Audio News for July 29, 2006

by | Jul 29, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Shoppers Research Tech Purchases Online, Then Buy Offline – A recent survey of nearly 3000 readers of the online publication Home Electronics Journal (HEJ) showed that 90.2% of them researched their possible purchases of home electronics on the Internet, even when they were planning to buy the items offlines. Visits to product’s websites (51.6%) outpaced conducting research in-store (50.8%). For the affluent set, popular research resources were product websites (69.7%) and search engines (62.0%).   However, most of the respondents will make their purchases at retail stores, with Best Buy followed by Circuit City as the stores of choice. Among the top products on the summer shopping lists of consumer electronics enthusiasts are TVs, digital cameras, cell phones and laptops.

Hi-Def Flat-Panel TV Has Gone Mainstream
– That was the statement of a Best Buy spokesman speaking about the new entertainment section – The Magnolia Home Theater – being installed in about 100 of their 753 U.S. stores.  Many CompUSA stores are also receiving in-store makeovers to capture the eyes and credit cards of shoppers. One analyst said “We are seeing the democratization of the home theater. Flat panels are no longer just for the privileged few…Now people are snapping up these things like crazy.”  Falling prices and consumer buzz have helped. Flat-panels with screens from 37 to 42 inches now cost about $2000; prices are declining as much as 25% annually. About half of the shoppers in a recent Consumer Electronics Association report said their next TV purchase would be a flat panel. Their sales now make up 36% of the market and could grow to 63% in three years, the CEA found.

Wireless Technology to Enter More Homes – According to a Parks Associates research report titled “Networks in the Home: Connected Consumer Electronics,” by the year 2010 there will be 30 million American households with connected entertainment networks. The report defines this as a computer connected to at least one consumer electronic device, or two or more consumer electronic devices connected together within a home. Of course a whole-house system would also be an example of such a network. A Parks Associates analyst said “Broadband proliferation is a fundamental driver of connected entertainment opportunities inside the home…better network configuration tools and easy-to-navigate user interfaces will assuage consumers’ concerns about setup difficulties or application glitches.” The report predicted that consumer electronics manufacturers and video service providers will fine themselves working together more closely to take advantage of the opportunities of this new market. Their goal is to build elegance and usability into the design of products and to bring popular digital content to the fingertips of users anywhere in the home.

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