March 2004 Issue


CAT5 Conversion Saves Bundle(s)

By Laurie Valenzi Ever get in a situation where you have just completed a big security job and just as the invoice is handed over, the customer says, "You know, we really should have put some cameras on the back side of the property. Is it too late?" You cringe and you grimace, forcing a smile through gritted teeth and say, "Why no, sir, if you want it, we can do it." As you walk away banging your fists against your head, you stop to recall just exactly how much slack coax you pulled, and wonder if there is even access to power

Euro Style

Custom and home theater gear from across the pond By Mark Fleischmann Liberty fries notwithstanding, America and Europe have always had a mutual fascination. Many Europeans wear Levis, drink Coke, listen to OutKast, and deplore the excesses of Hollywood (while enjoying them to the hilt). Americans, likewise, are fascinated by Europe's arts, cuisine, and most of all, Euro style. Until recently Europe was decidedly the junior player in the home theater and custom install games. After all, when you can guzzle espresso in a café, or spend an evening at the opera, who needs home entertainment? America has also had the advantage in being

Getting Personal

Inside The Keystone Big Show By Brett Soloman There are a lot of mobile electronics dealers out there who are turning down a lot of profits by not offering vehicle personalization and performance (VPP) products. Let's face it, car audio and sport compact performance parts are complementary goods, just like peanut butter and jelly. But many retailers are still hesitant to bring personalization or performance parts into their stores because they may not recognize where it fits in the product mix. However, these retailers are losing out on sales by sending the customer down the street to a speed shop. Even

INTEGRA DTM 5.3 Multi-Zone Stereo Receiver

By Ron Goldberg According to the Distributed Audio Alliance's Web site, multi-room audio is affordable and flexible—"For less than $1,000 per room, you can listen to any music you want from anywhere in your home at anytime-with just one push on a simple keypad or remote control." Most C-tailers and integrators will quietly smile at this, knowing that while it's the truth, it isn't necessarily the whole truth. But Integra's DTM 5.3 receiver is a unique solution that can live up to both claims. DESCRIPTION When was the last time you saw an A/V receiver that didn't offer surround sound? Me too, but

Listening to Rocks

Niles RS6 Outdoor Speakers By Grant Clauser While it's not necessarily the time of year to be thinking about outdoor audio—at least in CR's neck of the woods—plenty of customers are ready for some tunes by the pool or the yard, and as a reseller, you've got to be ready for them. Unfortunately, most outdoor speakers look like the kind of thing that you'd see hung from a pole at the community pool and sound like the high school intercom. Niles' new RS6 series of outdoor loudspeakers were designed to look like ornamental rocks—they call them GeoRealistic—and sound like music. Is it too much

Marketing Dollars Unleashed

Double your marketing power without liquidating your IRA. By Leslie Stevens Unbeknownst to many dealers, there is no lack of marketing dollars available to help your business grow. Here at Eclipse Marketing, I interviewed five successful dealers to learn how they go about getting marketing help from their suppliers. The results: I found 21 innovative ideas that are readily available for you and your business. I'd like to point out something those to manufacturers who just freaked out, visualizing their marketing budget being blown out of the water. I came from the manufacturing side of the business, and I know that when

PC-Free A/V

Saying goodbye to the computer hard drive and hello, A/V server By David Dritsas Despite the mainstream decline of free music downloading, the popularity of compressing music and storing it on a hard disk is still growing. And though the habit began on the PC, the powers that be in the audio/video industry are trying to push people away from the desktop and onto dedicated hard disk-based components. The benefit of a dedicated device is that it doesn't require as much processing power as a PC, which needs to perform a lot more tasks and experiences a lot more wear-and-tear. These devices also boast

Raising The Bar

Fluke Networks' integral role in TIA 570B By Mike Llewellyn For Bob Jensen of Fluke Networks, the custom installation business is all about making sure customers get exactly what they've paid for. To that end, he says Fluke Networks, a member of the Telecommunications Industry Association (where Jensen is chair of the Residential Cabling Standard), has been hard at work with its fellow TIA affiliates hammering out a network testing standard. The product of their labors, to be known as TIA 570B, will be available in the coming months. TIA 570B will define technical standards for residential cabling and networks that all points of

Speaking Of Home Automation

Voice control becoming a viable option By Marshall F. Lager User convenience has been one of home tech's most important goals ever since Zenith introduced the first television remote control back in 1950. Before long, the TV remote became wireless, and was joined by similar models for the stereo, VCR and other home entertainment goodies. Eventually, the universal remote touchscreen was the final word in home control. Or was it? An even more effortless technology exists and is starting to gain a market foothold: Voice control. MATURE FOR ITS AGE Voice control is not uncharted technology; much of the work in this field has

TiVos and Flat Panels, Oh My!

Established OEM Humax to offer branded product in U.S. By Joe Paone At this year's CES, we got sore feet wandering through booth after booth of unfamiliar Korean and Chinese companies looking to carve their own piece of the American video market pie. Many of them, and many similar vendors already plying their wares through big-box retail and the Internet, are aiming for the low-end, if you can consider an LCD television priced in four digits a "bargain" for the average American consumer. Korean manufacturer Humax, which had its own U.S. coming-out party at CES, isn't playing that game. Its upcoming line of flat-panel

Where's Interactive TV?

Is tomorrow's technology ever coming home? By Cliff Roth For years now, consumers have been exposed to a vision of futuristic home connectivity through television. In the vision, they're able to bookmark a commercial, bet on whether the next play is a run or a pass, even vote in an election. All this and more from the proverbial easy chair. But the phrase "Interactive TV" has become like a Rorschach pattern of advanced TV technology—it means different things to different people. Depending whom you ask, it's either a technology that's still waiting in the wings after literally decades of being hyped, or it is