Home Theater

Electronic Home Improvement
May 1, 2005

Smarthome taps growing consumer acceptance of home automation By Janet Pinkerton "Let's not talk about 'home automation,'" says Rajeev Kaur, vice president of sales and marketing at Smarthome. "Let's talk about 'electronic home improvement.'" Why the change in phraseology? Kaur posits that in most consumers' minds, "home automation" means "robots all over your house" and lots of alienating technology. Instead, he suggests "focusing on improving the value of the home" by adding smart lighting, security and home control. Just as remodeling a bathroom or kitchen will increase a home's value, Kaur says, "these products pay for themselves." The home automation market isn't new, notes

Home Theater Squared
April 1, 2005

As the products we sell become commodities, C-tailers will look to manufacturers for differentiating innovations. By Krissy Rushing The home theater category is advancing at breakneck speed, resulting in unprecedented industry growth and, of course, corresponding challenges for A/V retailers. However, the not-so-obvious by-product of all of this activity is the shift in industry economics swirling in its wake. For the dealer, sizing up a potential customer was once a relatively simple matter—customers were most likely enthusiasts. Home theater, however, isn't just for enthusiasts anymore. As a result, a retailer must often adapt itself from one type of customer to another, juggling competing interests

Parasound 7100 Preamp-Processor
April 1, 2005

By Ron Goldberg While Parasound's successful Halo series has been the statement lineup from this longtime A/V specialist, the rest of its line has been undergoing a major update. The Model 7100 is the pre-pro in the company's "New Classic" series. DESCRIPTION The 7100 is a 7.1-channel preamp-processor that incorporates much of the thinking behind the Halo lineup, only scaled down for setups where the extensive feature set of those products isn't really necessary. Given its intended market position, it's hard to call the 7100 a budget model, but in essence, that's what this new series represents for Parasound. The 7100 sports a

A Modular Approach to Sales
April 1, 2005

Integra's build-to-order home theater receiver system could lure DIY customers to your showroom By Erik Caplan Customized home theater components were once the sole domain of the wealthy and serious hobbyists. Such prized possessions were only designed and built by specialists for specialized installation applications at high costs, or laboriously soldered together in the home workshops of studious electronics enthusiasts. The only way to get one's hands on a custom piece was to drop a ton of cash on one, or spend ages analyzing circuit boards and wiring schematics in order to build the piece at home. That's all changing now. The copy on

Invisible Tech The Art of What You Don't See
March 1, 2005

Technology and lifestyle go hand in hand. When home theaters first appeared consumers built dedicated spaces around them — rooms in which they could maximize their large investment by controlling the environment. They still do, of course. But the mainstreaming of custom installed home theater has mae other trends necessary. Rather than building the room around the technology, the A/V industry has to make the technology work within clients' existing environments. In this view, a sophisticated-looking room is not necessarily exempt from sophisticated technology, especially if you have the right accessories and equipment to help hide that technology, and therefore meet

Smooth Operator APC Goes Home Theatre, Bringing High-End Power
March 1, 2005

Back in September of 2004, American Power Conversion (APC), a company well known for power conditioning equipment for the computer industry, made a break into the A/V market with a line of conditioners designed specifically for home theaters. "APC sees this as a good market because solving problems is our business and the customers of custom installers have so much at stake, especially as it becomes more and more common to have hard drives in media centers," says Patrick Donovan, a product manager withthe company. "This is our core space. We took a look at what was out there and our competitors really

SED The New Screen on the Block
March 1, 2005

Looking for a lofty vision? A new display technology called SED promises to not only be the next big thing in flat panel hang-on-the-wall TV, but to replace and all-but-eliminate everything that has come before, by offering better picture quality at a lower price. Despite the seemingly ever-expanding array of new thin screen and projection display technologies˜plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, OLED, etc.˜good old-fashioned 50-year old color CRT technology remains the gold standard of picture quality. So what if you could take the front surface of a CRT-type display, using the exact same phosphors as conventional TV sets, and eliminate the depth by using a

Polls Reveals Residential Sales Boost
February 17, 2005

The International Communications Industries Association (ICIA), organizer of the InfoComm trade exhibition, released its 2005 Market Forecast Survey with figures pointing to what executive director Randy Lemke characterizes as a significant rise in the importance of the residential systems market sector to the group's audiovisual (AV) industry membership. "About 20 percent of our members are working in the residential environment, a dramatic change in the last two years," cites Lemke. The statistic comes as a revelation since the 2005 survey, conducted in October and November 2004, marked the first occasion where the category of "residential" was broken out as a separate market.

Selling the Right Home Theater Solution
January 1, 2005

The good news for custom retailers is that everyone wants a home theater. Even better is the news that home theaters continue to be a "solution sale"—assessing wants and needs, addressing physical and time constraints, and finally selecting and delivering a complete solution. Unfortunately, many salespeople focus only on part of the solution—the electronics—and ignore or leave until the end the one item that significantly defines the rest of the solution—the actual home theater interior. A home theater interior includes the acoustical performance of the room, the type and placement of the seating, how well the room is sound-insulated from the rest of

Mitsubishi WD-52825
January 1, 2005

We've seen quite a few DLP rear-projection sets over the past year or two, both in our testing area and at retail. While the viewing angles and form factors of these sets are a welcome improvement over traditional CRT-based rear-projection technology, we've more than once been turned off by the picture artifacts frequently seen on single chip models, including unnatural, oversaturated colors that stand out on a fluorescent showroom floor, but can look cartoonish and offputting in a home theater setting. Mitsubishi's WD-52825, however, is an exception to what we've come to expect from this category. It's unquestionably one of the best implementations of