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HTSA Hosts Vendor Awards Party

LAS VEGAS — Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) hosted a reception Sunday night at the Treasure Island resort, here at International CES. The event, sponsored by Custom Retailer, Dealerscope and HTSA Quarterly, served as an opportunity to present a series of awards to its vendors.

The awards, which have been given out annually since 2002, were presented by Richard Glikes, the organization’s executive director.

The winners were:

Vendor of the Year: Monster Cable;

Most Profitable Vendor: Integra;

Most Supportive Vendor: LG;

Product of the Year: Sharp LC52D92;

Custom Product of the Year: Kaleidescape Media Server; and

Man of the Year: Mikio Katayama, audio/visual systems and large LCD business corporate senior executive director, Sharp

In addition to presenting the awards, Glikes gave his forecast for the upcoming year. He said that he expected to organization to “reinvent” itself. In fact, he said the organization’s theme for 2007 is “the engine is reinvention.” He alluded to an evolution in focus, saying that the flat-panel TV business has “commoditized” and that the group’s members will have to augment its collective focus toward up-and-coming trends and technologies as they come along. “We’re going to morph … change our model one more time,” said Glikes.

Glikes told TWICE that he saw potential in home networking, audio and lighting technologies. He predicted that the organization’s might adjust their focus from a “TV-centric model to a PC-centric model,” explaining that he thinks there is a future in providing solutions that offer more than a video-centric experience.

When asked about the group’s performance, Glikes told TWICE that a poll of HTSA members showed that they had a “very good November” with both high volume and margins, followed by a “challenging” December. Glikes said that volume remained high but that the “profits were not as satisfying.” He said that in December “there was never the intensity that there was on Black Friday.”

Overall, Glikes said that nearly all of the members had seen a rise in profits this year. He said most members were up between 5 percent and 15 percent and that some were up as much as 35 percent.

Despite the recent signs of growth, Glikes was sure to reiterate his point that the organization would need to change in order to keep growing. “I think we’re in a new era,” he said. “We need to be different than we are now.”