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Audiovox’s AR Xsight Remotes Reach Retail

October 30, 2009 By Nancy Klosek
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The consumer call for higher-ticket universal remote controls in recent years should be no surprise to anyone, said Ian Geise, vice president of marketing for Audiovox Accessories. It isn’t just the rise in diversity and number of home theater components, the increase in new-TV acquisitions that preceded and has followed the mid-year DTV transition, or the bump in the gaming market.

“People couldn’t find their coffee tables any more,” he joked, in explaining the company’s decision to market its new AR-branded Xsight universal remote line to the typical electronics buyer or service subscriber who’s tired of complexity and clutter – the inevitable byproducts of multiple remotes.  After being announced at the 2009 CES, the models have just reached nationwide distribution in Best Buy and regional electronics outlets including Electronics Expo, ABC Warehouse and Nebraska Furniture Mart.

With the AR Xsight Touch ($249.99) and Xsight Color ($179.99) remotes, said Geise, Audiovox “set out to be all [our competitors] are – and more.” The remotes go beyond the capabilities of rival models, that are “dead sticks” out of the box, needing a PC to program them, and beyond those products with on-remote setup only, “which is limiting in how specialized you can be,” said Geise. “Ours provides the best of both worlds. Once the remote is out of the box, and the batteries are installed, with a built-in code library, there’s no model lookup necessary, and you’re prompted in the setup. Once that’s done, you can tether it to a computer and easily create things like favorite-channel lists.”

Also available to complement the Xsight Touch’s capabilities is an RF extender module at $99.

The line will be rounded out in a few months with the debut at CES of the Xsight Plus ($99.99) and the Xsight Uno ($79.99), models that Geise said are to be scaled down in build and backlighting but that will “stay true to the Xsight platform of on-remote and PC-based setup.”

Also slated for debut at the 2010 CES is a voice-controlled/voice-programmable remote, to be issued under the RCA brand, which at about $30 suggested retail price, Geise said, “should be a big hit across the board but especially with the baby-boomer generation,” who have taken to such voice control features on products like the newer Apple iPods.  “It’s unique, from a branded-product standpoint, and will have the benefit of a sleek look because of our focus on industrial design,” he said.


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