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Networking CE Systems To The Web Is Critical


What other categories should
CE retailers and installers begin carrying
this year?

David Kaplan, DDG:

This is a great
question. There are definitely trends
that will affect what we stock and how
we sell it. We now live in the era of
“killer apps” that allow consumers with
broadband unprecedented opportunities
for accessibility and interactivity
with their homes.

As stated earlier, we are seeing
trends in selling affordable retro-fit solutions
in new “sweet spots” such as
content delivery, security and energy

For example, rather than buying
into a security system with third-party
monitoring, consumers can purchase
a system that not only allows them
to monitor their home (or homes) but
control them as well. As a result, we’ve
got to become the experts and learn
how to combine the various platforms
and protocols that make the digital
home a possibility.

This is not just Wi-Fi, but Powerline
and MOCA and Z-Wave and Zigbee
(et al.). Of course, this also means we
have to identify the vendors and stock
the parts that allow us to make the
networked, accessible, secure, digitalcontent-
driven home and lifestyle a

Michael Flink, ADI North America:

Dealers need to continue to focus
on the up-sell, cross-sell and add-on solutions. Many products in the home
electronics market are becoming commoditized,
and it is important for the
installer to focus on the needs of their
customers and providing a complete

Dealers can and should diversify into
new markets to gain growth opportunities.
For example, a dealer that is already
installing A/V can easily offer their
customers security, home solutions,
networking, etc. They are already in the
home, making this a warm lead for new

High-performance audio is an area installers
can focus on and up-sell to higher-
end, more expensive speakers. Highperformance
audio is exciting again and
dealers should embrace the trend, as
it will differentiate themselves from the
large retailers, and will put more dollars
in their pockets.

Installers need to remain focused on
marketing their technology, offering the
total solution and getting back to the
roots of providing product demonstrations.
Users are more technical savvy,
and they want to see the “cool factor” associated with the product.

Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:

The bigger picture for all retailers
is making sure they are prepared for
the mobile-enabled consumer. They
will be looking for storage and carrying
devices to put all their new cool
toys into. The commuter backpack
will evolve again — being lighter and
more stylish — which opens up more
opportunity to pursue female consumers.

Security products that tie into
smartphones and health care webenabled
products will be even more
important. Even bigger than that will
be products that enable consumers’
mobile devices to interact with accessories
such as Bluetooth storage
sharing that allows a family on a long
plane trip the ability to each watch
their own movies from one storage
device. Lastly, retailers should continue
to have software and software
solutions in stock.

Jeff Kussard, Capitol:

Similar to
2010, No New (Long) Wires continues
to gain traction, thanks in no
small part to product announcements
from Google and Apple that make
the concept of moving media without
adding additional wires much more
appealing to mainstream consumers.
This growing trend is carving a path
for consumer- and installer-centric
products that offer no new (long) wire
media distribution, IP networking and
home energy-management options.

Tom Roper, SED International:

Retailers and installers should sell
any devices that will connect Internet
to the electronic sources in the
house: routers, link sticks, set-top
boxes, etc. Dealers should invest in
tablet PCs that have apps for remote
controls and Wi-Fi.

Dennis Holzer, Powerhouse Alliance:

CE retailers should be stocking
tablets and all products that utilize
Wi-Fi and wireless capabilities. Displaying
and demonstrating the wireless
connectivity capabilities of audio
receivers, related products and higherend
TVs that have IP capabilities will
significantly increase sales and should
be stocked.

Additional categories such as security
products, cameras and DVRs
will also significantly increase sales
because of their connectivity. Lastly,
these product additions will also “help”
offset some of the lower profitability issues
that we have all been faced with.

Warren Chaiken, Almo:

As the
delivery of content around the home
becomes network-based, CE retailers
and installers need to offer networkable
home entertainment products as well
as network infrastructure products. It
is also critical that retailers educate or
add sales associates that can put together
connected solutions for the customer’s