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Old 09-20-2007   #1
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Default Home Theater Companies Making Gear For Every Room of the House

As much grief as Bose gets with audio purists, you have to admit that they were among the first, along with Bang & Olufsen to look at ways for consumers to place their gear in every room of their homes, and not just in the equipment rack of their audiophile or home theater system. Walk into a wealthy person’s home and you are likely to find a slick little B&O system in a living room or guest bedroom, waiting to spin up a CD in undeniable physical style. How many bedrooms have a Bose clock radio in them now? Beyond the home environment, Bose has their radio placed right next to your pillow in numerous top-shelf hotels. I most recently saw Bose in the rooms at The Lodge at Pebble Beach where other luxury-marketing partners include Lexus, Calaway and Avaya phone systems.

Now, the companies that sell the world’s most sought-after home theater electronics are getting into the whole-house audio concept with small systems that can go anywhere. Meridian’s F80 was a striking new product debuted at the CEDIA tradeshow. Co-branded with Ferrari and packed with some truly slick technology, this $3,000 desk radio is both a very expensive toy as well as the least expensive way to get a real Meridian system into your home or workplace. The fact that this little sucker can light up a room that is 100 feet deep with 24 foot ceilings should not be lost on those who think something this small could never sound all that good, because it sounds fantastic. B&W is close to coming to market with their Zeppelin, a name that is chosen for all the right reasons. Park your iPod on the top of this boldly shaped system and prepare to rock. Boston Acoustics has a number of affordable yet slick, small products. Polk has some neat HD Radio based products. Direct reseller, Zvox has specific units designed to go into hotel rooms for superior sound at low levels.

Another way speaker companies are working to get their share of the booming HDTV market is to create all-in-one speaker systems designed to work with flat HDTVs. Boston Acoustics' TEEVEE was shown with an easy on-off button, and you couldn’t hit the button hard enough to get the little speaker back on. Zvox makes one of the best all-in-one speaker systems for HDTVs. Yamaha’s Digital Sound Projectors are also a very slick solution in the space of Front Projection Surround Sound. Their surround modes have come an awfully long way from the days of “church” and “stadium.”

Expect the AV companies to make more and more of a move into self-contained and HDTV oriented audio as the battle to get into your main theater remains vicious. The demand for electronics is there with the mainstream consumer. What the higher end companies are figuring out now, is that there are new ways to sell to them.

by: Jerry Del Coliiano
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Old 09-21-2007   #2
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Question Re: Home Theater Companies Making Gear For Every Room of the House

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Originally Posted by AVRevForum.com View Post
Expect the AV companies to make more and more of a move into self-contained and HDTV oriented audio as the battle to get into your main theater remains vicious. The demand for electronics is there with the mainstream consumer. What the higher end companies are figuring out now, is that there are new ways to sell to them.

by: Jerry Del Coliiano
yeah, but where are they going to sell them? with independent retailers rapidly disappearing at an accelerated rate and Tweeter, Harvey's & Ultimate struggling to survive about all that's left (besides the Internet, of course) is Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, K-Mart and the warehouse clubs. heck, you live in what is arguably the largest A/V consumer market in the country and there's not a single multi-store retailer left in your region that's based there besides Ken Crane's. Rogersound Labs was the last and they've been gone for something like 20 years now. What this industry really needs is some new retail blood to provide consumers with a more intelligent, needs-centric option than the big-box stores.
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Old 09-24-2007   #3
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Default Re: Home Theater Companies Making Gear For Every Room of the House

Well, if the "House of Linn" takes off, this might be a way for items or products of this sort to make it. Its true even here, that there are very few retailers left, to carry such products. it works for Bose, because they have a Bose store.

In White plains here, Lyric hi - Fi, would be the only retailer to carry these products. And, most of their business now is, installs. Very little walk in retail business. This is what made the "Listening Room" in Scarsdale close up its retail store, rent a house, and have appts. exclusively for home theater installs.

Changiing times.
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Old 09-25-2007   #4
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Default Re: Home Theater Companies Making Gear For Every Room of the House

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Well, if the "House of Linn" takes off, this might be a way for items or products of this sort to make it. Its true even here, that there are very few retailers left, to carry such products. it works for Bose, because they have a Bose store.

In White plains here, Lyric hi - Fi, would be the only retailer to carry these products. And, most of their business now is, installs. Very little walk in retail business. This is what made the "Listening Room" in Scarsdale close up its retail store, rent a house, and have appts. exclusively for home theater installs.

Changiing times.
hopefully you're right . . . however, with both Bose and Sony adding new stores the "dumbing down" of CE retail looks as if it's winning . . . B&O made a valiant effort but most of those stores are now closed so Linn definitely has an uphill battle to fight

about 30 years ago I was asked by Sidney Harman to write a white paper on what it would take (and what the current distribution consequences would be) if Harman International (which at the time consisted of JBL, harman/kardon, Citation, Rabco, Ortofon, Tannoy and Bolivar Speaker Works) were to open their own retail stores in metro NY . . . as I recall, my conclusions were that it would take at least 7-8 locations, several million $ of investment and would probably cost us every retailer we had in the market (which included Harvey's - with 15 stores, Leonard Radio, Lyric HiFi, Rabsons, Stereo Exchange, Tech HiFi, etc.) . . . the fact that Bose and Sony have pulled it off just shows how important "branding" can be when retailers carry products that their suppliers also sell through their own stores; however, if you were a retailer today would you carry either of these brands? Why not? Their products are high quality and they regularly generate margins as high as most others and a significant portion of your store traffic is going to be asking for them. The times truly are a changin'.

btw, we're almost "neighbors" . . . I'm just a few miles upriver from you in Croton-on-Hudson (VT is where we weekend and will be retiring in 2-3 years)
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Last edited by MoosePond; 09-25-2007 at 07:01 AM.. Reason: add comment
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