Dealerscope magazine presents:

LG Prices 4K, OLED TVs

LG Electronics USA has announced release and pricing for its new 4K Ultra HD and OLED TVs, which debuted at CES in January.

LG's 65-inch class 4K OLED arrives in April for $8,999 while the 1080p 55EC9300 55-inch class  OLED TV remains available at $3,499. And the EC9300 Series – Full HD OLED 55-inch class for $3,499.

The full listing:

EG9600 – UHD OLED 65-inch class (64.5 inches diagonal) model 65EG9600: $8,999
UF9500 – Prime UHD TV 65-inch class (64.5 inches diagonal) model

65UF9500: $4,499 55-inch class (54.6 inches diagonal) model

55UF9500: $3,699
UF8500 Series – 3D UHD LED with Cinema Screen 65-inch class (64.5 inches diagonal) model 65UF8500: $3,199 60-inch class (59.5 inches diagonal) model, 60UF8500: $2,999
UF7700 Series – UHD LED 70-inch class (69.5 inches diagonal) model 70UF7700: $3,999 65-inch class (64.5 inches diagonal) model 65UF7700: $2,999 60-inch class (59.5 inches diagonal) model 60UF7700: $2,499
UF7600 Series – UHD LED 55-inch class (54.6 inches diagonal) model 55UF7600: $1,999 49-inch class (48.5 inches diagonal) model 49UF7600: $1,699 43-inch class (43 inches diagonal) model 43UF7600: $1,399
EC9300 Series – Full HD OLED 55-inch class (54.6 inches diagonal) model 55EC9300: $3,499.

"Picture quality is the top consideration for television shoppers, and LG's 2015 4K TV lineup delivers," said David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing, LG Electronics USA. "OLED is unequivocally the best screen technology in the market today, and LG is the only manufacturer to offer OLED TVs, both 4K ULTRA HD and Full HD this year. Our PRIME UHD LED TV models with ColorPrime technology offer the best in 4K LED with expanded color capability for more lifelike images and, like all of our Ultra HD LED TVs, they deliver incredible clarity and detail with four times the resolution of Full HD."


RadioShack News: Dealers Organize, Name is For Sale

Stephen Silver

With RadioShack's store auction set to begin, a group of RadioShack dealer/franchise owners have formed a group to "represent the interests of the participating Dealers/Franchisees in RadioShack’s bankruptcy case."

“RadioShack has been an iconic American brand and it’s sad that it finds itself in bankruptcy.  The Dealer Group will look out for the interests of its participants and hopes to be as helpful as possible and positively influence the bankruptcy proceedings to protect the interests of the relatively strong performing dealer/franchise stores,” Ira Brezinsky, chair of the group, said.

Meanwhile, according to multiple media reports Tuesday, the RadioShack name is for sale, separately from its stores. According to Consumerist, bids start at $20 million- "The Shack" sold separately.

CEA Assails Apple Ruling

Stephen Silver

Gary Shapiro of CEA has come out swinging after this week's news that Apple has been ordered to pay $533 million over patents used in iTunes.

 “This case is Exhibit A for patent reform. The patent troll in this case doesn’t produce any products and services, has zero employees and operates from an office across the street from the courthouse in the notoriously troll-friendly Eastern District of Texas," Shapiro said in a  statement issued by CEA.

 This sort of blatant patent extortion is exactly the reason why Congress needs to act now on patent reform. This is yet another of example of the tsunami of bogus patent claims that drain $1.5 billion a week from the U.S. economy. The only atypical aspect of this case is the defendant – the majority of patent troll victims are small firms without big legal budgets, who can easily be coerced into a settlement.”

Dealerscope is Accepting 2015 40 Under 40 Nominations

Dealerscope is now accepting nominations for this year's edition of 40 Under 40. 

We know that current leaders help to shape the successes of the future, so give them the recognition that they deserve today! As in previous years, we’re asking for your help in nominating the young, stand out members of CE from all corners of the industry: retail, distribution, buying groups, manufacturing and technology developers.

We'll profile the winners in our June issue and You may only submit one nomination, so make sure that it's a person who has gone above and beyond in helping to take the CE industry to a new level.

Nominations are due April 8. 



DeVesto Steps Down; Tivoli Appoints Interim CEO

Tivoli Audio announced a leadership transition this week, announcing that Tom DeVesto, the only CEO in its history, is transitioning to a consultancy role.

Lisa Kaufman of Levy Capital Partners has stepped in as interim CEO. In addition, Stephen DeFuria has been promoted to vice president of global sales, while Daniel Atanasov is now vice president of finance.

"We want to thank Tom for his many contributions to Tivoli Audio over the years. He is a true industry pioneer with an illustrious career spanning more than 50 years,"  Kaufman said in a statement.

"He has built a talented global management team with employees worldwide who have played, and will continue to play, an essential role in the company's future success. Our longstanding investors are excited to have taken the company to this level and are looking forward to the next phase of growth, which includes continuing to build the brand, together with our loyal customer base, and expanding our reach in markets where we do not yet have as strong of a presence."

Lytro Pivots Towards VR

Lytro, which a couple of years ago came out with a revolutionary camera product, is switching its focus instead to virtual reality and video, Re/code reported Wednesday.

According to the report,
Lytro is laying off 25 to 50 of its 130 employees- but has also raised $50 million in new funding, from the likes of GSV Capital as well as existing investors Allen & Co. and Danhua Capital.

The company, CEO Jason Rosenthal told the site, is "taking its signature light-field technology into new areas, including video and virtual reality."

Lytro debuted its camera in 2012, drawing rave reviews from tech critics. Rosenthal came aboard in 2013, and later that year Lytro raised an additional $40 million in order to expand its tech to more gadgets. A second camera arrived last spring.

Sapphire Marketing Plans Boston Show

Sapphire Marketing said that its Boston Dealer Roadshow is set for March 3-4 at the Boston Marriott Burlington.

The event will feature "tech talks," both on March 3, for the Crestron .AV Framework and 4K and streaming.

A long list of exhibitors is set for the show, including Amina Speakers, Arthur Holm, Braehler, Crestron Electronics, Digital Projection, InFocus, Leon Speakers commercial only, Middle Atlantic residential only New England/CT, NY Technology Company, Pro Audio Technology, Revolabs, rp Visual Solutions, Scalable Display, SiliconCore Technology, Stewart Filmscreen, Torus Power, and Vaddio.

“All of our brands have unique value propositions and bring true innovation to their respective categories,”  Sapphire's Lainie Mataras said.

“Dealers attending the Boston Roadshow can walk away with a world-class AV product line-up and the support of our incredibly attentive training and support staff. Plus, we will have a little fun while we work.”

CEDIA, Powerhouse Alliance Team On Training

 CEDIA announced that it has teamed up with the Powerhouse Alliance to offer a series of networking training workshops, specifically through Powerhouse member Volutone.

The workshops will begin in March and are part of the pathway to prepare for CEDIA's residential networking specialist certification exam.

"Understanding and implementing a robust network has become an essential ingredient for almost every project home technology professionals undertake, and will only increase in importance,"  Mitchell Klein, CEDIA Professional Development Committee Chair and Director of Business Development for Universal Remote Control, Inc., said as part of the announcement.

" CEDIA's training is thorough, unbiased, relevant, and a great way for home technology professionals to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful regardless of what products they are installing."

"We believe that education is critical to the success of our custom integrators," Dennis Holzer, Executive Director of Powerhouse Alliance, said. "We strive to create partnerships with our dealers, and training is an integral ingredient to help them further their product knowledge which also allows them to increase their sales offerings. CEDIA training, especially the networking classes, are a natural fit for us to help support our dealers and vendors."
Part one of the schedule will include events in Van Nuys, Calif. March 11, Las Vegas April 2 and San Diego May 7. More will come in June, July and August.

Premier Mounts Debuts Solutions Group

Premier Mounts announced that it it has launched a new Solutions Group, described by the company as "a branch of trusted advisors who are exclusively dedicated to developing creative mounting solutions to best suit each client's project, budget, and timeline objectives."

The group is led by A/V mount expert Shaun O'Brien.

"Digital signage is expanding our client's opportunities for customer engagement in ways that were not possible in the past," said O'Brien said in a statement.

"Getting involved in projects early in the design phase allows our customer to offload some of the responsibility to us.  Providing one-on-one technical support ensures that we meet customer objectives in budgets; install efficiencies and performance; and ROI."

LG to Unveil Urbane LTE Watch

LG Electronics has announced that it will unveil the LG Watch Urban LTE- which it calls the first LTE-enabled smartwatch- at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

The product features a 1.3-inch plastic OLED display, in a polished metal wristwatch. It also runs on the new LG Wearable Platform operating system.

“The LG Watch Urbane LTE is an example of the kind of innovation that’s possible when you’re the industry leader in LTE technology,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.

“This smartwatch breaks new ground with the world’s first LTE connectivity and the real-watch styling of a high-end modern classic watch. It embodies our philosophy, innovation for a better life.”

Pricing and availability are to be announced.

WeBoost Boosters Are Available

WeBoost announced that its cellular signal boosters are now available in the U.S., through both Amazon and Best Buy.

WeBoost is formerly known as Wilson Electronics.

“We believe that staying connected, whether at home, at work, or on the road, is more important to people now than ever,”  Bob Van Buskirk, president and CEO of weBoost, said.

 “At weBoost, our mission is to bring strong, reliable cellular signals inside vehicles and indoors where they may not otherwise reach, allowing cellular customers to stay connected with family, friends and business associates.”