Cheat Sheet: Z-Wave
February 1, 2007

Home control technologies have, for the most part, been restricted to custom installed, high-end systems. Often those systems use wired and proprietary protocols for sending signals around a house. Z-Wave is a recent wireless networking protocol that has been adopted by many manufacturers for control of home entertainment products, lighting and thermostats that can be installed and set up by the home owner at reasonable prices. Developed and licensed by Zensys, the technology uses a narrow bandwidth for sending control commands and small packets of data, but it doesn’t have enough bandwidth for audio or video signals. Z-Wave is a two-way system operating on

Appealing To Dealers
February 1, 2007

The International Builders’ Show (IBS) is a little bit different than your typical CE show. Right next to an impressive home control demonstration you might find a nail-driving competition. And not far from the rows of high-end appliances you’ll find the latest in backhoes. It can be a fascinating show, but one has to ask, how important is this to a CE or major appliance dealer? It’s a question that Jeanette Howe, executive director of specialty electronics for Nationwide, is exploring as she attends the show - February 7 to 10 in Orlando, Fla. - for the first time. “I want to see who is

Behind the Counter: Industry Should Support Satellite Radio
February 1, 2007

Dealerscope presents a new column from our Editor-in-Chief, Jeff O’Heir... Given the rotten state of the recording industry - dragged further down last year by a 25 percent drop in CD sales, totaling about $2.5 billion in lost revenue, since 2000 - you’d think it would want to be working hand-in-hand with the satellite radio broadcasters, not against them. A few weeks back, the U.S. District Court in New York gave music labels the go ahead to make their case against XM Radio. The suit stems from a record industry filing last May against XM Satellite Radio, charging that devices labeled “XM and MP3”

Control4 and EI To Make Broader Retail Push
January 30, 2007

As part of their original business plans to deliver home control solutions to the masses, manufacturers Control4 and Exceptional Innovation this year will be looking to increase their partnerships with strong regional and independent retailers. When they launched several years ago, the companies targeted custom installers with an established clientele to integrate the control solutions into a networked home environment. But as customer awareness, product reliability and competition increases, companies like Control4 and Exceptional Innovation are seeking more ways to reach the public. “The solutions will become increasingly in reach for everyone,” said Glen Mella, president and chief operating officer for Control4. “Our tagline

Electrograph’s Display Technology Experience Coming to Dallas
January 29, 2007

Electrograph’s Display Technology Experience (DTE) networking and training event is back. Registration for the Dallas leg, which will occur on February 27 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, has opened. Said Electrograph President Sam Taylor, “Electrograph has a growing group of resellers in the Dallas area – DTE is our way of giving them the opportunity to see the newest display products and peripherals up close and learn firsthand from the industry’s best.” Education sessions on product integration and installation as well as live demonstrations of such products as the world’s largest plasma display, a 103-inch 1080p from Panasonic, are scheduled.

Sanus Introduces New Mounts
January 25, 2007

Sanus Systems added two new VisionMount full-motion desk mounts for small and medium flat-panel monitors to its lineup: the SD103 ($99.99 list) and SD115 ($129.99 list). The mounts include tilt, swivel, pan and extend features. Both feature extruded-aluminum construction and black or silver anodized finish, and they attach to desks up to 3” thick without the use of tools. The company also recently released two ceiling mounts for small-to-medium flat-panel TVs, optimized for corner locations. The universal mounts fit almost any small to medium flat-panel TV through VESA-compatible brackets. The SC1A ($109.99 list) is designed to fit TVs up to 27” and

ADA Unveils SWAN
January 18, 2007

Audio Design Associates (ADA), a White Plains, N.Y., manufacturer of home theater and multi-room audio technologies, has unveiled its new SWAN (Structured Wiring Audio Network), a multi-room audio system aimed at the MDU, tract home and high-end custom markets, Dealerscope and CustomRetailer has learned. The modular system fits into standard structured wiring cabinets, runs on CAT-5 cable and is designed to simplify the project’s overall wiring scheme, helping to make distributed audio an easier sell to builders, said Richard Stoerger, ADA’s VP and COO. “We basically wanted to simplify the approach to wiring for the builder,” Stoerger said, adding that ADA recently

Pacific Media Forecasts Clear Skies for 1080p and Wireless Projection
January 5, 2007

According to Pacific Media’s 2006 North American Reseller/Retailer Survey, the unit share of 1080p front projectors will reach 41 percent this year. Michael Abramson, vice president of Pacific Media Associates, explains, “Recent releases of new 1080p front projectors models from Sony and Mitsubishi shook up the market with street prices below $5,000, which makes them more affordable. We expect this to fuel strong growth for this segment.” In addition, the report predicts the wireless networking of front projectors with media center PC installations to triple from 2005 levels to achieve an attach rate of 63 percent this year.

January 1, 2007

Definition: HDMI 1.3 is a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) trasmitting all-digital, uncompressed, audio and video. Use HDMI in a sentence: “Today, I used HDMI 1.3 as an interface between my high definition DVD player and high-definition television, while I plan to upgrade the rest of my video sources, such as cable/satellite set-top box, PlayStation 3 and A/V receiver, when I purchase the appropriate cables.” Benefits of HDMI: As a pure digital connection, HDMI offers vastly better signal quality and throughput over its analog counterparts, such as RCA. Also, by combining audio and video over a single cable, HDMI reduces the cable clutter that

Contacts: Russell Sager, Androgroup Ltd., Grand Cayman Island
December 28, 2006

As mild as the winters have become, Canadian Russell Sager is doing something many Northern retailers dream of this time of year: starting a CE business in the Cayman Islands. “I got sick and tired of winter and decided I have the skills, I can work elsewhere, let’s try this before I never get the chance to do it!” says Sager, 48, whose strategy is to start a new, low-voltage division of an existing electrical and plumbing company, Androgroup Ltd. Grand Cayman is a particularly good market at the moment, says Sager, because a slew of new construction is replacing the many buildings