CasaTunes Addition to Automated Home Controls – CasaTunes, a leader in streaming multi-room music, now supports RTI home control environments where CasaTunes can supply music thruout the home. RTI specializes in control products for automation of audio, video, and environmental management. A new version of CasaTunes software allows their streamer products to control and supply music of RTI’s audio distribution products, even when not used with RTI controllers. Customers can play music from iOS devices thru CasaTunes to any rooms, whether wired or using AirPlay speakers and CasaTunes Air. Even if some rooms are wire and others wireless it will always work, and the music will always be in sync. It is also played in full CD quality. CasaTunes can also play the homeowner’s own iTunes or Windows Media music, as well as netcasters and services such as SiriusXM, Spotify and Pandora.
Kaleidescape Joins One-Blue Licensing Program – Kaleidescape, an innovator in home video server systems, which has been fighting lawsuits from content rights holders for ten years, has joined the One-Blue Blu-ray Disc product licensing program. In June Kaleidescape reached a settlement with the DVD Copy Control Association over consumers’ right to digitally import DVDs into Kaleidescape servers without the need to insert the physical disc. Kaleidescape in return had to agree to prevent their systems from being able to import protected video discs after Nov. 14, 2014. They can now move forward on their on-line secure delivery of digital movies and TV programs. Their download service offers true Blu-ray quality plus a database of movie metadata. Its main limitation has been the lack of a complete selection of movies, but hopefully the licensing program will lead to more agreements with more studios. The company promises its online store movie selection will be significantly expanded by Nov. 30.
Multibillion-Dollar Plague of Consumer Remorse Returns – The electronics industry has been hard hit by a tsunami of returns which cost manufacturers and retailers over $16 billion in 2011 alone. Financial drains from returned merchandise include the costs to received, test and assess, report, repair, accessorize, re-box, restock and resell discounted returned merchandise. Roughly two-thirds of the products returned were ultimately classified as not defective, and buyer’s remorse took the no-defect-found returns up to nearly 95%. Only about 5% of the returned products were actually defective. A survey showed that nine out of ten returned products are returned as a result of bad consumer experience and/or a product that failed to live up to expectations. An industry expert said three critical intersection points can make an impact on this problem: at the Point-of-Sale, Point-of-Use and Point-of-Crisis. The last is when the customer is beginning to lean toward return of an item. Proper company intervention at this point can positively impact the consumer’s decision to keep the item. (One of the world’s largest retailers refuses to let personnel use the word “problem.”)