Looking way down the road
September 1, 2006

At 3 a.m. one morning this past summer, a group of still-sleepy, slightly punchy men convened in the deserted parking lot of a 6th Ave. Electronics City store on Route 4 in northern New Jersey. They piled into a huge SUV, filling up three rows of seats, and pulled out well before dawn, beginning a pilgrimage of sorts, a road trip to the mecca of CE e-commerce, Crutchfield, in Charlottesville, Va. “In e-business, there’s Crutchfield, and then there’s everybody else,” says Tom Galanis, 6th Ave.’s Vice President of Operations and the man at the wheel of the SUV that morning. “We wanted to get

From Custom Retailer: Leviton and JBL Team for Residential Audio
August 31, 2006

Leviton Manufacturing and JBL report they have teamed “to bring built-in, premium quality sound to the residential construction market.” The new Leviton Architectural Edition powered by JBL, they say, “will bring the experience of a premium installed music and home theater system, once considered a ‘custom home’ luxury, into the mainstream of the residential construction market as a standard feature.” The systems are available through Leviton distributors and trained contractors who service the builder market. “This makes the Leviton Architectural Edition systems easy for builders to include in their products, their construction cycles, and ultimately their bottom lines,” said Bob Becker, vice president/general manager

Lagotek on Lookout for Dealers
August 29, 2006

Lagotek Corporation plans to hang out its shingle at this year’s CEDIA expo. The home automation company is seeking international and domestic dealers for its line of home control, HVAC, distributed audio, surveillance, irrigation and security system solutions. The company looks to take advantage of what it forsees as the dropping price of home automation to a more affordable price point. Explains Lagotek President Ron Risdon, “Home automation will become a major profit center for CEDIA dealers in 2007 and beyond. Major homebuilders are beginning to offer home automation as an option for their customers.” Lagotek CEO Eugene Luskin adds,

Tripp Lite to Power ReQuest
August 29, 2006

Media server and iQ system provider ReQuest, Inc. has signed a deal with Tripp Lite to retain their power protection services. Integrated drivers will allow for ReQuest’s systems to communicate with Tripp Lite’s Internet-compatible power protection. Installers will thus be able to check or reset power products remotely. ReQuest founder Steven Vasquez explains the benefit of the partnership, “When you consider the fact that our S.Series audio servers, for example, can store up to 8,000 CDs worth of music, the importance of power protection becomes obvious.” Tripp Lite A/V product manager Dennis Mariasis says that integrated power protection, “provides installers

Contacts: Retailers Selling CE with a Twist of Innovation
August 17, 2006

Gabriel Karlis, President, JD Audio & Video Design, Fort Lee, NJ New Jersey, as the nation’s wealthiest and densest state (1170 people per square mile!), is often looked at as a bellwether for CE retail trends. Gabriel Karlis, a second-generation custom retailer, has been watching the North Jersey market long enough to guage just how elaborate Americans are willing to get with their home theatre systems, and he’s encouraged. “The sky’s the limit!” says Karlis. “In this area, it’s coming to the point that any home over 2 million dollars is expecting a full home cinema. We used to build two or three a

Simply Reliable Launches Partner Program
August 14, 2006

Simply Reliable Software launched a partner program last week aimed at providing audio/video manufacturer information to the custom installer market. Dubbed SRS Partners, the plan supplies images and data to custom retailers, contractors, installers and integrators so that they can compile the drawings and documents they need to create highly accurate custom proposals. CE manufacturers in the custom install marketplace are eligible for membership in the program. Once they join, their information is added to the SRS database which is then used by SRS SmartOffice users to create designs.

Electrograph Introduces Mount Finder Database
August 8, 2006

Electrograph Systems, Inc. has added a mount matching tool to its website. The Mount Finder, as it’s called, takes the LCD or plasma TV model provided by a reseller and matches it with the appropriate mount for the display. As part of a related Electrograph promotion, resellers can receive a free mount with the purchase of certain Mitsubishi LCD displays, including the MDT461S, the MDT402S and the MDT321S. Another promotion offers a free mount and a $100 freight rebate on Samsung’s PPM50M5H display, SyncmasterTM 400P black 40-inch analog/digital LCD display and the SP-H710AE DLPTM home theater projector. With the purchase

Chief Offers New Website, Products
August 2, 2006

Chief Manufacturing has redesigned their website and launched two new service programs for their dealers. Changes to the website include a more frequently updated cross-reference tool, a New Products tab and an advanced keyword search. Chief promises more changes to come, including animations and training videos. This month, the site will also add a Dealer Login, which will allow dealers and distributors to securely view ordering and account information, delivery schedules and transactions. In the same time frame, the Online Print Program will launch, allowing dealers to create their own customized product sell sheets complete with company logo, contact information and pricing.

From Custom Retailer Magazine: JBL Strikes Calif. Production Homes Deal
August 2, 2006

JBL and systems integration specialist Radio Active have partnered with developer Drummond Co. to offer a range of “high-end JBL custom-installation home theater systems” for production homes being built at the Andalusia at Coral Mountain development in La Quinta, Calif. Plans for Andalusia encompass 680 luxury homes priced between $1.125 million and $2 million and based on six models. The community will also feature two championship golf courses. JBL is the “exclusive provider of home theater systems” at the development. The A/V installations feature complete JBL Synthesis, Performance Series and Cinema Vision home theater systems available in six system configurations; they are available built

EDGE Expands with New Partnerships
July 28, 2006

EDGE Distributors Group announced four new partnerships on Thursday. The company will now carry products from Gefen, Xantech, Chief and Sanus Systems. Of Chief and Sanus Systems, EDGE President Mike Hench said, “They bring two trusted names with great products into our fold, giving us the ability to fully support our dealers in this critical product category.” He asserted that Gefen products “will help us offer our dealers real world solutions to the complex problems associated with connecting and distributing high definition video and digital audio signals.” And on Xantech, “They offer our dealers a vast selection of high-quality products