As the Gap Between White Box and Tier 1 Advantages Narrows, D&H Gears-up to Help System Builders Sell Digital Media PCs
HARRISBURG, PA, October 11, 2004 - D&H Distributing is strategically adding Media -PC component vendors, expanding its media -based product lines, and developing additional digital convergence training venues, to support the introduction of the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) 2005 operating system. Through this effort, D&H intends to help system builders take advantage of the changes being ushered to market by the advent of the Media PC -based home -entertainment network, whose component -laden architecture has caused the industry to take a closer look at the customization model.
Due in large part to the influx of new components and entertainment devices designed to support XP MCE, white box VARs are heading toward an era where their expertise in custom systems and home -users may give them an advantage over Tier 1 competitors. D&H wants to help its customers capitalize on that competitive edge.
The distributor has added a line -up of new Media PC components that deliver increasingly versatile entertainment functions to the home network, ranging from distributed audio, to video editing, to PVR capabilities, to high -performance gaming (see fact sheet). Vendors who are eager to capitalize on the media -PC trend have been designing products specifically for the system builder and home networking arena, both in price and in function. D&H's goal is to compile a formidable portfolio from which system builders can create a feature -rich Digital Media PC, with the same or better proficiency of a large solution provider, and at a more attractive price.
Many of these media -based components are scheduled for fall availability, which will mark the first time the white box VAR will be able to assemble a system as complex and cutting -edge as a media network in the same time -frame as a large -scale solution provider.
"We're at a unique point in the evolution of IT, where the white box community has a major market opportunity in front of it," said Dan Schwab, vice president of marketing at D&H. "System builders today have access to emerging technologies concurrent with their Tier 1 competitors. Since these white box VARs already provide customization, and a portion of their end -users are already using PCs for entertainment purposes, this gives the white box reseller an upper hand in building Media PCs and home -entertainment networks."
Technologies and components coming to market this fall that will be available through D&H, for use in the Digital Media PC:
· Ricavision's PLIX media PC system is being offering to D&H customers in a barebones format to accommodate small -form, white box systems, as well as in a complete version. Ricavision, formerly a retail -focused manufacturer, is partnering with D&H to penetrate the channel through custom system builders and home network integrators.
· The new PCI Express, high -performance bus cards encourage open -system integration of components and entertainment devices, facilitating superior graphics and expansive capabilities for the Media PC.
· The Intel 915 Express Chipset family offers smooth system responsiveness, PCI Express graphics and hyperthreading technology for bandwidth -intensive applications such as high definition audio and video.
· The BTX (balanced technology extended) form factor promotes CPU cooling through the PC case itself, providing "balanced thermal management." This addresses challenges faced by many custom PC -users: traditional cooling mechanisms often prove ineffective against the intense heat of PCI -based gaming functions. BTX technology was introduced by Intel and targets the system -builders' "extreme PC" home -user.
"Digital Home" System Builder Training
Since many system builders cater to the custom -PC buyer, D&H intends to teach those resellers how to sell full entertainment networks to their legacy end -users. The distributor has been conducting digital convergence events over the course of 2004 that offer digital lifestyle technology seminars presented by powerhouse IT and CE vendors such as Microsoft, Intel and Panasonic; as well as from specialized manufacturers including Ben -Q (LCD displays), ATI (graphics cards) and On -Q Home (structured wiring).
In fact, the fall availability of many of these entertainment PC (EPC) technologies corresponds with D&H's Second Annual West Coast Technology Trade Show (City of Industry, CA, October 7, 2004). This recent event featured a session from Microsoft on the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; from Intel on the new generation of EPCs; and from NVIDIA on the PCI Express -powered EPCs. The presentations educate VARs on the opportunities and sales strategies surrounding what's been called "the largest platform transition in more than a decade."
In addition, Intel is co -sponsoring D&H's VAR Day digital convergence event at the Electronic House Expo event (November 17, Long Beach, CA), which will introduce IT VARs to the residential integration market.
"This is an exciting time for system builders. There's real opportunity to be had when industry icons like Microsoft and Intel start leading efforts in your area of expertise, since they are so often are the catalysts of major, market -driving trends," said Schwab. "We're thrilled to find that our system builders are so well -positioned to profit from this latest paradigm."
About D&H Distributing
One of America's largest wholesale distributors of computer products, consumer electronics, educational products and security products, D&H has been distributing to the reseller and solution provider community for over 85 years.
D&H leads the computer industry in emerging technologies and is known for providing every solution provider - from large, national accounts to small, independent business owners - with top -quality products, competitive prices and highly personalized service. D&H received the highest loyalty rating of the distributors named in the Performance Index section of CRN magazine's 19th Annual Sourcing Study, and the Best Distributor Award in the 2004 RAM Awards.
D&H Distributing is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, with shipping locations in Harrisburg, Boston, Jacksonville, Chicago, Dallas and Visalia, CA. For more information on D&H, call toll -free, (800) 340 -1001, or visit the company's web site at www.dandh.com.
Suzanne Mattaboni Communications
For D&H Distributing
(631) 242 -6614