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CEA Hikes Distributed-Audio Activity

4/28/2003 03:18:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. - CEA created a distributed-audio subdivision whose mission will include research, cooperation with other trade groups in legislative lobbying, and possible nomenclature standardization.

The subdivision, part of the audio division, will also assist the Distributed Audio Alliance, a year-old alliance of top distributed-audio suppliers intended to promote awareness of their products to consumers and home builders.

Russound's Peter Hoagland, who was DAA chairman until May 1, heads the subdivision. Onkyo's Mark Weisenberg is the new DAA chairman.

The DAA and the subdivision will maintain largely separate roles, with the alliance concentrating on its promotion activities while the subdivision focuses on market-statistics research and maintaining 'a flow of information to manufacturers,' Weisenberg said. The subdivision could also develop standard terms for classifying different types of distributed-audio systems to reduce builder confusion, he said.

The subdivision, however, will assist the alliance in its mission of promoting the industry, said Kerry Moyer, CEA's senior director for industry programs.

The DAA was conceived as a two-year project, and when its mandate expires in another year, the new subdivision could potentially take over the promotion role, Weisenberg added. For now, however, the DAA is established, and the subdivision is still in the formative stages, so 'there's no reason to turn over the promotion role right now,' Moyer said.

Other subdivision missions, which are still being refined, would include cooperation with other trade groups and CEA's own Tech Home division to prevent state legislation to regulate and license low-voltage installers. The Tech Home division consists mainly of systems-integration companies.

Although the Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) promotes awareness of the custom industry as a whole, the alliance said at its founding that distributed audio needed a dedicated voice as the industry evolved from distributed audio to include everything that goes into a custom installation, including home networking, security, and video.

Currently, the CEA is the DAA's administrator.

DAA members include Bose, Elan, Niles, Russound, Sonance, and Speakercraft. Contributing members include A-BUS, structured-wiring company On Q, Home Director, Integra, and EH Publishing.