By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
You are looking at the “rebirth of Monster for the next 25 years, with branding far beyond cable and power,” Noel Lee, Monster Cable head monster/CEO, told press representatives crowding the Monster South Hall exhibit here at International CES earlier this month.
“We are extending the Monster brand to areas outside of cable,” continued Lee, who said the company already has been successful with its Monster Power products and has established a dominant position in Apple iPod accessories.
Lee said Monster is changing its product structure to reflect two distinct sections — attachment selling, or accessorizing, for one, where “we offer things to make other components better.” The second section is the company's “home of the future, where we work to bring home theater to customers at large,” said Lee. Yet this is not just home theater, but “proper demonstration of home theater in the home.”
To do this, Lee said Monster is continuing to develop its M Design concept of home theater components, “where the lady of the house must approve. We are going beyond just movies to music and games.”
For Monster Music, the company is offering a special process called HDS, or High Definition Sound, to “bring the music experience into the home theater environment,” said Lee. The company will reposition surround sound as the “A” way of listening to music, and stereo will become the “B” way, said the company. Part of the new system will include gaming, namely Xbox solutions.
Yet all the problems a consumer has about home theater have not been solved, said Lee. “The consumer remains frustrated” primarily with the current remote controls.
To answer this, Lee said Monster has introduced a product that controls a complete A/V system, namely the Monster Central Controllers, and specifically the AVL300 remote control. The remote allows users to master even the most sophisticated home entertainment systems, while being friendly enough for the entire family to use, the company said.
The controller sends complex strings of commands to all necessary components with the touch of a single button. Users access the Monster Central Control online wizard and simply enter the brand and model numbers of their equipment, and answer simple questions from the wizard.
The RF flagship AVL300 is a multiroom unit that works through walls, ceilings and floors. Consumers have whole-house control. Also, the AVL300 is a lighting controller that can create customized lighting scenes that are integrated with home theater equipment to accompany chosen activities such as a romantic dinner, with dimmed lights and soft music.
The sister AV100 remote shares the same main functionalities of the more powerful AVL300, without the RF and lighting capabilities.
Both units will be shipping in February, with a suggested retail of $499.95 for the AVL300 and $299.95 for the AV100.
Monster also unveiled at CES Outlets To Go, an electric outlet solution for travelers who need to plug in more than one electronic device when there never seem to be enough outlets. Outlets To Go is a small and compact unit with a “road warrior” design that is “super flat” and features a travel cord management system. A four-plug outlet has a suggested $19.99 retail and a six-plug unit is $29.99.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.