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Distributor shows off home convergence and networking gear at summer show

D&H is helping its CE retailers see and share the big picture. But in this case the big picture has little to do with flat-panel TVs.

This vision involves new technology products that allow consumers to safely access, distribute and share content over wired and wireless networks. It’s not about a one-off product sale, but helping the customer create full solutions that make up a robust home network of converged computer products and consumer electronics.

“Convergence is really starting to come together in the home; it’s happening,” Rob Eby, vice president of purchasing at D&H, said at the distributor’s Summer Mid-Atlantic Technology show this week in Hershey, Pa. “If you look in someone’s home today, you can find so many things that can be connected to the network.”

D&H will continue to offer CE retailers the training – through its technology shows, vendor training programs and visits from its 26 in-the-field sales reps – to help them sell, build and install the products that make up full convergence home solutions, Eby said.

“CE retailers are just starting to grab that concept, especially around the importance of building a wireless network in the home,” he said. “They really have to start making that (networking and PC-related) sale or someone else’s register is going to ring.”

D&H showcased several new vendors at the show whose products complement a connected home:

Pogoplug: This USB device ($129) helps consumers create their own private cloud computing environment, allowing users to access any type of data file from anyplace over the Internet. Through USB connections, users can attach up to four storage devices to create a server with almost endless capacity.

“It takes longer to remove this from the box than it does to set up,” said Adam Scolaro, director of sales at Cloud Engines, maker of the Pogoplug, commenting on the product’s ease of use. “Cloud computing is the future. AT&T, Verizon, Google and others will sell some version of it, but retailers won’t see any revenue from it. But with this they can. This is an add-on sale that creates more add-on sales, so three points of margin can become 30 points.”

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