Introducing
Talisa

Transmitter for Toslink and Coax S/PDIF audio [ TVs etc. ]

Talisa is a transmitter for TV. Talisa connects to a digital audio output, common on TVs, called S/PDIF. S/PDIF output also shows up on gear other than TVs. DVD and Blu-ray players, for example. A number of computers have it too and so do many high-end music players. Some of these have their S/PDIF output in optical format and others in electrical format. Talisa works with both. What a keener.

If you’re so inclined, you can teach your Talisa how to listen to your TV remote control — your remote will then control Volume and Mute of all SKAA speakers you’ve got bonded to your Talisa.

Talisa's audio connector is dual purpose. I know it looks like a 3.5 mm headphone jack, but watch out, it’s not that at all. It’s actually a dual format S/PDIF input jack. The optical flavour of S/PDIF is usually called Toslink — Talisa supports it. The electrical flavour of S/PDIF is usually called Coax — Talisa supports that too. S/PDIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format, after its two inventors. Boy-oh-boy was that ever a bad coin toss for Philips — in a parallel universe this thingy is called P/SDIF. Anyway, It’s pure digital audio. We like it because it moves the audio from your TV (or whatever that thingamabobber is you’ve got spewing out S/PDIF) into Talisa completely unaltered — a pristine, unmucked-with digital audio stream.

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Talisa’s power connection is its USB cable tail with a full-sized (type A) USB plug on the end. The one and only thing that cable carries is power. So feel free to plug it into just about any ‘live’ USB jack. Those little square wall adapters. A power bank. The USB port on your computer or TV … they’ll pretty much all work. Talisa requires way less power than most of these ports can provide, so no problem.

Talisa works with all optical and coax S/PDIF audio source devices that output uncompressed stereo PCM audio at either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

NO PAIRING. Yup. Fasten your seat belts — it's a brave new paradigm we like to call “ridiculously easy” — that’s not the original version of that tag line, but it's the one we're running with. Plain and simple: we got rid of pairing because it's awkward and people don’t like it. With SKAA, the receivers (speakers / headphones) are in charge of selecting which transmitter to listen to. So relax, on the transmitter side, there’s nothing to do — it's Miller time.

Talisa cares neither if there's Wi-Fi around, nor if your circumstances have blessed you with the password. You could be hunting lizards in the middle of Baja California’s Rock Garden and Talisa will still do its job, flawlessly transporting your precious audio to its destinations.

Talisa’s shape is not only beautiful — but when you plug one side into an S/PDIF source and the other side into USB power, Talisa ends up being just a pretty lump in the cable. Talisa is so small and light, it doesn’t mind just hanging out. By the way, one entire wall of Talisa's plastic enclosure is actually not a wall at all — it's an antenna. A killer antenna that’s responsible for Talisa’s spectacular range.

Range is 35 meters indoors. That's over 100 feet. Outdoors it can be way more.

Sends audio to up to four SKAA speakers and/or headphones at the same time (compare that with standard Bluetooth which can only send audio to one, solitary device).

Use up to five SKAA transmitters (Talisa and/or other types) in your house at the same time. That’s up to 20 speakers in your house — woot woot!

Audio quality is a honking 480 kbps (compare to iTunes Store standard 256 kbps).

Low latency. I mean our delay is darn low. Inconceivably low. So low in fact, as to be imperceivable by the average Mexican lizard. Did you know that there are broadcast standards that publish rules about how many thousandths of a second the audio can lag the picture in a TV show or movie? You'll be happy to know that SKAA's number is way lower than the max allowed — it's about half. Boo-ya! Compare that with standard Bluetooth, which sports twice the allowed delay — how embarrassing. As a result, SKAA speakers and headphones are great for watching video and for playing games. Pretty much anything your TV can throw at it, Talisa can keep up.

Keep in mind, Talisa has no internal battery of its own — it doesn’t need one since it gets all the juice it needs from the TV or wall wart, or whatever you’ve got its cute little USB tail plugged into. Talisa is also very miserly — it cuts its power consumption way back when there’s no audio to send. Talisa may be black on the outside, but it's green on the inside! So go ahead, plug in and go nuts.

Digging on the IR. I mean infrared remote control. Be forewarned — this trick will require you to watch a light and press some buttons. Enabling IR control on your Talisa can be construed as work, and as such, by SKAA law, it is therefore optional! Out of the box, Talisa has its audio master volume set to full up. Which is generally fine since SKAA speakers and headphones usually have volume controls on them. But what if you’d like to control say 3 speakers all together—the speakers you use with your TV—with the remote control you already own? In this case, you’ll need to teach Talisa how to listen to your remote control’s talk. First of all, don’t do this with the Talisa plugged into your TV. Unplug Talisa from your TV and put it on a table. Do this whole learning process on that table. Have one of those little USB wall warts or a USB power bank handy on the table to give Talisa some power. Bring your remote control — have it handy on the table too. Make sure the 3.5 mm S/PDIF plug is unplugged from Talisa — it needs to be pulled out for Talisa to learn IR. Position Talisa so its infrared eye (that bulbous round thing) is pointed toward your remote control. Next find Talisa’s tiny pinhole (it’s a hole in one of the long walls) and make sure it is pointing up so you can see it. Behind that pinhole is a red LED. Plug Talisa's USB cable end into a power source. Watch the pinhole — the red LED flashes twice. That’s your cue to get to work. Click Volume Up on your remote control. See one more flash. Thumbs up, you’re doing great. Now click Volume Down on your remote control. See another flash. Awesome. Now click Mute on your remote control. See a really long red flash. You’re done — Talisa has successfully learned all 3 of those commands! Unplug USB power from Talisa and hook Talisa back up to your TV. You’ll want to position Talisa’s infrared eye so that it has a clean line of sight to the couch. I’ve got mine Velcro’d to the inside wall of the stereo stand my TV sits on (invisible but still easy to hit with my remote). The SKAA speakers, which you’ve got bonded to your Talisa, will now be controlled — by your command!