Wednesday, May 25, 2005

LCDs on Amazon?

Yesterday, this came across my InBox (this is exactly as it appeared in my
e-mail):

"Striving to improve the visual experience in living rooms and conference rooms everywhere, Kreisen (www.kreisen.com), the manufacturers of quality affordable high definition television displays, today announced that its line of high definition (HD) LCD televisions is available immediately at Costco Wholesale Corporation (www.costco.com) and Amazon.com (www.amazon.com). Costco will showcase Kreisen’s flagship 40-inch and 37-inch models. The entire line of 17- to 40-inch displays is available to consumers online at Amazon.com."

Is this a good thing to do PR on?

At first, I thought not. But, the more I think about it, maybe it is. While everyone else is trying to hide the fact that Amazon and Costco are some of their largest retailers (i.e. Sony), virtually unknown Kreisen is plastering it all over the press. Good PR move, I think.

But, is this good for the market?

Gateway, now virtually non-existent in the Plasma market (and sinking in the PC market as of late) sold tons of cheap Plasmas to thousands of consumers a month. Then they disappeared.

Remember GE's line of consumer TV's?

Westinghouse? Believe it or not, they're back...

Now, Dell is one of the fastest resellers of large LCD panels. Yep, in less than a year they've jumped 9 spots.

This sort of competition, while it might look bad from the surface, is actually good in the core. It will force the ProAV and HomeAV market to focus on services and less on profits from product sales - something that's a dying art anyway.

So, more power to you, Kreisen. But, buyer beware. I've been asking for a review unit from them for months and haven't seen anything. But, I've got a plan for that now. I'll pop on over to my local 7-11 down the street, have a Slurpee and have a look at their LCD's.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday, Gary!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Clarity Acquires European Display Products Manufacturer Synelec

Fresh on the heels of the acquisition of CoolSign -- rAVe Pro – sources tell rAVe that Clarity continues its acquisition mode, this time acquiring one of Europe’s premier manufacturer/marketers of rear projection systems, Synelec. The France-based Synelec, which has offices in Paris, Rome and Shanghai, adds about $30 million in revenues to Clarity, and brings the total number of Clarity employees from 115 to 185.

“Clarity is ranked number one in North America while Synelec is big in Europe, and big in markets where Clarity isn’t, such as telecommunications and utilities. In Europe, Clarity was focused on broadcast and transportation,” says Lisa Duckett, Clarity’s director of marketing communications. “As a result, we didn’t run into them much in Europe.”

Duckett says Synelec will maintain their brand and will continue to sell bundled digital signage systems as they have been.

“The Synelec distribution channel is strong, so everything will remain the same and that goes for Clarity, too. We won’t be bringing their processor to North America,” says Duckett. “But later, we might look for synergies in incorporating the product lines.”

Synelec was a publicly traded company that filed for bankruptcy protection last year. The company had a North American presence but that will be shut down in favor of focusing on Synelec’s other markets.

The purchase adds over 1,200 display system installations to the Clarity portfolio, which includes such high-profile installations as the NASDAQ in New York, Madrid Metro in Spain, SNCF Railway in France and NTT DoCoMo in Japan.

Clarity plans to maintain Synelec technical and sales offices and intends to retain a majority of the Synelec team including Gil Souviron, who becomes a Clarity employee with responsibility of continuing to oversee the European operations.

Clarity will now have offices in the regions mentioned above in addition to Clarity’s offices in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It will maintain Clarity company headquarters near Portland, Ore.


If there was any doubt which direction the digital signage market was moving, there is none now. Whichever way Clarity moves, the market is now going. The acquisition is BIG and will help them a great deal internationally – it’s a good move for them.