By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Los Angeles — AVAD and Niles Audio awarded a 2013 Chevy Camaro Coupe 1SS to electronics integrator Curtis Shelton of Galaxy Security & Sound as part of a Niles promotion.
All active AVAD customers were eligible to participate in the contest, which ran from Oct. 1 through Dec. 28, 2012. Dealers were entered into the contest each time they purchased Niles Audio's series of custom-installation audio systems, components and accessories.
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.
New York — Panasonic filled in the remaining details of its 2013 home audio lineup by announcing prices on a trio of wireless NE-series tabletop speakers, unveiling a new high-power “mini” system with DJ-size speakers, and pricing a Bluetooth speaker with tablet stand.
The company also said it is adding a fifth soundbar to its 2013 lineup to test a feature/price ratio, and it outlined a strategy of offering select HTiBs and tabletop audio products on an exclusive basis to select retailers because those categories are struggling in the U.S.
Columbia, Md. — Honda and Dodge have become the latest car brands to offer HD Radio, bringing the digital radio technology to 33 vehicle brands in 170 car models, HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital announced.
A total of 80 car models offer HD Radio as standard equipment. More than 3.4 million HD Radio-equipped cars were sold in 2012, and 20 percent of all new cars sold in 2012 included HD Radio, iBiquity added.
Orlando Fla. — 3vNet CEO Mike Anderson formed a new custom-electronics company, Automated Control Technology Partners (ACTP), to manage new building-automation brands and 3vNet.
Richmond, British Columbia — Sound Developments has entered the U.S. market as a custom-installation distributor.
In a statement, the distributor said it is positioning itself as “North America’s premier specialty A/V distributor,” providing “a combination of passion, focus, personal attention, quick delivery and profitable brands.”
Vista, Calif. — DEI Holdings announced it has formed a new division for its Polk Audio, Definitive Technology and Boom brands, known as Sound United.
It also announced a number of management changes to accompany the shift.
DEI said in a statement that the brands “will remain separate and distinct from one another to fill their unique roles in the market.”
Directed, DEI's remote-start brand, will remain a stand-alone division and will not be affected. A DEI spokesman told TWICE the move brings all three audio brands under one umbrella.
Mahwah, N.J. — Marantz is bringing the opening price of networked A/V receivers (AVRs) down to a suggested $499 with the launch of two slim-line AVRs.
The two models are the 5x70-watt NR1504 at a suggested $499 and the 7x70-watt NR1604 at a suggested $649.
Networking and AirPlay previously started at a suggested $649 in Marantz AVRs.
Port Washington, N.Y. — Internet radio listening is gaining among people ages 13 to 35, and AM/FM listening is declining, The NPD Group found in a consumer survey.
But the two music-delivery technologies are still neck-and-neck in the amount of time that the age group spends listening to music.
NPD also reported a decline in the amount of time that consumers listen to CDs and digital music files.
Santa Clara, Calif. — CyberLink launched Tuesday the next iteration of its popular PC-based optical disc and video playback software — PowerDVD 13 — offering such upgrades as lossless HD Audio (APE/FLAC) and AVCHD 2.0 1080p/3D support.
CyberLink, which said its PowerDVD software now numbers shipments of more than 100 million players annually, has improved the program with new levels of mobility support for most popular tablets and smartphones.
Tokyo – Gibson Guitars, which last year bought a 51 percent stake in Onkyo USA, is buying a majority stake in Japan’s Teac to share technology and marketing ideas and reduce expenses, the companies announced.
Gibson is buying 157.4 million shares at 31 yen per share, or $51.8 million based on a conversion rate of 94.1 yen to the U.S. dollar.
The transaction, representing Gibson’s largest investment to date in another company, was unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors.