Audio News for December 24, 2013

by | Dec 24, 2013 | Audio News

Holiday Electronics Sales Up 27% – One of the biggest growth categories for this season has been consumer electronics, according to consumer surveys by America’s Research Group and Inmar. Walmart was the No. 1 retailer for TVs, and Best Buy had a 59% decline in their seasonal TV market share. Target only saw a 3.4% dip in customer retention in spite of their massive credit card security breach. More than 22%of consumers had not yet finished their holiday shopping by this past weekend, and 22% also said they were awaiting discounts of 60% to 70% in the last three days before Christmas to make their final holiday purchases.

LG Audio to Expand Multi-room Wireless and Sound Plates – South Korean manufacturer LG will show at the January International CES Wi-Fi networks which in some models will stream music to multiple wireless speakers via Apple and Android mobile devices. The system will also access streaming services.  Mesh-network technology is used to extend the range and improve quality of service. Two new soundbars and three new Blu-ray players will also be demonstrated. LG is calling their under-TV speaker bases Sound Plates, and at CES will show a new 4.1 channel model with separate wireless subwoofer, Blu-ray player, LG Smart TV functionality, Wi-Fi, and HDMI.

The Threat of TV Tipovers –  55-inch and larger TV displays are increasingly popular, and the price points for UHD TVs have started to decline toward mainstream. One survey claims by 2018 10% of U.S. homes will have UHD TVs. Focusing on bigger screens is becoming the standard, but at around 150 pounds, a tipover of the screen could be disastrous, especially with a child or pet underneath. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number of children injured by a TV tipover has increased 125% each year since 1990, with more than 17,000 children treated in ER rooms for TV-related injuries. And once each three weeks, a child is killed by a TV tipover.  TV displays are top-heavy with a narrow base and small kids are curious. And small sets are not necessarily safer. The same pediatrics report stated that more than 60% of the injuries were caused by TVs 27 inches or smaller. So worry about the smaller TV on the bedroom dresser. The safest way to secure a TV is by mounting it to the wall. A Furniture Mount System can greatly reduce danger in the home by attaching TVs to the back of furniture. This not only stabilizes the flat-panel display but can give any seat in the room a better view. At the very least a special anti-tip strap is available for around $20, which is the minimum way to increase safety in your home. It your TV is a legacy CRT monitor, it is recommended that you recycle it.

Google Chromecast Dongle a Major Irritant for TV Stations and Manufacturers – The $35 Google Chromecast device, which exhausted its first U.S. sales, allows users to instantly buy movies, books, and games from the Google Play Store and to access tens of thousands of apps. It may hurt Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic and other TV brand’s sales of their own Smart TV sets. It has a built-in payment gateway and delivers Google video content to the TV.  Google’s hope is make Chromecast an international streaming standard. It could also hurt attempts by on-air TV stations to muscle into the Internet TV business.

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