Monday, December 27, 2010

Jim Hardiman Joins The AVC Group as Vice President of Engineering

Moving strategically to strengthen the long-term R&D and product development programs for its ELAN®, NILES®, Xantech®, Sunfire®, and ATON® brands, The AVC Group today announced the appointment of Jim Hardiman to the position of Vice President of Engineering, effective January 3, 2011. Hardiman will report directly to Mark Terry, President of The AVC Group, and will be based at the company’s Carlsbad, California corporate headquarters.

“Jim Hardiman brings more than 35 years of proven innovation and standards-setting thinking to his new position at The AVC Group,” Terry said today. “A world-renowned technologist, Jim’s work over the years has advanced the state-of-the-art in countless product categories. As our new Vice President of Engineering, he will play a critical role in developing and deploying new technologies throughout each of our brands, resulting in a new generation of system solutions that offer clearly defined value propositions to our dealers and consumers.”

Jim Hardiman comes to The AVC Group from Harman International, where he served as Vice President of Engineering for the Harman Specialty Group from 2005 until 2008 and then as Vice President, Consumer Global Engineering for Harman International — Consumer Group. Prior to this, from 2000 until 2005, he served as Vice President of Hardware Engineering at ThinkEngine Networks, a leading manufacturer of cost-effective, highly scalable carrier-class NEBS3 compliant Network Media Servers with intelligent switching and speech recognition.

Prior to this he served as Director of Advanced Development from 1992 until 2000 at Media 100, based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Previous to this he held engineering and product development positions at Data Translation, Digital Television Imagery, Integral Data Systems, and Data General.

An active member of AES, AVB, China Professionals, and the HDTV Group, among others, Jim Hardiman is the recipient of three United States patents in the area of video compression and decompression and a 2000 Emmy® for Television Sciences awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the pioneering development of full motion broadcast quality PC video and compression plug-in cards utilized in the manufacture of non-linear editing systems or video servers.

Bob Farinelli, who had served as Chief Technology Officer of The AVC Group and, previously, as President of ELAN Home Systems is retiring but will remain with the Group as a consultant.

About The AVC Group, LLC:
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, The AVC Group, LLC is a portfolio of pre-eminent manufacturers and marketers of state-of-the-art consumer and commercial audio, video, and control system solutions. The AVC Group is comprised of a group of companies with the following industry leading brands: ATON®, ELAN® Home Systems, Niles® Audio, Sunfire®, and Xantech®.

The AVC Group, LLC is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. and is part of Nortek’s Home Technology Group, an over-arching designation for a segment of home electronics companies that includes manufacturers producing nationally-recognized brands in categories such as stereo and home theater speakers, distributed audio and video systems, lighting controls, structured wiring systems, residential and commercial security and access control equipment, and Internet connected media products. Nortek is headquartered in Providence, RI and is a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of innovative, branded residential and commercial ventilation, HVAC, and home technology convenience and security products.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Residential Systems Discusses ELAN Home Systems' Past, Present and Future With ELAN President Paul Starkey

Jeremy Glowacki of Residential Systems interviewed ELAN Home Systems' President Paul Starkey about ELAN's business, the move from Kentucky to California, and the future of home control. Check out the interview here.

Invest In Eco-Friendly Household LED Lighting That Can Immediately Reduce Energy Use and Energy Costs

Just as Americans prepare to hunker down for another long winter of freezing temperatures and rising energy costs, a new generation of high quality, affordably priced, eco-friendly household lighting solutions are now readily available that can immediately help them conserve energy and cut energy costs, according to Mei Noguchi, president of Sentina, the industry leading manufacturer and marketer of eco-friendly consumer lighting solutions.

Every time a consumer walks into a darkened room and turns on the lights, they are expending a surge of energy and money to turn on a number of traditional bulb lights. The Sentina PM-316B ZenLight, available for $40.00, combines the best of ancient Japanese lighting methods with the latest in LED lighting technology and motion sensor technology. The built-in authentic Japanese Shoji Paper takes the energy-saving LED lights and gives it a soothing and peaceful glow. The built-in motion sensor provides light only when needed, turning on automatically when the consumer enters the room and shutting off when the consumer leaves the room. The sensor can be adjusted to shut off after 1, 5 or 10 minutes.

The Sentina LED-92M four-way emergency light is just that: four lights in one unit for a retail price of $30.00. Fully charged to support motion, darkness, and power outage sensors, the Sentina LED-92M light simply plugs into a wall socket and performs for pennies per day. The light activates only when approached, in darkness, or in a power outage. In all other times, the light remains off. When disconnected from the socket, the light will also perform as an emergency flash light for up to eight hours.

Available for $30.00, the Sentina PM-302 U-Timer is the ultimate LED lamp controller and safety light. Plug this unit in and consumers will never again have to leave expensive, energy consuming bulb lighting on in their house when they’re not home for extended periods. Thanks to its built-in light sensor, the Sentina U-Timer turns on a household lamp at dusk and automatically shuts off in 4, 8, or 12 hours, as programmed by the consumer. These elements all combine to provide homeowners with peace of mind and lower energy costs when away from home.

A little bit of planning today can make all the difference for consumers throughout the upcoming winter. For a complete range of Sentina’s energy saving options, visit www.SentinaSmart.com.

Friday, December 10, 2010

ELAN Home Systems Introduces g! School Online Training For Its ELAN g! Home Control System

Coincident with the worldwide market delivery of it revolutionary ELAN® g! Home Control System, ELAN Home Systems today announced the opening of its new ELAN g! School at the company’s
                                                                       award-winning online university, ELAN U.

Currently offering 64 g! courses that can be completed in as little as six hours, in addition to nearly 300 ELAN and Sunfire courses, ELAN U provides one year of unlimited access to installation and software setup courses for just $125. What’s more, if you attend a face-to-face training session the online university is free!

The ELAN g! School introduces a breakthrough, industry-first online software simulator where users can practice setting up ELAN’s g! software before ever touching a physical unit. Available wherever you are, whenever you need it, g! School is the easiest, fastest training method available today. And by the end of 2011, the ELAN g! School will expand to feature up to 150 unique courses.

Since ELAN U debuted as the first-ever online installation-training program in 2003, installers have taken more than 300,000 online lessons, earning the program numerous awards including the CEA Mark of Excellence Award for Best Training and Support Programs and the Inside Track Certificate of Excellence for Best Dealer Training.

“The world’s best home control system deserves a world-class online training support program, and that’s exactly what our ELAN g! School delivers: cost-effective, comprehensive on-demand courses and the industry’s first online software simulator,” said Paul Starkey, president of ELAN Home Systems.

The ELAN g! Series Home Control System provides users with the most uniform and intuitive icon-based control from their favorite devices, including TVs, touchscreens, touchpads, PCs , iPhones, and iPads. The standardized interface works across platforms, so that the trendy g!Mobile app users love on the iPhone appears and works similarly on ELAN touchscreens, valets and handheld remotes as well as users' televisions and mobile devices. And the system's IP backbone makes it just as easy to control the system from across the room - or across the globe.

Individual "apps" for each subsystem allow the user to control security, climate, lighting, media, irrigation, pool/spa, messaging, video and photos with the flick of a finger. Access is fast and secure through any ELAN home interface or globally with mobile Internet enabled devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Netbooks, and PC Tablets. Since the intuitive interface empowers users with personalized scheduling and detailed history views, high consumption subsystems like lighting and climate can be closely monitored and managed for a greener lifestyle - and substantial energy savings.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brit Insurance To Offer Online Training Courses From The Response Network

The Response Network (TRN) today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Brit Insurance whereby Brit Insurance will offer its clients TRN’s online in-service law enforcement training courses. The courses will be made available directly from the Brit Insurance TEAM Web site. According to Bradley J. Bohler, Vice President of Marketing, Brit Insurance Services USA, Inc. the partnership underscores Brit Insurance’s commitment to offer its law enforcement and security clients a high quality, cost-effective way to maintain a state of constant training readiness.

“Brit Insurance is proud to announce this exclusive partnership with The Response Network,” Bohler said today. “We believe offering this type of cutting edge access to the country's top subject matter experts assists our clients in controlling and hopefully reducing their risk. Additionally, the self-paced distance learning modules, along with reinforcing national best practices for officers, can assist our clients’ desire to have a well-trained staff and reduced overall liability.”

Brit Insurance is a leading international general insurance and reinsurance group specializing in commercial insurance. The scope of the company is wide ranging: from sole traders to the largest multi-national corporations; from manufacturers to professional service providers; from shops to satellites.

“Brit Insurance is a progressive, forward-thinking commercial insurance solutions provider that understands the impact training can have on their clients’ ongoing state of preparedness,” said Bradley J. Naples, President of The Response Network. “The implementation of this strategic partnership will mark the first time that our online courses are hosted directly from a partner’s own training portal. As such, we expect that this agreement will bring our value proposition to the attention of a significantly wider and larger audience of law enforcement and security professionals.”

According to Naples, the PoliceCommunity.net’s Portal/Learning Management System (LMS) platform is the only in-service online training solution that offers online courses using lesson plans from the best subject matter experts, an easy-to-use LMS, and soon will be integrating into the LMS the ability for any agency to insert their own custom program on their agency specific policies.

In addition to being endorsed by Brit Insurance, The Response Network’s training programs are also endorsed by The FBI National Academy Associates FBINAA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Association of Public Safety-Communications Professionals (APCO).

PoliceCommunity.net is owned and operated by The Response Network Inc. The Response Network's mission is to develop and deliver to law enforcement and public safety professionals a complete curriculum of educational courseware that meets their needs for everything from in-service training to degree granting programs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunfire Rocks The World With Dynamic Series Subwoofers, Delivering Bigger Bass Performance For Budget Conscious Consumers

Sunfire®, a specialist in the design, manufacture and marketing of luxury home theater products for the worldwide custom specialist and retail markets, today announced the worldwide introduction of its powerful, yet budget-friendly Dynamic Series of subwoofers. Tuned for both low frequency home theater effects and powerhouse musical bass lines, these new subwoofers boast up to 600 Watts Peak Power.
The Sunfire Dynamic Series’ 8”, 10” and 12” subwoofers are the perfect blend of form and function and the ideal choice for systems where small size and high output are required. Sunfire's new digital amplifier delivers from 400 to 600 Watts of cool running peak output in the three models, with unprecedented performance at this price point. Each subwoofer features a Sunfire-designed woofer and acoustically matched passive radiator – twice the speakers for twice the bass. The DS family is also the first in the Sunfire line built around energy efficient Class-D amplification, dynamically adjusting the output of the subwoofer's power supply to suite the requirements of the incoming audio signal. Add a low-power standby mode with signal-sensing power on/off and you have a solid performer over time, while continuously variable phase, crossover and volume controls mean fast and precise setups. An optional 2.4GHz wireless transmitter and receiver make “no-new-wires” possible, even in challenging environments. Up to 4 receivers and subwoofers are supported from a single transmitter.

“For the last fifteen years, Sunfire’s customers have been obsessed with performance,” said Mark Weisenberg, Sunfire General Manager. “Our new Dynamic Series builds on our pedigree of subwoofer excellence and delivers unsurpassed bass-for-the-buck. Now more enthusiasts than ever will be able to enjoy the Sunfire experience in their homes.”

Other products found in this price range simply focus on the quantity of output over a limited frequency range, limiting the quality of performance to only a few kinds of material. Today’s consumer watches and listens to a wide variety of content – TV, movies, music, games, etc. – using the same system, which demands both quality and quantity. Sunfire engineers designed these speakers with the company’s proprietary Frequency Filtration Design™ (FFD), preserving a spectral balance across the entire bass frequency range to deliver superior balance and definition PLUS high output no matter what source material is being used. In subwoofer terms, music demands definition over a wider range of bass frequencies, while movies are equalized for optimum performance at slightly different frequencies to accentuate the special effects. The Sunfire Dynamic Series achieves both. Small rooms, big bass - no problem!

The Sunfire Dynamic Series is available in three sizes, the SDS-8 8” driver, at 32Hz-150Hz, with a peak power of 400W, the SDS-10 10” driver, at 30Hz-150Hz, with a peak of 500W and the SDS-12 12” driver, at 28 Hz-150Hz, at 600W peak power. The SDS-8 lists for a U.S. MSRP of $350, the SDS-10 for $450, the SDS-12 for $550 and the optional 2.4 GHz wireless kit for $150. The speakers are available for immediate delivery.

Sunfire Dynamic Series:
• Front firing active woofer, down firing passive radiator
• Fiber composite, poly-coated woofers
• Sealed cabinet with low distortion, computer-optimized woofers
• Optional 2.4GHz wireless transmitter and receiver for no-new-wires installation
• High efficiency Class-D digital amplifier
• Low-power standby mode with signal-sensing power on/off
• Continuously variable phase, crossover and volume controls
• High-pass, line-level outputs
• Gold plated connections
• Black ash cabinet
• SDS-8 8” driver, 32Hz-150Hz, Peak 400W
• SDS-10 10” driver, 30Hz-150Hz, Peak 500W
• SDS-12 12” driver, 28 Hz-150Hz, Peak 600W

ATON Launches Industry's First Out-Of-The-Box Solution For Multi-Zone Music With In-Wall OLED Interfaces

ATON™, a premier manufacturer of affordable, high performance speakers and digital audio and Hi Def video distribution systems, today introduced the industry’s first pre-programmed Whole House “Music & More” System, the ATON AH66T Kit.
The new kit features the AH66T Multi-Source Multi-Zone Controller plus six (6) OLED2 touchpads that offer full-color graphic control and feedback. With built-in programming to run market leading sources like the iPort® and Lutron™ RadioRA®2, the affordable multi-room audio solution allows dealers to rapidly deploy a first-time or add-on audio system with iPod® & lighting control capability ready to go.

The AH66T is a multi-zone music solution with a built-in, RDS-enabled AM/FM tuner plus six additional sources, rated at 60 watts of power per zone with a line level pre-output for subzones. The controller includes a dedicated IR input for every zone with a full, discrete IR code set for integration. It comes with a full 2-way RS232 code set for control via 3rd party devices where a separate multi-room solution is required. The kit comes with six OLED2 in-wall capacitive touch touchpads featuring full-color OLED displays. OLED, or Organic LED displays, are perfect for displaying the system's metadata text, graphics, channel icons and more. Pair this with interchangeable faceplates in white, ivory and almond and you now have the perfect control solution that matches any d├ęcor. The kit also comes with 2 built-in RS232 ports ready for an iPort iPod dock (or two) Metadata ready, or Lutron RadioRA2 Lighting control with codes preloaded. The controller is “stackable” to two chassis for a 12-zone system with tuner pre-outputs to share the AM/FM selections between chassis.

The new ATON OLED2 touchpads tie the system together with the speed, graphics, and response of an LCD touch panel, with the ease-of-use and affordability of a traditional keypad. A radical departure from hard button keypads, this controller offers a 2.1” display and user-friendly 15-function hard button layout under a film overlay for the largest all-touch surface in a double-gang, in-wall product. The large display, with its six lines of metadata from 2-way sources, provides a detailed view of “Now Playing” information from the tuner and source components such as iPod and optional Sirius Satellite Radio. Each OLED2 comes pre-programmed to control the AH66T, the tuner, and iPort dock for iPods, plus advanced customization is a few clicks away with the new ATON SystemWorx software for Dealers.

“The AH66T KT offers an unsurpassed out-of-box experience that delivers beyond expectations,” said Paul Starkey, President of ATON Home Systems. “ATON is all about bending traditional categories and this is no exception. Why have just music when you can get so much more? Plus you can complete the system with our musician-voiced Storm Series speakers.”

The AH66T-KT Multi-Source/Zone Controller Kit will be featured at The AVC Group ISE 2011 Stand 1L90. The AH66TKT Kit is available for immediate delivery at a US MSRP of $3599. The AH66T Controller and OLED2 Touchpad are available separately at US MSRPs of $1599 and $610. The complete AH66TKT kit ships with the AH66T Multi-Source / Multi-Zone Controller, 6 OLED2 Touchpads, 4 IR Emitters and Talkback Emitters, AM and FM Antennas, 2 DB-9 Male to RJ45 Adapters, a DB-9 Female to Null RJ45 Adapter, 2 RJ45 568A CAT Cables, a Detachable Line Cord, 6 4-Pin Connectors and a 3-Pin Connector. Go to http://www.atonhome.com for more information and dealer locations.

AH66T Multi-Source Multi-Zone Controller:
• 6-zone multi-room controller, “Stackable” to two chassis for a 12 zone system
• Integrated AM/FM tuner with RDS metadata plus 6 additional audio sources
• AM / FM tuner pre-outputs to share tuners between chassis when “Stacked”
• 60 Watts of audio power per zone
• Dedicated 3.5mm IR inputs – for every zone with discrete IR code set available
• 2 built-In RS232 ports for iPod metadata and lighting control
• Out-of-box support for iPort iPod Dock and Lutron™ Radio Ra2® lighting system
• Variable or fixed pre-amp outputs for every zone
• Optional Sirius satellite radio support
• Compatible with the ATON HRR44 video switcher
• Accommodates up to two touchpads per zone
• System and zone trigger outputs
• Rack mountable using the RMK3 3U Rack Mount Kit sold separately

OLED2 Touchpad:
• Breakthrough interface that marries the magic and beauty of touchscreen technology, with the simplicity of a keypad
• Capable of controlling 13 devices including sources, lighting and shades
• Pre-programmed for independent zone functions, AM/FM tuner, iPort dock and Lutron RadioRA2
• Fully customizable using ATON SystemWorx software
• 3 interchangeable films and faceplates including White, Ivory and Almond with each touchpad

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mizco International Teams With Marc Ecko For Stylish New Line Of Electronics Accessories and Headphones

Mizco International today announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Marc Ecko Enterprises, the innovative global fashion and lifestyle company best known for its iconic Rhino and the *ecko unltd brand, to bring the first-ever line of Ecko inspired electronic accessory and mobile technology products to design conscious technology enthusiasts everywhere.
According to Maurice Mizrahi, President of Mizco International’s DIGIPOWER Division, deliveries to dealers are now underway — just in time for the all-important holiday gift giving season. “We are thrilled to be able to bring to market the industry’s first line of Ecko inspired and branded electronics accessory products,” Mizrahi said today. “The combination of Marc’s global brand power and Mizco’s retail marketing power promises to bring this amazing line of products to consumers in every part of the world. “

The Ecko line of Mizco products include headphones, iPhone, iPad, and MP3 cases, as well as camera accessories that are available from suggested retail price points of $19.99 to $99.00 — putting the entire line within the reach of every consumer who is inspired by Marc Ecko’s vision and philosophy.

Amplifying this point further, Marc Ecko Enterprises President Effy Zinkin, Esq. noted that, “This new licensing agreement allows us to extend our distribution to major consumer electronics retailers. Our young male consumer base makes this license a natural fit for us. Mizco owns and manages a number of extremely successful brands, including iEssentials, DIGIPOWER, Cellular Innovations, and Travelocity, and they are an Apple approved partner. We are extremely excited to have Mizco on board as a partner.”

Take 1 Raises The Bar For Insurance Protection With Automatic Global Coverage On All Inland Marine Policies

Strengthening its position as the entertainment and production industry’s leading insurance provider, Take 1, U.S. Risk Insurance Group’s entertainment division, today reaffirmed its commitment to provide worldwide coverage on all of its inland marine policies.

“Our clients’ equipment can and does go anywhere in the world, and, regardless of where it goes it is automatically covered,” explained Scott Carroll, Vice President & Program Director of the Take 1 Program. “We like to tell our customers that they can send their equipment up in the Space Shuttle and it will still be covered,” Carroll explained. “Other insurance companies can do this but may have to add a rider or endorsement to ‘extend’ the coverage territory or they choose to limit coverage to within the United States and Canada. Take 1 clients’ inland marine policies clearly state that ‘this policy applies anywhere in the world.’ It cannot be made any clearer than that,” Carroll stated. “Our clients don’t have to wonder if their equipment is protected when it leaves their location. It is automatically protected, all of the time.”

What’s more, according to Carroll, Take 1 has taken a number of other steps to ensure that its policies offer the most comprehensive protection without clauses, conditions or additional charges. Take 1’s inland marine coverage eliminates co-insurance, thus protecting 100 percent of the insured value of the equipment covered; provides automatic replacement cost valuation; allows for separate limits in key individual coverage areas like owned equipment, equipment rented from others, equipment in his insured’s Care Custody and Control (CCC), and equipment in transit; unlimited capacity, flood coverage for equipment in transit; and blanket limits that eliminate the need for clients’ to itemize each and every piece of equipment, cable, LED panel, etc. being covered.

“Our objective is to make insurance easy to afford and even easier to understand,” Carroll emphasized today. “We appreciate that our clients have better things to focus on and worry about. When they insure their equipment with Take 1, they can rest assured that we’ve taken every step to minimize and hopefully eliminate any surprises in the event of an emergency.”

According to Carroll, it is precisely the company’s complete and unwavering commitment to no-nonsense full coverage protection at a fair price that has made Take 1 the endorsed insurance provider of INFOCOMM for the last 15 years.

Since its founding in 1995 to meet the needs of film and television production companies, Take 1 has expanded significantly to meet the needs of audio-video and communications industry clients as well. The company’s experience includes underwriting film and television production companies, DICE (Documentary, Infomercial, Commercial, Educational) producers, touring entertainers, concert/playhouse venues, concert promoters, video game developers, and specialty rental operations focused on audio, visual, lighting, sound, grip, and production.

What’s more, Take 1’s comprehensive underwriting authority is so complete that it allows them to rate, quote, bind and issue every line of insurance coverage their customers need, from basic general liability to worker’s compensation, property, including inland marine, auto and umbrella protection, according to Carroll.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Optimum Solutions Corporation Honored with Top 100 Product Award by District Administration Magazine

Underscoring the immediate impact its Educational Assessment Scoring Environment (EASE System™) is having in the K-12 educational community, Optimum Solutions Corporation just announced that District Administration magazine had named the EASE System a 2010 Top 100 Product Award winner, just four months after the system was deployed for the first time in New York State school districts.

“To be recognized by a magazine of such influence so soon after the market introduction of our EASE System is a testament to both the system’s performance capabilities and the New York State school districts who have put the EASE System to such great use so quickly,” Optimum Solutions Corporation Executive Vice President John Harrison said today. “We are proud to accept this honor and we look forward to bringing the benefits of the EASE Systems to K-12 school districts throughout the country.”

According to Harrison, the EASE System makes highly customizable, state-of-the-art data capture and scoring technology available to all size school districts for the very first time. EASE is totally flexible and completely customizable to meet the unique needs of each individual school district that uses it. The EASE suite of applications provides a totally customizable scanning, closed end processing and constructed response scoring solution. It is the only package available from a single solutions provider that can function on-site or remotely and deliver the unique combination of user-flexibility, tools, patented software, and scoring support needed for all phases of electronic scoring.

Readers of District Administration are the top public school administrators in the country, and they know from experience what works and what does not work within their districts. As part of its annual Top 100 award program, District Administration asked its readers to nominate the hardware, software, books and materials, Web sites, or facilities products that have made a positive difference in their districts in 2010.

The winning products were determined by the quantity of nominations received per product as well as evaluating the quality of readers’ nominations and explanations. The 2010 winners were selected from hundreds of nominations received over the last six months, a significant increase in participation from the previous year. “These product recommendations included extensive descriptions from school administrators of how these products are used in their districts, making it very challenging to choose the top 100 products. We hope these products, and their accompanying testimonials, will act as a valuable resource for our readers,” says District Administration’s editor in chief, Judy Faust Hartnett.