At the West Side of Manhattan in an indoor loft Audiovox took some time to show off its latest and greatest products. Furnished like a living room for a statesman, the loft was the perfect vehicle to promote a new high-end 50” Plasma Television. The Audiovox 50-inch Plasma model FPE5016P features 16:9 aspect ratio coupled with a high resolution HDTV display, 3.2 and 2.2 pull-down with motion compensation, parental control with V-chip, SRS surround sound, a super-wide viewing angle, and a unique tilt-and-swivel stand and remote control with a MSRP of $3,650.
Surrounding the television were elegant home furnishings that are actually part of Audio Research’s brand new Home Décor by Acoustic Research. Although some specialty manufacturers have been marketing acoustically transparent hanging wall pictures and garden stones that sing for years, this is the first mainstream (meaning Big Box retailer) application of bringing trendy decorating ideas to the Consumer Electronics arena specifically to hide loudspeakers. Tom Malone, Senior VP Sales said, “Most speakers are designed to produce great sound, but do very little to help the consumer fit them into the decors that give their home a special look; but not any more. The Home Décor by Acoustic Research Series is a patent-pending specifically designed speaker system that produces the highest-quality sound system and combines it with a variety of innovative speaker covers that can compliment virtually any home décor. These new products should help to eliminate the conflict at retail when a couple shopping for home theater speakers are at odds over how those little high-performance speaker boxes will look in the décor of their home.” Although I am not an interior decorator, the individual items did indeed look great and convincingly blended into the motif of the room. However, one industry wag took a stab at stalwart industry veteran Ivan Berger seated at a couch commenting “Hey, this thing who looks like Ivan is actually an Acoustic Research subwoofer!” Consumers will have the options to mix and match the number and style of covers and satellite speakers to suit their individual design preferences and sound system needs for a 6.1 or 7.1 sound system. The Acoustic Research HD510 Home Décor Home Theater System will have an MSRP of $899. The decorative covers will range in price from $29.99 to $59.99 for the satellite speakers, and $79.99 to $99.99 for the subwoofer covers.