By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Saratoga, Calif. — Roku formally introduced Wednesday the next generation of its popular Streaming Stick that will work with regular HDMI inputs but will not require MHL support, opening the field of use to virtually all HDMI-equipped TVs.
The new Streaming Stick (HDMI version) will carry a $49.99 suggested retail in the U.S. ($59.99 in Canada) and will ship to retailers and consumers in April.
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.
Orange, Conn. — Krell Industries plans shipments next week of a pair of high-end stereo preamplifiers designed to match the performance levels of select high-power Class A amplifiers shipped last week with iBias technology.
Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack’s board has approved retention bonuses for its executive officers.
The stay incentives range from $187,500 for store concepts senior VP Michael DeFazio to $500,000 for CEO Joe Magnacca, should they remain with the company for another year.
The board said it authorized the bonuses “after giving due consideration of the skills and talent deemed critical to the company’s business turnaround efforts currently underway, the difficult business environment and the competition for skilled, talented employees.”
Fountain Valley, Calif. — Kingston Digital has launched a combination USB/MicroUSB flash drive to expand the memory of MicroUSB-capable Android tablets and smartphones.
The DataTraveler MicroDuo uses the device's MicroUSB charging port to expand storage up to 64GB. It has a small form factor (2.8 centimeters by 1.6 centimeters by 0.8 centimeters), a built-in key loop and a rotating cap.
The Privacy Phone uses FreedomPop’s VoIP network to provide encrypted voice calls and text messages to any mobile phone or landline.
Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack’s management said the company’s disappointing fourth-quarter results were impacted by a series of unique circumstances that masked its turnaround progress.
On an earnings call, CEO Joe Magnacca ticked off a litany of holiday-season setbacks as well as strategic initiatives designed to return the chain to profitability.
Framingham, Mass. — Wireless-speaker maker Libratone is adopting a new brand identity to emphasize its Scandinavian-rooted design and audio expertise.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company created the new “360 Scandinavian” tagline and will roll out the new branding initially on its website and social-media channels. The branding will roll out shortly after on packaging, point-of-sale materials and ads.
San Antonio — ProSource, the specialty A/V and custom integration division of the BrandSource buying group, will hold its Spring Meeting May 13-15 at the La Cantera Hill Country Resort and Spa here.
Founded in 2011, the $3.1 billion ProSource is comprised of the Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group) and Home Entertainment Source (HES), and represents more than 500 retailers with 950 storefronts.
Basking Ridge, N.J. — Verizon Wireless will again expand its selection of LTE-equipped tablets with the March 6 availability of an LTE-equipped version of LG’s G Pad 8.3 tablet.
Verizon has the lifetime exclusive on the tablet, which will be available in direct and indirect channels on March 6, a Verizon spokesperson told TWICE.
From March 6-10, the tablet will retail for $99 with a new, two-year activation, After that, the price goes to $199. Consumers can add the tablet to a More Everything plan for $10 per month.
Buena Park, Calif. — Yamaha added new capabilities to its opening-price 5.1-channel A/V receiver, including a Virtual Cinema Front feature said to deliver surround sound when all five speakers are placed up front.
The feature, likely to be incorporated in step-up models in 2014, appears in the $299-suggested RX-V377, which is shipping.
The feature is promoted as an option for rooms in which a traditional 5.1-speaker setup is not practical. A spokesman also noted that many consumers already place all of the speakers in their 5.1-speaker home theaters up front.