Vanco had a strong CEDIA 2017 showing the newly revamped Beale Street product line and A/V over IP solutions among other things. What elicited the strongest dealer response?
CEDIA 2017 was a great show for Vanco and it was the first time we have had all four Vanco brands - Vanco, Evolution, Pulse Audio and Beale Street Audio - together on display. The overall response to Vanco acquiring the Beale Street Audio brand has been extremely positive and that message resonated at CEDIA.
At CEDIA, we also announced our new Evolution EVO-IP system, which elicited a positve response for its unique ability to manage, transmit, and receive lossless 4K@60Hz, 4:4:4, HDR, HDCP 2.2 audio/video and IR/RS232 control. EVO-IP acts as a point-to-point splitter, switch, matrix and video wall solution that can be powered over PoE or through the provided power supplies, and is especially valuable to dealers because it provides them with a single solution that is easy to install and can be used with hundreds of devices.
How are technologies such as 4K with HDR, 18Gbps and HDMI 2.1 driving new product designs?
I wouldn't say that A/V over IP is driven by 4K; instead I'd say A/V over IP is mainly driven from the ease of being able to add up to over 1,000 sources to over 1,000 displays. It's a simple system with the benefit of being run over a network via app or network control.
The addition of 4K with HDR has been a game-changer, and has caused a demand for increased bandwidth from extenders and cables. This has forced us to develop new solutions quickly so that we can offer our customers 4K with HDR extenders and other relevant solutions.
Fiber, on the other hand, is very expensive and though we're seeing a pickup in the commercial A/V space, it is not used as much in the residential space. Currently the most in-demand features in the residential A/V space are still bandwidth and distance. If you can offer quality products with these two features at a competitive price, you cannot fail.
How does Vanco see the signal transmission market evolving?
All solutions except for fiber still use copper-based cables, so I don't think that the rapid adoption of 18Gbps is expediting the extension of copper-based products. For example, A/V over IP uses Cat 5e/6 and HDMI to make the final connection. Perhaps for longer distances, we see A/V over IP hurting the extender Cat 5e/6 market as a result of A/V over IP's ability to add and control devices with ease.
Why did a company known for signal transmission products acquire a loudspeaker brand?
Our dealers and distributors are always turning to us with suggestions for all kinds of A/V solutions. One of the most frequent requests we received over the past year or so was for a quality custom install speaker line.
We're always looking for ways to be a one-stop source for our distributors, and adding the Beale Street Audio line allowed us to break into a category with a brand that isn't just a "me-too" speaker line. Beale Street Audio's patented Sonic Vortex technology provides our distributors and dealers with a speaker brand that is not only unique, but also sonically superior. And Beale Street Audio and those who sell the brand benefit from Vanco's strong distribution channel, protected pricing model and industry-leading customer support.
Can you explain the differences with the newly relaunched Beale Street Audio line?
The most obvious difference is that under Vanco International ownership, distributors and dealers do not have to worry about any supply issues. We also cleaned up the distribution channel, streamlined the product offerings and now offer one line with protected and controlled pricing for our distributors. While cleaning up the product line we also invested heavily into product development, and all current speaker models already feature enhanced driver materials and specifications, as well as stronger dog ears.
What can dealers expect to see this year?
At CEDIA we previewed the upcoming in-room subwoofers, and dealers can also expect to see freshly designed architectural speakers, outdoor speakers and UL 70-volt models in 2018. To give you a look under the hood, we are also deep in the development process for a whole new line of wireless amplifiers for both the commercial and residential space, among many other products coming down the pike for all four of our brands.