Welcome to Strata-gee!

Photo of Ted Green in Spartan sweatshirtI’d like to welcome you to Strata-gee.com – where you’ll find current stories on the tech industry updated every week. We try to present you with a unique perspective…unique because we are NOT journalists writing news stories. Rather, we are industry participants, writing about the latest in tech based on our extensive knowledge and experience.

There is a tremendous amount of information and insight here. Feel free to poke around. Click on “tags” or keywords in the Tag Cloud in the sidebar on the right to find all of our articles on that specific tagged subject. You can also use the Search box at the top-right to quickly search for topics based on keywords.

When you find a story that interests you, contribute to it by leaving a comment. This is not my site…it is our collective site, meant for interactive use and idea sharing to benefit the entire Strata-gee community. We hope you’ll join us.

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Happy hunting, Strata-gists!

Ted Green
Strata-gee Founder & Editor

April Residential Housing Construction Starts are Up and Down

The latest data from the US Census Bureau shows a pretty nice increase in April residential housing construction starts – a key economic data for the custom integration industry. According to the report, overall housing starts came in at 1,235,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate. This is 5.7% above the revised March rate of 1,168,000…and yet is it also down.

How can starts be both up and down? Read on…

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Multi-Decade Member & Respected ‘CEDIA Fellow,’ Renounces His Membership

Says Organization is On the Wrong Path;  Announces the Launch of a New Venture

Fred Ampel in Fox sound truck

Fred Ampel, a long time, multi-decade member of CEDIA, a regular trainer at multiple CEDIA Expos, and a “CEDIA Fellow” has renounced his membership in the organization. In a Skype interview with Strata-gee, he shared his view that the organization has changed in ways that are counter to his view of the type of education that they should be providing to the membership. As a result, he feels forced to develop a new alternative program outside of the trade association.

See why Ampel left CEDIA & what he’s planning…

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Sound United to Acquire Onkyo’s Audio Division

Sound United logo

We seem to be in a week of big deals. First, we learned that SnapAV had acquired Control4, then we learned that the original founder of Paradigm has acquired back the Paradigm, Anthem, and Martin Logan brands from the private equity company that had bought the company from him some time back. Now we learn that Sound United, owner of Denon, Marantz, Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, HEOS, Classé, and Boston Acoustics has entered into an agreement with Onkyo Corp. to purchase Onkyo’s premier lineup of brands, including: Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite.

But does Sound United’s purchase of Onkyo make sense?…

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SnapAV Snaps Up Control4 in Deal Valued at $680M

SnapAV logo

The world exploded this morning with the news that SnapAV and Control4 are merging their operations in a transaction that no one saw coming. Although publicized as a merger, actually SnapAV is acquiring Control4, agreeing to pay $23.91/share in a deal that is worth a total of about $680 million.

See how SnapAV’s acquisition of Control4 is reshaping the industry…

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Control4 Issues Advisory on ‘Works With Nest’ Shutdown

Control4 logo, new

Control4 has issued an advisory this week to reassure integrators and their clients that the company will support the ‘Works With Google Assistant’ program and is working on new Nest drivers consistent with Google’s Certification standards to avoid issues related to the recently announced shutting down of the ‘Works With Nest’ program.

See how Control4 is springing into action…

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8 Years Later, Lenbrook Returns to Independent Reps

From Independent…to Direct…to ‘Hybrid’

Lenbrook Americas logo

It was clearly one of the most explosive stories I wrote back in May 2011 generating tons of email and phone calls in response. The topic? Lenbrook, darling of the specialty A/V channel that for decades had been selling specialty products through specialty reps to specialty dealers – had decided to terminate their entire network of independent specialty sales representatives. Dean Miller, who had just joined the organization, would go on to construct a dedicated full-time staff of salespeople that would represent only NAD and PSB products.

Now, almost exactly eight years later, Lenbrook has decided to return to utilizing independent sales representatives in their sales network. But why?

See why Lenbrook is going back to reps…

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Emerald Expo Releases Q1 Results with Head-Scratching Statements

Does Good Spin Offset Bad Numbers?

Emerald Expositions logo

Emerald Expositions Events, Inc. (NYSE:EEX), a leading provider of trade shows and events and the current owner of CEDIA Expo, announced their financial results today for the first fiscal quarter of 2019. And while this tends to be a rather mundane or even robotic process, there were a few things unique about this report from Emerald – most notably their head-scratching comments that dramatically contrasted with the numbers.

See Emerald’s results & comments…

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CEDIA Hires Senior Director of Sales, Sponsorships & Partnerships

Photo of Robert Keeler, now at CEDIA

CEDIA announced on Wednesday that it has hired Robert Keeler to join the organization as its new Senior Director of Sales, Sponsorships, and Partnerships. Keeler is ex- a lot of well-known companies in this industry and he takes on a primary sales responsibility at the trade association.

Learn more about Keeler at CEDIA…

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LG’s Fiscal 2019 Q1 Revenues & Income Decline

Overall Results Decline, But Company Hails Record Results in Home Appliances

LGs logo

LG Electronics Inc., a leading manufacturer in a diverse range of businesses, announced their fiscal 2019 first quarter results this week. With consolidated sales of KRW (Korean won) 14.92 trillion ($13.27 billion) and an operating profit of KRW 900.6 billion ($801.25 million), the company showed respectable numbers, but those results that represented a decline for the quarter.

LG’s Q1 declined, read on to see why…

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Conflicting Housing Data Shows Economic Zigs & Zags

Housing Prices Photo

Two different economic reports on the residential housing market show conflicting results. One report is on the latest data in housing starts…the other contains the latest results on new home sales. But these reports paint two very different pictures. Is housing growing? Or rather, is it fading?

Read on to see what’s happening in housing…

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