Audio News for November 28, 2012
Published on November 28, 2012
Whole-Home Audio Cheap and Easy – Pioneer and other manufacturers now have inexpensive speaker systems that deliver most of the features of high end systems such as Sonos, and you don’t require any additional gear to make it all work. For example, Pioneer has two speakers, the A1 ($399) and the A4 ($499). They work with Apple or android, include Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA, HTC Connect and USB. They can even operate independent of a home wi-fi network. All you do is plug them into the AC, pair it up with your iDevice—whatever it is—and the music is playing. The A4 has five drivers, including a 100mm woofer. Different applications allow for different programming, difference volume levels in different rooms, and connection to subscription services like Rdio and Spotify and Internet radio. About the only downside with the Pioneers is that they’re mono, not stereo.
Meridian Opens U.S. Store This Week – Ultra-premium UK AV maker Meridian Audio has opened its first U.S. retail store in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They already have 13 others around the world. Meridian is credited with the first audiophile CD player, the first consumer digital surround controller, and the MLP lossless codec used in Blu-rays. The new U.S. showroom will feature Meridian’s distributed media systems, DSP digital-active loudspeakers and its Reference Series of music and video players. The design of the showroom itself presents the premium line within a luxury setting.
Dish Systems Fights FCC Proposal to Repurpose Portion of Their Spectrum – The Federal Communications Commission wants to repurpose Dish’s 2GHz satellite spectrum for a Sprint terrestrial voice and broadband network, including restrictions that could put Dish in jeopardy. It includes requirements to lower their power and emission levels to not interfere with a nearby portion of the spectrum which Sprint wants to purchase. (The FCC also wants to sell off some of the spectrum used by commercial and public telecasters in order to auction it to wireless companies.)
Black Friday One for the Records – In general, it was a gangbuster weekend for merchants—the biggest shopping weekend on record. Total sales, according the National Retail Federation, topped $59 billion. According to PriceGrabber, the most popular Black Friday products were an EOS Rebel SLR camera, the Inspiron computer, and both the Galaxy 16GB tablet and the Laltitude 32GB tablet. But the Thursday evening store openings by many of the big box stores may have eaten into earnings; in other works, not enough sales occurred to cover the expense of the openings.
Poor Consumer Electronic Market for 2012 – An analyst for consumer platforms forecasts only a 1.4% increase in sales for this year, with most of the growth limited to a few product categories: namely LCD TVs, digital set-top boxes and consumer appliances. Categories not showing growth are plasma and rear-projection TVs, video game consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players, portable media and MP3 players, and home audio systems.