Audio News for October 26, 2010

by | Oct 26, 2010 | Audio News | 0 comments

Changes in Home Entertainment Electronics – Nielsen’s second quarter Home Technology Report for 2010 identifies trends based on two-year self-reported survey data. Among the current trends were: Upgraded TVs, with screen sizes larger than 41 inches and higher resolution. HDTVs have increased 26.9% and flat screen LCDs are up 48.2%. Internet access for the home rose 2.5% and broadband access rose 3.8% between the first and second quarters. 85% of Americans now have Internet access at home or work. Home wireless networks increased 8.2% and 24% across eight quarters. 40% of U.S. homes now own a DVR and since the previous quarter DVR adoption increased 14.5%. 46% of U.S. homes now have at least one MP3 player, and in 63% of those it’s an Apple iPod.

The Nielsen report also showed some downturns: Satellite radio grew only 5% in the last eight quarters. VCRs are disappearing from homes, though 70% still have them. Although 87.9% of homes have a DVD player, sales of players are down .6% from last quarter. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) ownership has declined 25.5% since Q3 of 2008 and will decline further due to the popularity of smartphones.

Northwest Effort Toward Energy Efficiency in Electronics – Beginning this month in the Pacific Northwest, a new retail mantra – “Energy Forward” – will be a promotion of home electronics that are at least 30% more energy-efficient than the basic ENERGY STAR specs. Retailers including Sears, Costco, Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sam’s Club along with many independent retailers will be participating. TV use alone in the Northwest accounts for nearly 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year and that use is growing exponentially. The International Energy Agency estimates that consumer electronics represent 15% of worldwide home power demand – with TV use a major portion of that. And without major changes it is expected to triple by 2030. The new program has the retailers and Northwest utility companies working with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), whose senior manager of the residential sector said, “If all consumers in the Pacific Northwest purchased these Energy Forward TVs over other models, we could save enough electricity to power all the homes in Seattle and Spokane for one year.”  The present ENERGY STAR label on appliances, home electronics, lighting and more has saved business, organizations and consumers $17 billion in energy savings during 2009 alone.

Sigma HomePlug Chipset Gets LAN Certification
– Sigma Designs has had its HomePlug AV chipset certified compliant by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance thru the Laboratoire des Applications Numeriques (LAN). Using the HomePlugAV v1.1 specs, the CG2110 chipset allows home AV networking – including audio, video, data or voice – over existing AC power lines in the home. Simultaneous streams of real time hi-def rich media can be transmitted. More than a dozen companies will be using Sigma-enabled solutions in home networking gear.

Bluetooth Wireless Audio System from iHome – The iA100 Bluetooth Stereo System from iHome Audio connects iPads, iPhones and iPods wirelessly, uses DPS technology for enhanced sound, includes a stand-along speakerphone, can stream audio and video, has connections for iHome’s free iHome+Sleep and iHome+Radio apps, plus four active speakers. The company makes a line of iPod-compatible audio products and the New Balance headphones.

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