By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Home entertainment and small office/home office furniture manufacturers took their product introductions on the road this past fall, featuring their latest and greatest at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) show in Indianapolis and the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.
A few of the home entertainment/SOHO furniture makers also presented products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, in addition to or instead of the other shows.
The home entertainment/SOHO furniture updates that follow represent the best-of-the-best from these three show venues. Featured furniture pieces were picked depending on what the trade said it liked, according to the vendors, as well as what manufacturers felt had been best received by their retailer customers.
Equipment cabinet No. 9802 from American Wood Furniture is constructed with all-wood solids, natural wood and furniture-grade veneers. All finishes from the Terre Haute, Ind.-based company are hand-wiped and oven-cured to maintain beauty and durability.
The 9802 is designed for the serious audio/video user, American Wood said.
Cabinet features include removable wood-back panels for ease of component installation; load levelers at each base corner to ensure even and level appearance; one fixed and three adjustable shelves sized for components; and cabinet-wiring space behind all shelves that allows for neat and professional component installation.
The back panel is double vented, top and bottom, while the cabinet has an elegant bronze-glass door. Finishes are available in dark cherry, natural cherry, medium natural oak and natural maple. Suggested retail is $899.
More and more specialty audio/video retailers are finding their customers want a high-quality piece to house new systems, said Becker Designed Inc. (BDI), and if retailers display the right units, they can incorporate a piece of A/V furniture in the total sale.
Customers are looking for something that appeals to their sense of style, shows off the expensive equipment, and is a quality piece, the Chantilly, Va.-based manufacturer said. They are also looking for A/V furniture that is less like storage than an open-rack system appears to be.
BDI's Lido line A/V tower is engineered to house even the heaviest equipment, the company said. It has the capacity to house five components in the base and a television on the top glass shelf.
An accompanying Lido TV stand is designed to accommodate today's larger televisions, and is said to offer a sophisticated approach to housing and displaying TVs and VCR or DVD players. Ample storage for a CD or DVD collection is provided in the base.
A Lido media/coffee table, incorporating simple lines and detail, can be used as a media center for large tabletop TVs, or VCR and DVD players.
Suggested retail price for the tower, TV stand and media/coffee table is $895 each.
The audio/video system AVSC-2103 from Bell'O International, Morganville, N.J., includes a metal and glass A/V table with inlaid real-wood trim. It serves as a companion for the ATC-2101 audio tower or can stand alone as an individual A/V system
At a suggested $2,800 for both the 2103 and two 2101 audio towers, the unit can accommodate up to a 40-inch direct-view TV. It features three fixed, front-rounded, tempered safety-glass shelves, plus a glass top, and is designed to accommodate at least six additional A/V components.
The ATC-2101 audio tower offers inlaid real-wood trim on the five-shelf unit. It features front-round shelves and can accommodate at least 10 A/V components, Bell'O said.
Bush Industries said it builds its Fusion Collection upon a framework of contemporary functionality and style.
The Jamestown, N.Y., maker offers its AV33456 Entertainment Center in Country Manor Maple with Galaxy finish to accommodate most televisions up to 32 inches. It features a durable 1-inch-thick top shelf; tempered-glass doors to protect home theater/audio components; adjustable shelves; and concealed storage for videos, CDs and other accessories. Suggested retail is $149.99.
The Bush Innovations Collection TV/VCR stand, VS10938, offers a Galaxy WearGuard finish and can accommodate most televisions up to 36 inches. Suggested retail is $199.99.
Theater-Tech home theater furnishings from Yorba Linda, Calif.-based Diamond Case Designs are intended to organize large TVs, multiple components and high-capacity media storage. Theater-Tech offers adjustable high-capacity media drawers that can be moved to any location in the system-which can house as many as 18 components or 1,760 CDs, depending on the number and arrangement of shelves and drawers.
Professional performance features rounding out the system include an air-chimney ventilation system, wire access channels, a black interior, a large-screen TV bay capable of housing up to a 46-inch widescreen TV, and easy-adjust levelers.
Suggested retail for the MTT-300 entertainment center is $3,499. The MTT-200 audio cabinet has a suggested $1,299 retail.
The CEDIA show was where Taunton, Mass.-based ImageCrafters introduced its Quatro reclining home theater seating system in its IC Chair line.
The Quatro is said to be unique because its 10-position headrest can be set for the ideal height for any person. The angle of the back and leg supports works together, allowing users to elevate their feet without noticeably affecting the recline.
A choice of four armrest configurations is offered, plus an arm with a storage compartment.
The Quatro comes in colors and materials including more than 80 Nova Suedes (a synthetic material), eight leathers and a variety of fabrics. Suggested retail for a single recliner in leather or Nova Suede is $2,100.
The Brentwood home theater seating from Carrollton, Texas-based Leather Center features leather rolled arms and a dramatic concave design. Contrasting piping is available for the modular-designed product.
Chairs can be ordered as singles, loveseats or multiples, with such options as manual or power recliners and built-in cup holders. Customers can choose from 14 grades of 100 percent top-grain leather and a palette of more than 100 colors.
Suggested retail starts at $2,278 per individual seat, with a three-seater starting at three times that.
High Point, N.C., was the intro venue for new chairs from Ontario, Calif.-based Office Star Products. The EV5000, at a suggested $760, is a modern high-back executive chair finished in a durable vinyl. It offers a thick, padded seat and a contoured back for enhanced lumbar support. It is also available with a polished chrome base and light beechwood accents.
The high-back executive chair, 3000-3, features a see-through vinyl mesh back that can help keep a sitter cool as the work heats up. Available in black, brown/tan or blue/gray, the chair has a suggested retail of $650 and offers pneumatic seat control, plus locking tilt control.
Natural furniture from St. Paul, Minn.-based Sanus Systems is a blend of contemporary, open architecture design and traditional fine hardwoods. Four models in the grouping offer tempered glass shelves, with the rear of the top glass angled to allow these units to fit into corners.
Models include a three-shelf, 35-inch-wide A/V stand (NF203) for a suggested $469.99; a three-shelf, 43-inch-wide A/V stand (NF213) for $569.99; a four-shelf, 31-inch-high A/V stand (NF204) for $419.99; and a six-shelf, 55-inch-high audio stand (NF206) for a suggested $619.99. All products are available in black lacquer, maple and cherry.
Sauder Woodworking Co. is gearing up for the multitasking needs of Gen X and Y by expanding its flexible, futuristic Tic Toc Collection.
The Archbold, Ohio-based ready-to-assemble furniture company introduced a bedroom group at the High Point, N.C., furniture show that includes a selection of stand-alone storage and computer items that can be networked or connected together in a multitude of ways.
The Tic Toc Collection showcases a mixed palette of light and dark finishes, as well as metal, wood-grain finishes and translucent accents.
The hip, shapely design of the 840-205 Computer Work Center features a Cassava Maple finish and space for a computer, printer and storage. Suggested retail is $280, and the product is available.
Ultra Series Speaker Stands from Irvine, Calif.-based Studio Tech are said by the company to be the first products to combine the features, quality and performance of full-mass, high-fidelity speaker stands with a beautiful furniture design.
Ultra Series Speaker Stands come in American cherry, US-24 AC; Natural cherry, US-24 NC; and Rosewood, US-24 RW. These are available with silver or black metal elements in heights of 24 and 30 inches. Suggested retail is $249.
The stands go hand-in-hand with Studio Tech's U60-EC NC audio/video Ultra Entertainment Center. The system offers a metal screen door and side panels for ventilation; internal steel frame; adjustable shelf spacing; Smart Spikes shelf isolation system; and a management panel for organizing cabling and wires.
Optional features include media storage drawers, a video bridge to transform Ultra into an entertainment center, additional shelves, and rolling casters. Suggested retail for the entertainment center is $2,795.
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.