Content sells. It sells satellite radio, direct-broadcast satellite TV, cable and MP3 players; and it most definitely sells HDTV. This year content providers, broadcasters and manufacturers will generate unprecedented excitement around HDTV, offering viewers and potential buyers the most high-definition (HD) programming to date. 2006, the year of HD, sprung to life at the International CES with manufacturers announcing next-generation high-definition DVD players and movie studios revealing plans to release pre-recorded HD by year’s end. Overall, total DTV sales for 2005 reached more than 12 million units and $17 billion in revenue, an increase of 60 percent compared to year-end 2004. High-definition products comprised

Elan takes a chance at hosting its own dealer conference By David Dritsas Elan Home Systems wagered that it could host a two-day conference for its network of dealers, hoping that many of them would make a trip off the beaten path to Lexington, Ky., home to horse racing, bourbon and Elan's corporate headquarters. The bet paid off in spades, as approximately 380 people attended, beating the company's most optimistic expectations. The population ranged from owners to salespeople to technicians. "I was hoping for 150," said Cat Fowler, director of marketing for Elan, "but by the the end I was unfortunately turning people

On June 1 The Professional Audio/Vide Retailers Association (PARA) will finalize a merger with the Consume Electronics Association (CEA), according to a recent CEA announcement. The move is indicative of CEA's goal to obtain higher-end A/V dealer and specialty retail members, bringing them closer into their organization. According to CEA, it will create a new PARA Division that represents specialty audio-video, custom installation, and home theater companies. The division will promote the value of the specialty audio-video retail channel of distribution to the CE industry as a whole and grow the professionalism of specialty retailers within that channel. CEA will continue PARA's existing programs including

What makes a leader rock? Foremost, it's leadership. When Dealerscope set out to put together this issue, we asked readers and associates to nominate leaders in the consumer electronics industry whose influence and vision extend beyond the brands they promote or the stores they run. We wanted people with foresight, who inspire and motivate their employees—people with the drive to go farther and do better. We wanted executives who are as good for the CE business as the CE business is for them. Each person appearing below is just that kind of individual.The goal was to find some of the best minds

The Big (and Bigger) of It By Natalie Hope McDonald It started humbly on Rawlston Road as an audio shop in a town called Arvada, Colorado. But 27 stores later, Ultimate Electronics (UE) is a contender, one of the major retailers of mid- to high-end audio, video and home entertainment electronics in the industry. Founded in 1968, UE took the idea of "growing pains" and redefined it as a strategy that would mandate two steps for every one the competition took. By 1997, the company acquired a West Coast consumer specialty electronics retailer, Audio King Corporation, which further complemented Ultimate's daughter company,

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