CE Commerce a Holiday Weekend Winner – Although total traffic for the Thanksgiving/Black Friday period was down this year over last, consumer electronics again proved a favorite, with many consumers using their mobile devices to shop. 45% of all shoppers bought or planned to buy tech products over the weekend, more than in any of the last three years. Only apparel was more popular. TVs were the most sought-after items, cited by 37% of the shoppers and portable wireless speakers were at 23%. Those who did shop spent nearly 5% more this year than last. The National Retail Federation cited CE as the second most popular weekend purchase after apparel, appearing in 34.2% of shopping baskets. Mobile traffic accounted for fully 42.5% of all online traffic on Black Friday, which was up 21% over last year. Best Buy was forced to shut down for several hours due to a concentrated spike of users issue.
Wireless and Installed Speakers Combined in New Multiroom System – Roswell Global’s Zenobia Electronics startup is making its AirHome system available to consumers, system integrators, renovators and home builders. It consists of the $699 AirHome 5 wired hub, to be installed on the wall of a utility room. Wired speakers in the walls or ceilings of up to five rooms are powered by up to five AMP40 stereo amps ($350 ea.) which fit into front-panel slots. They incorporate Wi-Fi and AirPlay and are rated at 2×20 watts and measure about 2 by 2.5 by 4.6” in size. If a room is equipped with Apple TV, the AMP 5.1 five-channel amp delivers surround sound. The AirPlay feature of Apple mobile devices or an iTunes-equipped computer sends music to the AirHome 5 hub. Up to five different Apple mobile devices can be connected wirelessly to the hub. Sound is said to be superior to most wireless multiroom-audio systems using powered tabletop speakers, but at a lower price.
New Denon Flagship AV Receiver With Everything – The new AVR-X7200W, now shipping, adds Dolby Atmos surround sound plus an online upgrade capability to add Auro-3D surround, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0 ports and an upcoming hardware upgrade which will add HDCP 2.2 copy protection. It also offers more streaming services and upgraded build quality and parts. The 9×150-watt receiver will drive 11-channel Atmos configurations with an add-on two-channel amp. It has 13.2-channel pre-outs, DTS Neo:X and Odyssey DSX 11.1-channel post-processing, and Audyssey’s top-end MultiEQ XT 32 room calibration. It has eight HDMI inputs, three outputs, and support for such streaming formats as DSD and AIFF. It comes with a RS232 remote, phono input, ISF video calibration and USB port to connect storage devices and Apple mobile devices. The receiver retails for $2,999.