Made in America: Metra Home Theater Group
Stephanie Casimiro, marketing director for Metra Home Theater Group, discusses the history of Metra Home Theater Group and tells why it chooses to manufacture its products in the United States.
How did Metra Home Theater start?
Metra Electronics began a long time ago when a Brooklyn-based radio and television store was asked to make a radio bracket for a taxi. Only recently, the taxi and limousine commission had decided that it was time to eliminate the ban on car radios in New York. Word got out about this new bracket, and as more people needed them, a business was born.
By the early 1960s, Metra was manufacturing parts, cables and brackets for taxis, police cars and other vehicles. The company transferred its expertise in manufacturing to new technology and entered the home entertainment market by making a line of popular television knobs and accessories. Metra continued to grow over the next few decades as a leading manufacturer in the 12-volt installation aftermarket for car stereos. By 1990, Metra was the largest designer and manufacturer of dashboard kits and harnesses in the world.
When dealers were starting to branch off into the residential installation market in the 90s, Metra extended its reputation as the “Installers Choice” and continued to support these dealers with the products to make their lives and home theater installations easier. In 1998, Metra hired a highly experienced custom integrator and created the Ethereal Home Theater brand. Since then, Metra has worked hard to design and provide the best possible products for the custom integrator.
With the introduction of the new HDMI standard at CES 2003, Metra realized that this new digital format was going to have a profound impact on consumer electronics, and became one of the first early adopters of HDMI in an effort to be the manufacturer that best understood and harnessed the possibilities it could provide. Since that time, Metra has produced a number of the custom installation industry’s HDMI firsts by improving the installation and reliability of these systems. To ensure that the products are the best available, Metra continues to use the testing and certification services of DPL.
As time and technology—and product line expansion—have progressed, Metra Home Theater Group was born as an umbrella for a continuum of home theater products from the Ethereal Helios by Audio Solutions, EHD and Spyclops brands.
What started out as a New York repair shop owner with good mechanical skills helping out a friend has turned into a multinational manufacturing and sales organization that fully supports both the 12-volt mobile installation and the residential custom integration markets with the best designs, innovative products and customer support available today.