By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Chula Vista, Calif. – The sale of Soundcast Systems to industry veteran Jeremy Burkhardt has fallen through, but Soundcast’s current owners plan to inject “substantial new capital” into the company.
President Mike Weaver announced that he plans to add sales and marketing staff and to improve customer service.
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.
Invenshare.com founder Josh Willits says that in a perfect world a custom integrator runs his business with a 100-percent just-in-time inventory system, ordering only what customers have purchased and only when he needs it. Reality, however, tells a different story.
Cambridge, U.K. – More CE products are coming equipped with CSR’s AptX audio codec for Bluetooth.
The latest products include the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and Scandyna’s active SmallPod and MiniPod Bluetooth speakers.
UPDATED! New York – Samsung divulged more details about its 2013 audio lineup, announcing that it is scaling back its HTiB selection, expanding its soundbar selection, and launching its first two floor-standing, high-output Giga Sound systems targeted to youth and amateur DJs.
The lineup also includes the brand’s first portable Bluetooth speaker, which will join a 2012 lineup of tabletop digital media speakers that is being carried over. The company announced no plans for new A/V receivers, having shipped its last AVR in 2012.
Armonk, N.Y. — Autonomic, the supplier of multi-room media servers, launched its first multi-room amplifiers/matrix-audio switchers and first in-wall keypad controllers to target consumers seeking basic multi-room-audio installs.
With the products, consumers need only add speakers to create a multi-room-audio system built around Autonomic’s Mirage Media Server, which streams music from the iTunes and Windows Media music players on PCS and from Last.fm, Pandora, Rhapsody, TuneIn Radio, SiriusXM Internet Radio and Spotify.
Barcelona, Spain — Samsung came to the Mobile World Congress to introduce its HomeSync home media hub.
The device is a 1TB Android-based drive that connects to a TV to display stored content and stream content via Wi-Fi to multiple Galaxy mobile devices in the home.
The device, available in select countries beginning in April, also lets users download content and apps from the Google Play store and stream content, including 1080p video, from multiple Galaxy mobile devices. The device also stores photos and pictures.
Chula Vista, Calif. — Jeremy Burkhardt, former SpeakerCraft CEO, announced he has purchased Soundcast Systems.
Jeff Francisco, Burkhardt’s longtime business partner, will be chief technology officer of the company, which manufactures wireless audio systems. The current management, sales and operations teams will remain at the Chula Vista, Calif., headquarters, according to a statement put out by Burkhardt. A spokeswoman told TWICE that Sondcast will “hire more people moving forward with the added resources, capital to grow the company.”
San Diego – BassNation Audio, a startup audio supplier led by audio-industry veteran Steffen Meeks, has begun hiring sales reps to market its first product, the BlackBox.
The $299 BlackBox is a pro-style single-cabinet stereo speaker system that connects to audio sources, including car stereo systems, via headphone jack or RCA connection. It runs on AC but comes with 12-volt power adapter for use with a car stereo system.
Long Beach, Calif. - The consolidation of Pioneer’s home A/V business unit in Japan with two other business units will turn the unit into a leaner wholly-owned subsidiary.
Russ Johnston, executive VP of home entertainment and corporate communications at Pioneer Electronics USA, said the move will speed up product planning, time to market, and a return to home A/V profitability.
Mahwah, N.J. – Marantz has begun shipping its second network player/DAC, the $3,499-suggested Reference-series NA-11S1.
It joins the current $799-suggested NA7004.