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Audiovox Adds To FLO Line; Bows e-Readers

Audiovox is expanding its selection of car and portable FLO TV products and entering such new categories as e-readers and cellular/GPS-equipped personal tracking devices.

Here at International CES, the company also introduced its first products that turn BlackBerrys, iPhones and iPod Touches into Bluetooth remotes to control home-entertainment systems, and showed its first product to turn a BlackBerry into a Bluetooth garage-door remote. All fall under the Zentral Home Command name.

Audiovox is also expanding its selection of outdoor 900MHz wireless speaker-lights with a new Main Street series of more traditionally designed products, complementing Mission-style models;

The company is launching an iPhone/iPod dock that connects to existing audio systems and can be controlled via a Bluetooth-equipped BlackBerry.

And Audiovox is introducing digital picture frames designed for special occasions, such as weddings and graduations, to make picture-frame sales less seasonal.

In FLO TV announcements, Audiovox plans within 30 days of CES to ship an Audiovox-brand retail version of its Advent-brand, expediter-channel FLO TV system, which has been available for two months and connects to any existing in-vehicle DVD-monitor system. The retail version will retail for $599, including six months of subscription-TV service. After that, a one-year subscription will cost $199 beginning in March following a current introductory price of $119 per year.

Audiovox has also been delivering the FLO Personal TV handheld TV for about two months.

The next FLO TV products will include FLO-ready in-vehicle devices, such as a head unit and DVD-monitor system, and a clamshell-style portable DVD player with embedded FLO TV. The DFLO1 portable DVD player is targeted to retail for a suggested $199 and will ship by May.

The FLO-ready in-vehicle products incorporate software that enables them to control an outboard FLO TV module, which connects via a single cable and is targeted to retail for anywhere from $499 to $599. The Flo-ready products include a Jensen-brand single-DIN multimedia head unit with 7-inch screen. The VM9214F ships in about 90 days at a price that hasn’t been set.

In about four months, Audiovox will ship two more FLO-ready products. One is the industry’s first FLO-ready overhead LCD monitor with DVD player. The 10.2-inch monitor is expected to retail for about $899. At about the same time, Audiovox will ship the industry’s first FLO-ready dual-headrest LCD monitor/DVD system with dual 7-inch displays at about $1,100.

Later in the year, Audiovox will ship a FLO-ready overhead LCD monitor without DVD. Pricing hasn’t been set.

In e-readers, the company is targeting late spring to ship the RCA-branded Lexi at a targeted suggested $229. Barnes & Noble will be the exclusive provider of content in the E-Pub format. Barnes & Noble will sell the Lexi on its Web site, and Audiovox will sell it through its existing channels. It lacks cellular or Wi-Fi, but a Wi-Fi version is planned in about six months.