CES Study Shows More Spending on Tech items for Holiday Season – According to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association, overall holiday spending will increase 11% this year and spending on consumer electronics gifts will also likely increase. On average consumers plan to spend $1634 overall this holiday, including $252 on consumer electronics. Mobile connected devices are the most wanted gifts this season. When asked specifically about home electronics, televisions and DVD/Blu-ray players made the list. In accessories, headphones and earbuds were highly listed.
Industry Readies for Next Era of TV – CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders voted to endorse the term “Ultra High-Definition” for the next generation of 4K display technology, which offers four times the resolution of HD today—more than eight million pixels of resolution. (Some movie theaters already use 4K video projection.) The idea is to help consumers and retailers understand the attributes of 4K television, which is scheduled to be rolled out this fall. CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said, “Ultra HD is the next natural step forward in display technologies, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality.” Minimum performance attributes will be displays with at least eight million active pixels, an aspect ratio of at least 16:9, and at least one digital input capable of carrying native 4K format video at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying on upconversion. The January 2013 CES in Las Vegas will prominently display 4K Ultra HD technology.
Hisense TV Line Now in U.S. – One of the largest TV makers in China has introduced a diverse line of models in the U.S., including smart TVs using several different software platforms, and 3D-capable models designed for either shutter or passive-type 3D glasses. Next it will present a line of 4K by 2K TVs, and Hisense also offers GoogleTV capability thru a puck-like outboard set-top device called the Pulse, which retails for under $99. Their current flagship is a 65-inch 1080p edge-lit LED LCD TV with a 240Hz refresh rate and ultra-thin bezel design, which will shortly be available on Amazon.
Altec Lansing Bought by Infinity Group – Infinity Lifestyle Brands specializes in acquiring and turning around struggling or bankrupt consumer brands (and has done so with Polaroid, Sharper Image, and Linens ‘n Things). Infinity will develop a business plan and strategy for Altec Lansing, and then license the brand to various companies who will adhere to Infinity’s marketing and positioning guidelines. Infinity will also test product quality before products hit the market. The Altec brand will first reappear in home audio, but plans are to also expand to other as-yet-unnamed CE categories. The first products will be tabletop docking speakers, headphones and computer speakers. The company will also target the professional, high-end home audio, and car audio markets in which Altec once played. The first licensees will likely to show products at January’s CES.
AUDIO NEWS FOR WEEK OF SEPT. 4TH – BY JOHN SUNIER
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