Russound Plans Collage-focused CEDIA Expo Presence
Russound is planning a heightened presence at September’s CEDIA Expo that will be centered around its October-shipping Collage PLC (Power Line Carrier)-technology-based media and intercom system. Its largest-ever, two-story booth there will also highlight a group of complementary product intros and a Sphere Certified Integrator-dedicated space where the company’s newest E-Series products will be shown.
Besides showcasing Collage at Expo, says Andy Lewis, director of product development, Russound will conduct domestic focus groups, provide extensive integrator training, and show SKUs that include the RFR-E5 RF remote and the TSV-E5 touchscreen, which boasts added features including multi-zone control access. New products on view will be two “Collage-friendly” Acclaim 7 series compact, square in-wall speakers that can be used in pairs or as single-point-stereo speakers. He adds they are easily installable, and, due to their design – which uses a 15-degree fixed-tilt baffle for sound-direction flexibility – work well even when placed in less-than-optimal locations, such as low to the floor and out of line of sight. An added benefit of the Acclaim models, he says, is that they are suited for content endowed with Dolby’s new “height channel” Pro Logic IIz processing technology.
“Collage is part of a larger, future story for us,” says Russound’s Michael Stein, senior director of research and technology, pointing out its appeal for a younger demographic with an “access” mentality about their content that doesn’t usually include saving it, versus older music listeners who tend to be “collectors” who buy and save their content. “It’s a growing market segment that will eventually dominate,” he says – but it is also one that the “collectors” can be drawn to. “Once they’re exposed, they realize they can enjoy both collected and accessed content – and there will be an acceleration of adoption.”
Collage, he adds, also takes advantage of the growing retrofit opportunities in a market where “the housing boom had become unsustainable,” Stein says. “Retrofit is an eight-times-larger pie than new construction, and we went with the retrofit model so we could grow the pie. It also fits a new business model for custom integrators; it can be presented to the client without his having to fear a lifestyle disruption. An integrator can meet a customer on Monday, install eight zones Tuesday and collect the check for the install Tuesday night.”