March 2005 Issue


Audio in High Definition

The audio market, in its earliest years, was shaped by the music-loving hobbyists who created it—and it had nothing whatsoever to do with video. But the wants of the lifestyle customer, which now center around flat-panel TV, have brought the category into high definition, both literally and figuratively. Just what it takes to sell audio in a video-centric marketplace was the springboard for this survey of suppliers and custom retailers. The result: a diversity of opinions touching on at-retail presentation, product-design strategies and the influence of something that one retailer characterized as "the most exciting thing to come along since I got into

Invisible Tech The Art of What You Don't See

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

SED The New Screen on the Block

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

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

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

The Head of the Class CEDIA's University Program Introduces Tra

As part of its strategy to define itself as the touchstone of custom installation training and certifications, the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) has announced the development and implementation of a Electronic Systems Technician (EST) core curriculum. Couched within the "CEDIA University" program (what the association calls "an institution of learning that provides facilities for teaching and education and furthers the knowledge and professional skills of members and students"), the new core curriculum is designed to connect CEDIA membership with custom installation experts. CEDIA University is currently building the first 30 courses, and expects to have the entire curriculum in place for

The High and Low Roads Inside Marantz's New Distribution Deal W

The web site says it all. On, Marantz is now listed among a plethora of manufacturers currently available to AVAD dealers nationwide. Featured among those are Sharp, Polk Audio and Bose. And though Marantz's inclusion may not signal anything unusual as far as the company being kept, for long-time Marantz dealers, being leveled by a wider base of custom installers may leave a sour taste. Then again, it depends on who you ask. The new distribution arrangement that went into place as of December means that AVAD is now distributing Marantz lines of home entertainment products, including AV receivers, amplifiers, DLP