By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Electrograph Systems, the national distributor of display technology products, attended CEDIA Expo, here, earlier this month displaying a wide variety of brands and models.
Sam Taylor, president, said that while the company showed flat-panel TVs and projection units from such brands as Philips, RevolutionHD, Sanyo, Sharp and others, Electrograph also has in its line and displayed at the show the Philips Streamium NP1100 network music player.
“We are at the forefront of residential systems technology with products and services to address trends like 3-D gaming, wireless streaming music and energy-efficient home automation,” Taylor said.
The company entered the consumer business nine years ago via the commercial market where it provides digital signage among other products. 'Today 40 percent of our business is in the custom installation market,” Taylor said.
But Electrograph, with 11 regional offices, nine distribution centers and more than 5,000 reseller partners and integrators, is more than a national distributor for the custom installation channel with an expanded lineup.
The distributor provides product training and education during its Display Technology Experience (DTE) series that is held four or five times a year, Taylor said. The next complimentary program will be held in Washington D.C. on Oct. 21.
CEDIA integrators can also register to attend one of Electrograph's monthly ISF training seminars that have stops in Boston, New York and Los Angeles later this year.
With the amount of customers it has, Electrograph's Taylor has a pretty good handle as to how business is going in the channel so far this year and what is expected for the fourth quarter.
“Across the board, business is slower this year,” Taylor said, “yet some resellers are doing well. We see regional trends going that way.”
What Taylor has seen with those customers that have done well this year is that “they are doing business with the same [consumers], doing a lot of upgrades and expansions of systems and a lot of retrofits.”
About the possible positive effect of the February 2009 move to DTV nationwide, Taylor said, “So far for custom installers, business has not changed much. Those consumers that are in the high end already have HD. There is more effect on the [manufacturing] brands and the mass market.”
As for the fourth quarter, Taylor foresees “some spot shortages on certain 50-inch and over displays” and he still expects “strong HDTV sales for the holidays and right through to the Super Bowl.”
Speaking of the fourth quarter, the only comment Taylor would make about pricing on Black Friday is: “We know what the retail specials should be” and “installers will be affected by it.”
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.