Russound Names New CEO
October 27, 2008

Audio firm Russound announced last week that it has named Charlie Porritt its new CEO. Porritt will succeed Joe Brouillet, who plans to retire in January and will move into a new role as a senior advisor to the CEO. Porritt will assume the CEO chair immediately.

New Outdoor Speakers From SpeakerCraft
October 27, 2008

SpeakerCraft last week introduced its first-ever line of On Ground outdoor speakers, which can be hidden in such unorthodox places as flower beds, plants, or even bushes.

The Least You Can Do is Call
October 21, 2008

During a business strategy session at the CEDIA Management Conference about four years back, Ken Smith asked the roomful of custom installers how many of them called back past customers to see how their home theater and control systems were working, if they needed anything or if they were interested in seeing some new products or solutions. Out of a dozen people, only about two hands went up. One installer even asked, “You guys really call back your customers?”

SpeakerCraft Launches Small In-Wall Speaker
October 9, 2008

SpeakerCraft announced this week that it has launched a new, 3-inch in-wall speaker, meant to resemble a tiny can light. The product, called the NEAT 3, can be installed in virtually any location. “Looking at the popularity of small flush-mounted spotlights inspired us to design a loudspeaker to match,” the company’s CEO, Jeremy Burkhardt, said as part of the announcement. “We know that homeowners prefer speakers that are less conspicuous and the NEAT 3 is just that.” For more information on the product, visit www.speakercraft.com

Speakers- and Dancers- at SpeakerCraft Event
September 4, 2008

SpeakerCraft’s press conference at CEDIA EXPO Thursday was a wild attention grabbing affair that demonstrated the company’s commitment to, in President Jeremy Burkhardt’s words, “Have a trade show like no other.” SpeakerCraft kicked things off with a creative dance ensemble that highlighted the company’s focus of its booth and presentation at this year’s EXPO. SpeakerCraft is concentrating on helping dealers find ways to improve their businesses instead of just showing products.  “It only makes sense that we work with our dealers to help them grow their businesses.”  Stated Burkhardt “Especially in these tougher economic times when some people are struggling, we are focusing

Going Beyond TV Sales
September 1, 2008

The market changes since last year’s CEDIA EXPO have challenged long-held assumptions of how specialty retailers and custom installers do business. Manufacturers, of course, have also felt the impact and are now battling higher materials costs, low consumer confidence, the housing crisis, disadvantageous exchange rates and tighter credit lines. Their response to the problems will be on display at this year’s Expo, with more products aimed at the retrofit market and new training programs that emphasize business acumen over product knowledge. Product & Tech Trends Will West, CEO of Control4, a developer of home control and automation solutions that has made deeper inroads

SpeakerCraft Announces CEDIA Products
July 24, 2008

SpeakerCraft last week announced a trio of new products lines, set for introduction at this fall’s CEDIA Expo in Denver. The company has upgraded its sub series with the new Freestanding Cinema Subs series, which replacing the company’s BassX series. The series includes 8-, 10-, and 12-inch models, as well as new cabinet models. Meanwhile, the company announced four new models in the “Rox” line of rock-shaped outdoor speakers. The speakers come in four models, featuring 5-inch, 6-inch or 8-inch woofers, as well as one subwoofer. The company did not announce pricing or release date information for the speakers. And finally,

Home Control, Through the iPhone
April 9, 2008

SpeakerCraft announced this week the release of a new interface, meant to work with its MODE multi-room control system, that allows the use of Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod Touch products to be used as wireless remotes. The system, run through a Web server in the ERS 1.0 Ethernet to serial adapter, can be accessed through the Safari browser on the Apple devices, and requires no installations of applications. “The connection is very easy to set up and there is little or no additional programming required by the installer,” the company’s director of engineering, Jason Craze, said as part of the announcement.

Runco Dealer Roundtable: Luxury Strategies Fit All Markets
March 28, 2008

Most of the discussion at Runco’s Mexico Getaway in Los Cabos, Mexico, has centered around the luxury market. That all makes sense, given Runco’s line of high-end projectors and flat-panel TVs. But many of the marketing and sales strategies batted around during the meetings can also be adopted by specialty and general CE retailers, as well as vendors, serving the middle of the market. Here’s a quick look at some of ideas logged during a feedback session between dealers and Runco execs. When asked what constitutes luxury customer service the dealers said it must be better and quicker than everyone else, it must