel TV success: luxurious and small design, which can provide stronger performance than the integrated TV sound system

other traditional passive speaker manufacturers (such as Polk a, whose prices are temporarily stable this week, studio, Boston Acoustics and Atlantic Technology) have also been involved in this field, but some people may ask whether these products (which do not have amplification and audio processing functions) are real strip speakers, or traditional speaker systems, which only meet the needs of users who like to centralize all speaker connections in one place. It can be said that the real bar speaker should be an amplifier system with integrated audio decoding and processing functions, because only such a product can solve other user problems except aesthetics

in the field of DTV, LCD and plasma TV have made great progress in technology, quality, size, weight and appearance compared with their CRT and projection systems. Similarly, strip speakers are also looking for their living environment, because they have made significant progress in sound quality compared with integrated DTV speakers. What's more, they don't need to make great changes to the visual appearance like home theater systems

many consumers stay away from surround sound systems (HTiB or AVR with passive speakers) because there are headaches such as complex design, wiring and installation along with the realization of the promise of a complete "home theater experience". In contrast, more and more strip speakers use wireless subwoofers, so they can be freely distributed in the room

bar speakers are providing high-quality audio experience in a convenient, attractive and cost-effective way, and they have a matching certification factor that cannot be ignored. The industry has realized that many families just don't want, or don't have, physical space or budget to support complex home theater systems, especially two - or three-tier devices. Based on this, strip speakers will have a large market space

take the bar speaker as an accessory of DTV and monitor

you can't help but associate the bar speaker with the purchase experience of flat-panel TVs. Strip speakers are best regarded as an accessory when purchasing DTV, just like HDMI cables

the current strip speakers have formed a series of varieties, ranging from about $99 products that provide minimum sound functions to more advanced systems, which integrate the strip speakers into a full-function home theater in a box (HTiB) system with DVD playback function. But at present, the most common strip speakers have some clear features: 2 to 5 speakers, one or more audio inputs, and audio post-processing function with virtual surround sound or sound beam guidance function (so that the sound can be "placed" around the listener). Most importantly, they are designed to be placed under the TV, which can be seamlessly integrated in appearance, and their functions are like a single device

at the OEM level, it is interesting that there are no major leading enterprises in the industrial structure in this market. Therefore, every enterprise has the opportunity to succeed, which is not limited to traditional speaker manufacturers

even DTV manufacturers are working hard to develop strip speakers. They believe that they have unique advantages compared with other manufacturers, because the strip speakers they develop can be used as an extension of their brand TV, and can realize integrated remote control and more seamless operation. Other companies in the market also include excellent electronic brand manufacturers and companies that manufacture peripheral products (such as docking stations)

figure: Samsung's ht-x810 is a full-featured bar speaker, with a total power of 300W

the bar speaker will also be successful, which is of great significance. Large consumer electronics retailers have recently freed up quite a lot of shelves for strip speakers. The first transmission method is stable transmission, low noise, high transmission efficiency, high precision, long application life. For these retailers, strip speakers can provide excellent sales opportunities, especially the benchmark revenue per square foot, and will also bring huge profits to all related companies. Oem/odm, TV manufacturers and retailers are very excited about the idea of selling accessories for $99 to $499 at the same time at the point of sale when selling DTV or entertainment computer products

design considerations

if you have been involved in the field of strip speakers, or want to jump in when the "water temperature is hot", there are some design and engineering guidelines that need to be understood first

if strip speakers want to prove their value, they must make consumers feel that their performance is better than that of the TV sound itself (which is also a sufficient reason for their existence). Moreover, product designers and marketers know very well that competitive products are often placed side by side in retail stores for customers to choose, which is very similar to the situation of after-sales car sound system

first, if you are designing a basic product, such as a two speaker system, you should at least use a stereo analog interface and possibly some other audio input interfaces (such as s/pdif). Remember, this product should be seamlessly combined with the luxurious and slim TV design, so using class D amplifier technology is the expected choice. Class a/b amplifiers are not suitable for this kind of application, because this product should not only meet the requirements of slim overall dimensions, but also meet the power requirements of even the lowest cost strip speaker design in the current market. Class a/b amplifiers have great heat dissipation problems due to low efficiency

for stereo or 2.1 channel configurations, 15 watts per channel is the minimum requirement, because DTV itself can provide 10 watts of power per channel, although there is still a big gap between its driver and chassis to substantially improve sound quality

then there are mid-range strip speakers with at least 3 speakers, which need a class D solution to provide a total output power of at least 45 to 90W. Usually, mid-range products also provide independent wireless active subwoofer options, with an output power range from 50W to 250W

compared with TV speakers, bar speakers 1 have backward technical reserves and process control. In addition to gradually increasing the TV volume, most bar speakers also improve their added value by adopting other audio features that require post-processing functions, such as Dolby auditry, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Virtual speakers, Dolby headphones, SRS TruSurround xt/hd/hd4, bass management, Multi band parametric equalization for speaker/chassis adjustment, as well as new audio level adjustment/modeling technologies, including Dolby volume or SRS volume IQ technology

more advanced bar speakers will use more speakers to improve sound quality and integrate surround sound decoding function. In order to support the high bit rate output of the latest Blu ray disc player, these bar speakers need to use HDMI 1.3A (or higher), provide wireless subwoofer connection, and even connect peripherals such as iPod and sirius/xm satellite radio. At present, some high-end products even directly integrate Blu ray disc playback function. To be honest, these systems are no longer the old box home theater

basic IC requirements include: Class D amplifier; Analog, s/pdif and/or HDMI 1.3A (or higher) audio input; Audio DSP (for decoding and/or audio processing)

although the market is fully open to manufacturers, it seems that TV manufacturers with brands have great advantages, because their products can be seamlessly integrated with TVs. In this case, we believe that consumers would rather choose, or even pay a little more, to buy bar speakers that can be directly controlled through a single TV remote control or the display menu on the TV screen

but because the market is still in its infancy, there is no specific design and development method of strip speakers that can be clearly said to be leading. The market is still quite open. The most important thing for manufacturers is that this market is still a rapidly developing market, and it is likely to become another hot field of consumer electronics in a few years

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