Monoprice: King of Cut-Rate Cables, Expands

From Monoprice website

Intros ‘Carbon Collection’ of Home Décor Items

Monoprice, the company most successful at pursuing a low-price, cut-rate strategy in regards to cables, adapters, and accessories, and the bane of many upscale cable companies in the consumer electronics space, has continued to grow and expand, now adding housewares and home goods to their growing assortment.

See more on what Monoprice has been up to recently… Continue reading

Amazon Horror: Alexa Users Not Using Voice to Shop

Amazon logoA new report by The Information has roiled Amazon, punching a hole in the concept that users of their Alexa-powered smart speaker devices will use them to buy billions of dollars of goods through voice ordering. According to sources from inside Amazon, the company is disappointed that only about 2% of users of their devices use them for voice-enabled shopping – a result that throws shade at the company and industry analysts who predicted a tsunami of voice-powered purchases. The company’s spokesperson disputes the report.

See what we’ve learned about Amazon’s voice shopping experience… Continue reading

SEC Rejects Monster Cryptocurrency Filing, Notes ‘Serious Deficiencies’

Monster Changes: Prez/COO & Auditor are Terminated, Three-Man Board is Now Only One

Photo of Noel LeeIn June, after significant outreach by many Strata-gee readers, we posted our take on the Monster Products, Inc. (Monster) S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which Monster sought to launch its own Monster Money cryptocurrency in a major shift in the company’s direction. This SEC filing by Monster was at the end of May, and our story [see: Is Monster Money a Massive Mistake?] was posted June 13th.

We have just discovered that days after our story appeared, Monster received an SEC staff letter dated June 15th titled “SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES.” But that’s not all we discovered…

See more on Monster’s S-1 rejection and other major news we’ve uncovered… Continue reading

Control4 Announces Appointment of Charlie Kindel, ex-Amazon


Former Head of Amazon’s Smart Home Org. to be
SVP of Products & Services for Control4


Kindel close upControl4 Corp. announced today that it has appointed Charlie Kindel, an ex-Amazon executive in charge of their Alexa project, to fulfill the role of Control4 Senior Vice President of Products & Services. Kindel is replacing Eric Anderson, who announced his retirement recently after holding the same role since 2012.

See more on Kindel joining Control4…

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Transformative Engineering Earns DPL Seal on HLE-4K

Transformative Engineering logoTransformative Engineering, an innovative black box solutions provider, announced today it has been awarded a DPL Labs Seal of Approval for its model HLE-4K, an HDMI 2.0 extender. The company says this is the second Seal of Approval its products have been awarded by DPL Labs, a testing and certification organization.

See more about Transformative Engineering’s HLE-4K… Continue reading

Creditor Infighting Could Jeopardize Gibson Bankruptcy

Logo for Gibson BrandsMultiple creditors are fighting a pitched battle over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan worked out between Gibson Brands and their major debt holders and submitted to the Bankruptcy Court. Some of this was to be expected, as there was a large pool of unsecured creditors who did not participate in the pre-bankruptcy negotiations. But now, even one of the secured creditors – a power player in their own right – has turned on the other secured creditors, joining in with the unsecured creditors and potentially jeopardizing the whole plan, according to a report by the Nashville Post.

See what all the fighting is about… Continue reading

EU Hits Pioneer, D&M, Philips & Asus with Fines for Price Fixing

Asus logoThe European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulatory unit, after a 17-month investigation of online price fixing and other illegal anti-competitive practices has levied a fine of €111.2 million ($130 million) against four prominent consumer electronics brands, including Pioneer Corp., D&M Holdings Inc. of Japan, Koninklijke Philips NV of the Netherlands, and AsusTek Computer, Inc. of Taiwan. The companies were alleged to have imposed fixed or minimum online prices for their products.

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Deep Dive: New Dana Innovations HQ & Training Ctr

Strata-gee Goes Through Dana Innovations 2-Day Training

For some time now, I’ve been picking up a lot of buzz about the new San Clemente, CA headquarters building of Dana Innovations, said to be a major upgrade from their previous digs and outfitted with an optimized, multi-room training center. Dana Innovations, parent company of power CI brands such as Sonance, iPort, and Trufig, is one of the top custom integration solutions providers of in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, multichannel amplifiers, keypads, touch panels, and more. They also are renown for their dealer training program, which the company runs year round.

So when I got an invitation to visit their facility close-up, I jumped at it. I’m not sure I knew what I was getting myself into…

Dana Innovations puts me through their intense 2-day training regime… Continue reading

Savant Partners with AVAD in Push for Market Expansion

New Tools & Partners Open the Door to Entry-Level Buyers

Savant logoSavant Systems LLC, one of the leading control and home automation brands in custom integration, has made two significant announcements recently, both sent within just a matter of three weeks between them. First was the announcement of new software tools: Savant Central Management, a new cloud-based management software, and Studio, an iPad-based field configuration tool. This announcement was followed with a second one – Savant is partnering with AVAD, a national custom integration-focused distributor with 20 locations across the U.S.

It turns out that the two Savant announcements are related. Read on to see how… Continue reading

ISE Formally Announces Show Move to Barcelona

‘Welcome to Barcelona’ Press Conference Reveals Motives

ISE logo

Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) held a formal press conference today at 7:00AM Eastern to present more details on their plans to move ISE – the show, that is – to a new facility in Barcelona, Spain starting in 2021. Speaking at the press conference were local government officials, representatives of the owners of the ISE show (CEDIA and AVIXA), and most importantly Mike Blackman, the father of the show.

See what we learned about ISE moving to Barcelona… Continue reading