BIGGER SCREENS DRIVE US TV PURCHASES
Bigger is still better in America.
Indeed a report late last year from market researcher NPD Group says that 75-inch and larger TVs saw the highest dollar share gain in the last 12 months in the US.
The report shows that, for those who replaced a TV in the last two years, 40% of them were motivated by the desire for a larger screen.
Of the TVs actually purchased 40% were over 50 inches with 15% of that being 60-inch plus.
55-inch plus TVs grew 6% percent (63% of dollar sales, 32% of unit sales) while 75 inch+ TVs gained the most with 10% of dollar sales.
Says Stephen Baker, of NPD Group: “Consumers are purchasing bigger and better TV screens, especially for the primary viewing room – the living room.”
TOTAL ALBUM CONSUMPTION IN THE US +23% IN 2018
A Nielsen report says that 2018 showed that equivalent total audio consumption of albums across all sources was up 23% over 2017, driven by an almost 50% increase in on-demand audio song streams.
Other insights include that streaming continued to rise with a 49% increase over the previous year.
Nielsen attributes this rise to the increased penetration of smart speakers and connected devices and suggests that the uptake of 5G will further drive music consumption.
At the other end of the tech scale, vinyl also had a good year with an increase of 15% on the previous year with record breaking sales during Record Store Day’s 11th run.
IKEA/SONOS PARTNERSHIP MOVES ONWARD
The partnership between Swedish homewares giant IKEA and multi-room smart speaker maker Sonos announced in 2017 has finally taken a step forward with the launch of the IKEA Symfonisk line set for August 2019.
While there are still no images available the thinking is that the collaboration will involve Sonos systems embedded seamlessly into things like bookshelves and other furniture.
SENNHEISER AMBEO 3D SOUNDBAR
Following its debut at CES 2019 the Sennheiser AMBEO 3D Soundbar is set to be available in New Zealand in June this year.
Sennheiser’s first foray into the home entertainment speaker category, the AMBEO 3D Soundbar was developed to provide “an elegant all-in-one solution for all those seeking an immersive 3D, audiophile-grade home entertainment experience.”
Features include 5.1.4 sound, calibration for optimised listening for every room via an included external microphone and compatibility with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and MPEG-H and a plethora of sound presets.
SAMSUNG FRAME 2.0 TV
The second generation of the Frame TV has launched in New Zealand.
Alongside a set of new features that will allow users to display art in a more compelling way, one of the most notable developments comes from the Frame TV Art Store which has released a curation of artworks from Wellington’s renowned Te Papa Museum.
The monthly subscription to the Art Store is $7 per month, or $29 for a one-off artwork that users can purchase the perpetual rights to.
Updates to Frame 2.0 include an enhanced user interface which enables selection of art based on the colour scheme of a room or by a particular medium such as drawing or photography.
With new Slideshow and Favourites features, art lovers can also curate a gallery of their favourite pieces to display on the screen at intervals.
The inclusion of a Slim Fit Wall Mount also makes for a more refined installation and cord clutter has been eliminated thanks to Samsung’s One Clear Connection cable.
Optional accessories such as interchangeable frames in White, Beige Wood, Black and Walnut and the Studio Stand Easel ensure that Frame 2.0 can be customised to enhance the design and décor of any space.
Frame 2.0 is available in 43-, 49-, 55- and 65-inch options.
PRO-JECT STREAM BOX S2 ULTRA NETWORK BRIDGE
Interdyn has announced that Pro-Ject‘s Stream Box S2 Ultra audiophile-grade network bridge is now available.
Designed to enable streaming through traditional hi-fi systems, users add high resolution streaming to their existing hi-fi by plugging the device into their USB DAC, amplifier, or pre-amplifier and listen to music using Spotify, Tidal, Roon, AirPlay, DLNA and local network drives.