Hometoys Interview with Tony Pelura President of Centronics

Tony Pelura received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management/Marketing from Salisbury University in Maryland. He is currently two classes shy of receiving his Masters of Science degree in Finance from the University of Baltimore. He started in the electronics industry eleven years ago as a sales rep for a TV mount company. He currently serves as president of Stevensville, Md.-based Centronics, Inc. For 50 years, Centronics has been a leader in the distribution of A/V, DBS, off-air, high definition, home theater speakers and accessories, and satellite and antenna products. As the industry has changed, Centronics has met those changes head on. What will never change is our commitment to provide quality products at reasonable prices. Centronics stocks products such as TV mounts by Video Mount Products, satellite distribution equipment by SPAUN, antennas and off-air accessories by Winegard and AntennaCraft, home theater equipment…from HD cables to speakers…by CWI, Speco Technologies, and Universal Remote Control.

Interview with Jerry Chapman of SolidSignal.com The State of Consumer Electronics from an Etailer Po

Jerry Chapman founded Solid Signal in 2002 after experiencing his own frustrations locating specific technology products through retailers. As owner of Solid Signal, he not only oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, Chapman also works hands on with customers, providing them with personalized and comprehensive advice on product selection and troubleshooting. In 2007 and 2008 Solid Signal made the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. It is also a 2008 Internet Retailer: Top 500 Company. In addition to Solid Signal, Chapman is the owner of TriStar Consulting in Franklin, Michigan. TriStar provides assistance in the creation, maintenance and support of a technology and its applications. Before he founded TriStar in 1999, Chapman was Vice President at MNP Corporation in Utica, Michigan, one of the largest manufacturers of fasteners to the automotive industry.

Online Marketing Generates Sales

In today's budget stricken climate, it's important to recognize the prominent role that the Internet can play in a cost-effective marketing strategy. Not only is Web marketing very affordable, but it also offers you an effective vehicle for public exposure. Web marketing is a cost-effective medium, however, as with any marketing campaign, you'll have to invest time and money. And although Internet marketing is less expensive compared to alternative marketing campaigns, web marketing is dynamic, so you'll need to re-invest on a regular basis. In summary, you'll need to plan your strategy in advance so that you'll know how to budget resources.

Programmable Logic Controller - Features

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are forever upgrading and changing to stay current with today's technologies. Everyday we hear of new and improved cell phones, handheld computers, GPS systems, etc. The same holds true for PLCs. Every year new models of PLCs are introduced into the marketplace. This article is going to touch on some of the new features available on PLCs.

Will RF4CE be the Killer App for ZigBee?

Recently the RF4CE Alliance got itself adopted by the ZigBee Alliance, a clear example of a win-win situation. For the RF4CE Alliance it means an immediate broad adoption in the consumer electronics industry, while avoiding the cost of setting up a "marketing machine" to achieve this. For the ZigBee Alliance this is a brilliant move into a direction that will make it flourish. For the consumer electronics market, and in particular for the end-customers, this adoption is a clear stake in the ground that opens up opportunities for a wide range of new and interesting applications.

Anterus RFID Solution for Home Systems Doug Hall - AMX

AMX® launched Anterus™ - the world's first Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solution designed specifically for use with integrated control systems. Anterus is a new product family that extends the capabilities and features of AMX control and automation systems, allowing users in any commercial or residential environment to locate, track and secure any device, or trigger automated events.

Baby Boomers Embracing Consumer Technology

For the past two years, Accenture has been conducting in-depth research about the usage patterns of various types of consumer technology products and services among U.S. consumers. The data below represents research completed in the winter of 2008/2009 and provides direct comparisons with last winter's 2007/2008 research data. The goal was to determine if there had been any changes in usage between Baby Boomers + (age 45 and older) and Generation Y (ages 18 to 24). The research uncovered several interesting trends:

Content Insider #117 - Mobile Contact Options

"Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen." - Yoda, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) You can forgive the news reporter who mistook President Obama's Shaka wave for a sign to call him during the inauguration. The connected candidate -- who took communications to a whole new level -- would have expected a text message or email…not a call. Doubt if his new phone number is in the phone book anyway!

Content Insider #118 - Game Entrapment Hard Core Gamers Taking a Back Seat

"Believe me, I was prepared for everything - except you." - Mac (Sean Connery), Entrapment (1999), 20th Century-Fox It came as a rude shock to our son…he was no longer one of the most sought after people on the planet - the hardcore gamer. It dawned on him after watching his sister and Mom play their Wii musical instruments, exercise with the system and do a little Dancing With the Stars. While he and his comrades were busy shootin 'em up, bustin 'em up; the gaming industry had discovered there was a brave new market existed beyond teens…beyond boys! Figure 1 - Surprise - Hard core gamers have lost their "most sought after" position for video game system and software producers. Without a lot of fanfare the developers/manufacturers have found that there is a huge general and casual gamer market out there…young/old, male/female.

Don't Panic - There's A Room For You!

Where do you go when there's nowhere else to go? To your very own panic room of course! AVD Australia, Sydney-based advanced home automation specialists recently undertook the design and engineering of a highly secure "panic room" in a large residential home in NSW.

Flat Panel Television Trend Breathes New Life into the 'Lift' Industry

Motorized lifts are "hot"again as innovative designs bring sophistication and convenience to homes and corporate offices. The flat panel profile, now down to 4-5 inches, means that building the television into walls, embedding the item into a piece of antique furniture, heirloom trunks and even ceilings is also more easily accomplished.

From Boob Tube to YouTube

For about 70 years, the television has established a firm role as the "entertainment hearth." Although the distribution and consumption of TV has changed - first with the addition of more broadcast and then cable and satellite channels, and then with the introduction of features such as video-on-demand - the TV was reserved for … well, TV! Television shows were television shows, and movies were movies, and that was about all the TV had to worry about. However, TV will not be the only type of media for which the television will be expected to play a more direct role in accessing. The television's role as the centerpiece for entertainment is changing significantly, thanks to at least two major catalysts: Growing collections of all types of digital media content - including linear and on-demand television programming, optical and digital movies, user-generated content, and music - that consumers will want to access from multiple sources; and the desire by both television service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers to create value out of their services and products by building in connectivity and the ability by devices to easily find and display content.

HomePlug AV solution Frederic Onado - SPiDCOM

Frederic Onado is Chief Operating Officer of SPiDCOM Technologies, and he is also in charge of Business Development. Frederic holds leadership roles in the PLC industry. He is Vice President EMEA of HomePlug Powerline Alliance, and chairs the HomePlug European Working Group. He has also been Chairman of the PLC Forum. SPiDCOM Technologies is a fabless semiconductor company. It specializes in integrated circuits and Linux-based software bundles for Multimedia Home Networking, EoC (Ethernet over Coax), BPL Access, Smart Grid and other any wire based applications (powerline, coax, phoneline). SPiDCOM provides both proprietary & HomePlug AV standard based open solutions to its partners for "no-limits" product developments.

Honeywell Prestige Comfort System Thermostat

I recently received the Honeywell Prestige™ Comfort Systems thermostat, with the Portable Comfort Control and Outdoor Sensor from Honeywell for review. Prestige™ is the world's first high definition, full-color, touch screen, programmable thermostat. The Portable Comfort Control is a hand-held device that not only senses and allows homeowners to adjust for the room temperature they are in, but the Outdoor Sensor provides information on outdoor conditions to help you make informed decisions that could positively impact overall energy use. Honeywell indicates that proper use leading to more efficient home heating and cooling could lead to a significant energy savings-up to 33 percent or $200 a year depending on your geographic location.

Job Site TIPS

I've seen so many installation crews waste so much time on the job over the years, that I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of time and frustration elimination suggestions for this month's TIP. Since I'm so disorganized, I've made most of these mistakes myself, even the safety related ones, so I speak from some experience. Hopefully you can pick up a few tips and save yourself some grief. The most important tips I can pass along about the job site concerns safety. The job site is definitely dangerous and almost everyone I know, me included, has had some injury while working on the job, especially during the prewire construction phase. I have had a co-worker seriously injured and many of my friends in the industry have related stories of serious accidents, including deaths. It's a common problem and I hate to say I don't see much being done about it. So my number one TIP: BE PREPARED.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Smart Bulbs are out there and they can do far more then just provide light. Speakers, projectors, wi-fi extenders and more. The standard light socket that is wired up and ready to go in nearly every home in North America is now providing an easy and affordable option for home owners and renters alike to enter into the world of the "Smart Home". Here is a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options out there, and this list is just the beginning. In this ongoing article we hope to continue to add to and grow this list, so stay tuned!