By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
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.
Multiple elements are coming together that could accelerate brick-and-mortar sales of digital audio receivers in 2003, suppliers say.
The component-audio-style devices let consumers remotely access MP3 files stored on their PC's hard drive and play them through a home stereo system situated in another room. The devices also play Internet radio stations accessed via the PC's modem.
Component audio suppliers will launch A/V receivers that connect to satellite radio tuners, control MP3 portables and iPods, link up with HDTVs via digital HDMI outputs, connect to PCs via USB ports and integrate more easily with custom-installed distributed audio systems and home control systems.
Here's a sampling of what dealers will find:
Harman Kardon will offers its first A/V receivers (AVRs) with HDMI 1.3a connections, internal decoding of all Blu-ray surround-sound formats, 1080p upscaling, and a new graphical onscreen menu system when it ships three new models in late spring.
The brand also plans May shipments of two new stereo receivers, one of which will be its first stereo receiver with Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone to simulate 5.1 surround sound through two speakers and through headphones.
Onkyo is aggressively targeting the DVD market with the launch of an expanded five-SKU selection that includes one of the industry's few DVD megachangers, a 301-disc model that began shipping at the end of April at a $999 MAP.
The five Onkyo-branded DVDs also include a DVD-Audio/Video player that will supplement a planned DVD-A/V model due as part of the company's new top-end Integra Research brand.
Pioneer unveiled a second wave of 1999 A/V products highlighted by the first Dolby Digital/DTS receivers in its Elite series, the company's second Elite CD-recorder, and a new entry-level Pioneer-series CD-recorder.
The company also introduced the first HDTV-ready rear projector in its Pioneer series (see page 58).
Also in the Pioneer series, the company unveiled the first U.S.-designed, U.S.-made speakers, which complement U.S.-pedigree Elite-series models.
JVC's first component DVD-receiver, wall-mountable audio systems, and microsystem with CD-recorder will join an expanded selection of DVD-equipped HTiB systems in the 2002 model year.
One of the DVD-equipped HTiBs is the company's first with DVD-Audio, and one of the two single-disc DVD-receivers also features DVD-Audio.