Volume 14, Issue 3 — February 8, 2017
|Why the CEDIA Sale Might Work|
By Gary Kayye
There has been a ton of talk through the social media channels (yes, on Twitter, it’s mostly the same 20 people who always talk about the same things to each other, but on Facebook and LinkedIn there are some really progressive discussions) about the CEDIA sale to Emerald Expositions — a giant trade show company. You can read my story about it here.
So everyone seems to have it wrong — or is pandering to Vin Bruno. Or, maybe they’re afraid to say what they think in fear of being black-balled by CEDIA? Who knows. There’s no question we, as a publication, are an outsider from the “CEDIA Insider” group as we aren’t given the favors that other “insider” pubs are given at the CEDIA Expo — so, of course, we’re ecstatic that a new organization will run the show.
Thus, take all I say with a grain of salt.
That said, here’s the truth about the pitfalls of this deal as well as the potentials for something awesome.
Vin Bruno, CEDIA’s CEO, is either a genius or bailing out on a dying show. I’m not sure which. I tend towards the former. Vin is a fantastic communicator — one of the best I have ever seen in the AV industry. And I think he’s actually a pretty darn good a strategist. So, I think he’s thought all this through. So none of what I am going to say is likely new to him — but it may be to some of the narrow-minded CEDIA old-timers. And, I say that with great affection as I have been to ALL but two CEDIA shows ever held. So, let’s be frank here — I, too, am a CEDIA old-timer.
CEDIA was dying on the vine, as a show. The incredibly awesome parts of the show were the networking experiences, the parties, the people and the education. Those were solid — some of the best in the industry (way better than what you get at CES, for example).
But the show exhibits were hackneyed, uncreative and there was little clear direction of where the high-end home market was going. And the CEDIA Expo, itself, was a dichotomous mix of smart-home apps and $45,000 projectors and a few $2,500 turntables. The latter is supposed to be at CEDIA, by the way.
Don’t get me wrong, if you go look at our coverage of CEDIA over the past four years you will see that we, of all the publications, covered MORE new CEDIA products than ANY other publication in the industry. That’s a fact. Can’t be denied. In fact, we shot over 2,200 videos of CEDIA products in the last four years alone. And, we took more members of the press than ANY other publication in the HomeAV market — so we spent more money covering CEDIA than any other publication.
So, we loved the show and felt as though it should be covered.
And we gave the little iPhone app companies the same coverage we gave Crestron (oops, sorry, Crestron pulled out last year — more on that later); so, yes — we have the little iPhone app companies the same coverage we gave Control4 and LG and Russound and SpeakerCraft. We covered everyone. We went to every booth.
But, companies like SnapAV have shown what’s wrong with the CEDIA Expo market right now — it’s devoid of uniqueness and a clear direction. CIs walk around the show and, of course, they look at all the new gear from their favorite 20 suppliers and partners, but they aren’t finding anything new or innovative — at least, that’s profitable.
And, that’s the key. Profit.
Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Netflix, Roku, DirecTV and the like have destroyed the upper part of the high-end residential AV market. Sure, there are still smart homes, but there are fewer. And, now we don’t need a $100,000 to have a dang gone good theater — we can do it for $4,800 thanks to Epson, Sonos, Marantz and URC.
And, CEDIA — the Expo — wasn’t helping. They didn’t turn anyone away (or, at least, it didn’t seem like they did) from exhibiting so they had a ton of, well, app-based companies that make $1.99 apps that do what Crestron Pyng said it was going to do.
Speaking of Crestron, CEDIA — the Expo — didn’t seem to care they left. In fact, I was specifically told that it didn’t affect the show. But, all the while, AMX — at the same time — went from having a booth at the show to having a table. Yes, a table — with two people manning it — representing the company that was a $100 million home control company. So, the number one and number two custom control companies disappeared, without CEDIA — the Expo — caring (or, at least, publicly caring). Yet, everyone I ran in to at the show was perplexed and frustrated they weren’t there.
Oh, and in case you didn’t think it matters, if you’re a CI, just have your accounting department print you a report of the MOST profitable vendors (by margin) too your LEAST profitable vendors over the past five years. The top (most profitable) will include a few wire companies as we can all change whatever we want for cables, but when the big-dollars show up, you’ll see AMX and Crestron right there. Towards the middle and bottom will be filled with the all the exhibitors that still showed up at CEDIA — the Expo.
But CEDIA — the organization — has the opportunity of a lifetime now!
Now that they are divested of the dying Expo, they can HELP the CIs that are trying to find a clear direction and identity — and brand positioning — to those homeowners that don’t want to control their homes from an iPad or iPhone.
The best part about this — and here comes the Vin-is-a-genius-moment: CEDIA (the organization) gets to hold all the things that were the best parts of the Expo — mainly the education and the meetings — for FREE. They don’t have to pay for meeting room space to hold all their conferences, their seminars, their workshops, their volunteer meetings or anything else, for that matter (at the newly Emerald-owned Expo). When NSCA sold its show to InfoComm way back when, this was a huge mistake that NSCA made — when they have their meetings, conferences and events, they have to still pay for the venue. CEDIA pays no fees to be at the events — HUGE win!
So, CEDIA — the Expo — won’t look much different to most of the attendees — especially if Emerald Expositions has no clue which direction to take the show and keeps allowing a plethora of app-based companies to pepper the floor. And, for the hard-core CEDIA’ites, they will still have what makes their industry awesome — the networking, the education and the events.
So this is a win-win.
Unless, of course, you are Emerald Expositions. In that case, they desperately need to figure out how to keep making CEDIA more relevant than CEs. Most of us hate going to CES as it’s a giant fun-house. CEDIA — the Expo — should be more specialized and cater to the truly custom-home market. And, unless they get AMX and Crestron back — it ain’t gonna happen.Leave a Comment
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|Town Mouse, Country Mouse and the AV Business|
By Lee Distad
I have what I consider to be an advantage in my job. I’m responsible for a business territory that covers 661,848 km², larger than Montana and Wyoming put together. And because of the oil and gas sector, I get to travel to most of it. As a result of the impact that oil and gas have on Alberta’s economy, I have dealers in small towns in remote parts of the province that do big-city dollars with me. I always enjoy talking with them, because I learn a lot.
It should be no surprise to anyone that business owners in rural locations are as smart and focused on their success as any of their peers.
Generally, successful business owners do more things similarly than they do them differently. It’s the specific challenges that working in a small, local market bring where you can see best practices that are applicable to comparable businesses elsewhere.
So what can big city dealers learn from small town dealers? Lots.
For customers who live in the middle of the countryside, their options are to shop local, shop Amazon or drive for hours to the nearest big city. Believe me when I tell you that nobody knows that better than the small town dealer. That’s why savvy small town business owners know that there are two key things they need to do in order to differentiate themselves from their remote competition and be successful. They have to maximize how they leverage their interpersonal relationships, and they have to offer services and a level of support that is impossible for their competitors online and in distant big cities to match.
In some ways, those two points boil down to the same thing.
Managing those relationships is crucial. Unlike a major urban center where you may or may not run into somebody again that you can’t work with, in a small town it’s very different. Put it like this: There are a much smaller number of bridges you can burn.
We all know that difficult people are, well, difficult. And honestly not everybody can be your customer. Conversely, while a small minority of potential customers are, to put it plainly, jerks, most are not.
In a small pond, it’s imperative to seek and understand, to get to really know who your customers are and what they need, and look after then as if they were family.
Beyond that, rural businesses need to offer things that can’t be bought online, or aren’t feasible for competitors in the city three hours away to offer. That can run take almost any kind of shape, but often boils down to things like design and installation and long-term live support.
Reviewing these things that successful rural AV and telecom dealers do, leveraging relationships and offering best-in-class service, there’s no secret sauce here that only works in the country side. There’s really no good reason for businesses in major cities to not apply the same principles to their business.
If you take care of people, they’ll take care of you. That builds the kind of customer loyalty that leads to both repeat and referral business for years to come.Leave a Comment
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|CEDIA Announces 2017 Executive Committee and Appointed DirectorsThe CEDIA Board of Directors approved the 2017 executive committee and appointed directors at last week’s board meeting held at CEDIA Headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind.
“The expertise and passion of our unified global board puts CEDIA in an incredibly strong position. The right people are at the table to help determine our top priorities and guide our strategy for achieving success,” said Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO. “We are excited to be working together with the common goals of improving services, providing deeper support and delivering important added value to all our members across the world.”
The complete CEDIA executive committee and board now comprises:
2017 Executive Committee
Dennis Erskine, Chairperson
Erskine Group, LLC
David Humphries, Chairperson-Elect
Larry Pexton, Immediate Past Chairperson
Ex-officio, non-voting member
Giles Sutton, Treasurer
James + Giles
London, United Kingdom
Omar Hikal, Secretary
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2017 Elected Directors
Cape Town, South Africa
London, United Kingdom
The Thoughtful Home
In the selection of the appointed positions, the CEDIA Board felt that in the transition to a globally led organization that it was important to maintain continuity but also be able to diversify the skill set and expertise of the leadership. The following appointed positions were voted in by the CEDIA Board to fill necessary gaps and include a mix of one and two-year terms.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
In addition, Vin Bruno serves as an ex-officio, voting member of the CEDIA Board by virtue of his role as global president and chief executive officer of CEDIA.
Biographical information and photos of each board member are available to the media upon request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Leave a Comment
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|Global Home Video Entertainment Spend Reached $251.5 billion in 2016Futuresource Consulting has recently released its annual evaluation of the health and shape of global home video entertainment, detailing the macro trends of 2016, in addition to insights for 2017 and beyond. This latest analysis highlights that households are spending more than ever before on video entertainment, and in 2016, the combined home video and Pay-TV market totaled $251.5 billion, up by 3 percent comparative to 2015.
This market assessment reports and forecasts on consumer expenditure across digital video (SVoD, TVoD, EST, Pay-TV VoD), packaged video (DVD & Blu-ray) and the pay-TV market. Tristan Veale, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting shared some of the top line trends commenting that, “Overall video entertainment spend is set to rise to $280 billion by 2020, with a CAGR of 3 percent. In 2016, pay-TV accounted for 86 percent of global video entertainment spend with the pay-TV share of the market to remain stable as growth is in-line with spending on both physical and digital home video.
“SVoD was the standout performer of 2016 and momentum is expected to continue well past 2020,” continued Veale. “Globally we expected the market to reach 236 million global subscriptions at the end of 2016 and this is projected to almost double to 485 million by 2020. Netflix’s dominance in the sector is now facing a significant challenge from Amazon, with this space also being targeted by global entertainment companies including content producers, hardware manufacturers and telco’s who are attracted by the significant revenues.”
Veale added, “Global packaged video spend is in decline, with the deficit not being made up by transactional digital. Annual spend across DVD and Blu-ray fell by 13 percent to $21.6 billion in 2015 and is expected to fall to $9.1 billion by 2020. For 2016 an exceptionally strong late 2015 theatrical slate converted well to home video unit sell-through, the market also received a minor boost from the introduction of an even more premium tier of Blu-ray, UHD. However, the global rate of decline in dollar terms increased to 17 percent due to fluctuations in the exchange rate.”
This latest Futuresource report emphasizes that digital video progression is meteoric, driven predominantly by rapidly expanding Netflix. There are some concerns over the softness within the transactional digital video market with both rental and buy-to-keep currently under performing. Digital video spend reached $17.5 billion in 2015 with 60 percent of spend on SVoD. Following growth of 30 percent, 2016 digital expenditure reached $22 billion for the first time and exceeded that of physical which fell to $18 billion.
Futuresource is here.Leave a Comment
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|Atlantic Technology Debuts SB8 High-Performance Compact Powered Subwoofer|
Atlantic Technology has introduced its SB8 compact 125-watt subwoofer as the perfect companion to any home theater speakers, soundbar, or compact music system. Despite its small size, roughly 13x13x11 inches, the SB8 shares the same high-end features found on the company’s top-of-the-line subwoofers.
The SB8’s down-firing design takes advantage of the acoustic benefits of woofer-to-floor acoustic coupling for exceptionally powerful response. This also allows for a compact cabinet size to squeeze into tight spots behind furniture with no concern of its output being muffled. It has a rugged 8-inch long-throw driver with an oversized surround to deliver a low-end extension of 32 Hz (-3 dB) and low bass-harmonic distortion, even at very high output levels.
The SB8 has a high-current, equalized 125-watt amplifier and massive finned heat sink to deliver a solid, muscular sound. Like all Atlantic Technology subwoofers, the SB8 has an adjustable crossover, a crossover bypass setting for use with electronics that have built-in bass management, auto-on signal sensing, phase control and a detachable AC power cord. Proprietary distortion-detection circuitry prevents the SB8 from emitting objectionably distorted sound, regardless of how hard it is pushed. It also has line-level and speaker-level connections that allow it to be used in almost any system.
The Atlantic Technology SB8 is currently available is a gloss black finish with a suggested retail price of $499. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Amphion to Reveal New Floorstanding Loudspeaker, Argon7LS, at ISEFinnish manufacturer Amphion Loudspeakers announces Argon7LS floorstanding loudspeaker. The newcomer replaces the Argon7L model, incorporating the passive radiator design which is already present in Argon3S and Argon3LS. The new front-runner in Amphion’s Argon family of high-end home audio speakers will be demonstrated for the first time at the Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam, booth 7-W195, February 7-10, 2017.
Passive radiator eliminates the known problems associated with reflex cabinets, where the correct signal is always followed by an unwanted tail. The new Argon7LS design creates a more natural energy transfer, providing the listener with an improved physical connection to the music, even on lower listening levels.
Argon7LS sells for EUR 2,250 / USD 2,800 per piece for standard colors and EUR 2,400 / USD 3,000 for Walnut veneer. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Middle Atlantic Debuts Small Device Mounting Behind the Display at ISE 2017|
Middle Atlantic Products’ Proximity Series Mounting Plate will make it’s EMEA debut today in Amsterdam at ISE. The Proximity Series Mounting Plate comes integrated with most of the standard-profile mounts in the VDM series. As a universal display solution, it can also be used with existing mounts in applications that don’t require customers to upgrade the entire mount.
The Middle Atlantic Products’ VDM series includes 17 mounts in a range of sizes and in fixed, tilt, motion, standard-profile and low-profile options, accommodating VESA patterns up to 800 mm. The series comes standard with safety features that keep the display securely attached to the mount during and after installation, and all the hardware needed to ensure a professional installation. The series’ motion mounts feature up to 24 inches of reach, tilt adjustment, wall plate cover, and built-in cable management. An integrated kickstand provides accessibility for servicing of the low-profile models.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Draper Claims Industry’s Biggest Thin-Bezel Screen|
Draper’s thin bezel frame screen experience is now shipping. The Profile+ fixed screen has only a ½ inch thin bezel frame. Available in sizes up to 30 feet wide, the Profile+ provides the industry’s biggest “flat panel look.” The frame is lighter and easy to assemble, and the new sliding hook-and-loop viewing surface attachment system is incredibly simple. Optional LED lights frame the Profile+ with thousands of color possibilities. The Profile+ also comes with a Zero Edge option — again, at 30 feet wide the biggest in the industry.
To top it all off, the Profile+ is available with all of Draper’s Optically Seamless, ISF certified, 8K-ready TecVision formulations, so there’s a Profile+ solution for any need — from 3D to Ambient Light Rejection. The all-new Profile+ can be wall mounted or flown.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|MantelMount Has Two New Pull-Down Mounts|
MantelMount has introduced two new versions of its pulldown TV mount. Both products solve a common TV-mounting problem: People love to put their TV above their fireplaces, but the high position detracts from the overall viewing experience. MantelMount allows users to mount their TVs above their fireplace but bring them down to eye level for the perfect viewing angle.
The MM340 is MantelMount’s new entry-level product. Like the company’s previous starter mount, the TM1A, the MM340 gives users the ability to easily pull the TV down off the wall and position it in front of a fireplace at eye level. The MM340, however, offers 29 inches vertical travel versus 24 inches for the TM1A. In addition, the MM340 allows for greater horizontal both left and right (30 degrees versus 20) and also features cable wire management.
The MM540 offers all of the features of the MM340, plus a range of additional benefits. Like the MM340, the MM540 has a vertical travel distance of 29 inches, but also offers an optional vertical tilt of up to 8 degrees. The MM540 has exclusive heat-sensing handles that turn red if the temperature above your fireplace exceeds a safe 110° F; that way, you’ll know when to move the TV back to its original position. In addition, the MM540 has a built-in sound bar attachment below the TV and above the heat-sending handles. The MM540 also comes with paintable wall covers to hide the mounting hardware.
An extremely useful feature of the MM540 is the included swivel extender kit that allows horizontal swivel up to 60 degrees in one direction. This helps increase the range of seating options in the TV viewing room.
Both new versions feature MantelMount’s patented construction combines high-quality automotive pistons with lightweight alloys and state-of-the-art counterbalance technology. They feature a 4-inch wide center arm that eliminates all wobble while in motion. In addition, both mounts will hold TVs from 20-90 pounds, with a minimum screen size of 44 inches.
The MM340 is $299 and the MM540 is $399. Here’s more information.Leave a Comment
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|Media Solutions Debuts an HDBaseT Test Generator|
Media Solutions has announced the first handheld HDBaseT tester with a built-in HDMI pattern generator. In addition to monitoring, logging and diagnostics capabilities, the new MS-TestPro tester with built-in HDMI pattern generator says it will simplify the in-field performance analysis process of HDBaseT devices, cabling and overall configurations.
The new built-in HDMI pattern generator in the MS-TestPro supports both CEA and DMT resolutions up to 4K/28Hz, making it compatible with virtually every AV source and display device available. Because it reduces complexity and requires no additional pattern generating equipment, the MS-TestPro provides reliable on-site analysis that saves time and money on every HDBaseT installation.
One click on the 3.5” touchscreen displays basic performance diagnostics for fast analysis of connectivity signals, including go/no-go indication, cable length, pixel clock and Tx/Rx overall performance. More advanced installers and integrators can drill down into the results for detailed analysis on the MS-TestPro screen or on any browser using the optional Wi-Fi interface.
The MS-TestPro also houses a detachable Rx module and Tx module. It emulates an HDBaseT transmitter or receiver device, operating up to pixel rates of 300MHz, enough to test for 4K ultra-high definition devices. It allows for testing of both source and sink devices installed up to 100m/328ft away.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
Don’t like us, then go away — unsubscribe! Just use the link below.
To send me feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter – instead, write directly to me at email@example.com or for editorial ideas: Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe Publications has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
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