Pioneer Says Merger Talks with Onkyo Continue; But Equity Partner Appears Sidelined

Pioneer LogoPioneer Corporation released an interesting document on September 12th – while much of the tech media was in Denver for CEDIA – titled Notice with Respect to Basic Agreement for the Integration of Pioneer’s Home AV Business and Onkyo. This curious document, six pages long, gives an update as to the state of the discussions between the parties in the previously announced “basic agreement” between Pioneer, Onkyo, and Baring Private Equity Asia for a “Capital/Business Alliance” related to Pioneer’s Home AV business.

Now, apparently, the deal’s changed…with Baring PE pushed to the sidelines… Continue reading

How Secure Would You Feel if You Could Remotely See 720-Degrees?

Photo of Andrew Nassar of IC Realtime

Andrew Nassar, IC Realtime

IC Realtime, a manufacturer of  video surveillance gear, showed their new IC720 remote viewing platform that can “see” a fully seamless 720º with no blind spots. It is a remarkable capability which basically opens up the whole world to be viewed remotely with the ability to look up, down, and all  around and see…everything.

See more on this remarkable development… Continue reading

Pioneer Fire Sale Continues – Dumps DJ Biz to KKR

KKR logoPioneer surprised everyone back in June of this year when word came that it had decided to sell its AV business to Onkyo Corp. and a private equity company. But actually, the gears for this and other deals were set in motion last year when the company launched a new strategic plan to focus on their core business – car electronics, their largest and most profitable division.

Now we learn the company has sold off its once burgeoning DJ business to KKR. See more… Continue reading

CEDIA Releases Expo Attendance – Getting Better, But a Long Way to Go

CEDIA Expo logoThis week the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) announced the attendance figures and other pertinent data from last week’s Expo trade show in Denver, CO. The association justifiably crowed about attendance growth as it apparently continues to move up from the post-2007 recession trough which had painful consequences for both the association and its members (not to mention the US consumer).

See more on the CEDIA Expo results…with our usual Strata-gee.com analysis… Continue reading

Dolby Demos Atmos to CEDIA Expo Press & Attendees

Dolby Atmos logoDolby Labs set up a special demonstration room to give the industry press and, eventually, show attendees an opportunity to experience Dolby Atmos surround sound. The demo room was probably about as close to ideal as you can get on a noisy trade show floor. And the demo included new, special effects laden sound-fests.

So what did we think about this ‘controlled’ demonstration of Atmos? See more… Continue reading

CEDIA Expo Opens with Many Stories – But Few Big Ones

CEDIA Expo logoAs we made our way to the Colorado Convention Center Wednesday morning, it was a gray, rainy, then drizzly morning. It’s a weird experience walking into a huge hall with very few people around – most there to either set up booths or to take educational classes. It was as quiet as a library and depending on where you were in the hall…it could be eerily lonely.

But it’s CEDIA’s 2014 Expo…so it’s time for Press Day, the day before the show officially opens. On this day, the press tries to pick up on the major stories of the show…and get a feel for the atmosphere of the event.

But pre-show buzz was pretty light…see what we discovered… Continue reading

SpeakerCraft…Just Got SpeakerCrafty

Engineering drawing of new AIM Series 2 speakersEXCLUSIVE PREVIEW!

The hushed buzz of whispers of trouble at Nortek’s Core Brands had grown over the summer – culminating in almost a roar in the wake of Nortek’s last quarterly report identifying its AV division as troubled. One of the premier flagships of the Core Brands stable is SpeakerCraft. As if the SpeakerCraft crew didn’t already have enough on its plate countering these issues, the company faced a new challenge as its former founders launch a new competitor (Origin Acoustics) to a lot of noise.

But don’t count them out just yet! SpeakerCraft just got SpeakerCrafty…

Continue reading

Burkhardt Builds Big Buzz…But is It Bull?

Origin Acoustics logoFor months now, the industry’s poorest kept secret has been the reentry back into the intensely dense atmosphere of the custom integration industry by the colorful and spark-spewing starship Jeremy Burkhardt – one of the original founders of SpeakerCraft, which he left (forced-out our sources tell us – Burkhardt says he “retired”) in 2012 in one of the many Nortek reorganizations. At first just a rumor, Burkhardt a few months back began a series of “leaks” about his decision to launch a new company. Speaking mostly one-on-one, off-the-record with various journalists, dealers and reps…the buzz began to build – finally reaching its crescendo on the eve of the 2014 CEDIA Expo.

Just days before Expo, Residential Systems unveiled Burkhardt’s new venture , Origin Acoustics, to the world – followed a few days later by press releases to the rest of the media.

As Origin is revealed, does it exceed the pre-launch hype…or is it just bull?… Continue reading

Sponsor Spotlight – The DaVinci Group

Sponsor Spotlight graphicThe DaVinci Group – Delivering World Class Products Today

SponsorSpotlight_AdvThe DaVinci Group, a Strata-gee & SYNCH sponsor, is home to innovative brands such as TDG Audio, Vanguard Dynamics, and Blue Aura. It is a dynamic growing organization with a World-Class product line-up, installer-savvy support systems and industry-leading warranties. Started by a seasoned group of custom installation industry professionals – you can rely on The DaVinci Group to bring you the best quality products that are: easier to install, better sounding, perform for the long haul – and are backed with one of the industry’s best warranty programs.

And now, the company is launching 35+ new products at the 2014 CEDIA Expo that you’re going to want to see…and hear. See more on their blockbuster new line-up below… Continue reading

Onkyo Promised and Now Delivers True Atmos Performance on Select Existing AVR Models

OnkyoAtmos2This past June at CE Week in New York City, Onkyo was one of two manufacturers (the other being Pioneer…now part of Onkyo) who were the first in the industry to announce new Atmos-enabled AV receivers. Atmos, Dolby Labs’ latest surround sound technology that adds innovations such as “height” speakers and sound “objects,” promises to deliver to consumers an all-new, in-home entertainment experience.

But not only did Onkyo succeed in being one of the first manufacturers to introduce the technology to the market in yet-to-be-delivered new products – it went one step further and announced that it would offer owners of certain existing Onkyo A/V receiver models the ability to upgrade to Atmos (Atmos-upgradable models) through a firmware upgrade by the end of the third quarter.

Today, Onkyo announced that they will deliver on their Atmos upgrade promise… Continue reading