2010 State of the Industry Report

The industry is still ticking after taking a licking in 2009.

Jason Knott · January 4, 2010
One reader says: “Everyone is interested in energy-saving equipment and would buy it if it made economic sense. Currently, it only makes sense for the commercial market, but the residential [market] is huge.”

Digital Media Management/Consultation: In terms of new opportunities, dealers report that they are now wielding their knowledge to influence consumers’ choices for digital media management, such as online music services (Internet radio, Rhapsody, Pandora, etc.) and video download services (AppleTV, Hulu, etc.). CE pros report that they are the No. 1 influence for customers on digital media products (servers, etc.) and programming sources.

Programming: Despite the downturn in 2009, the typical integration company still maintains its own internal programming resources. Eight-two percent of dealers report that they either do their own programming on every job or on most jobs. It is interesting that there is not a stronger trend for outsourcing control programming to third-parties, especially since programming is often the most time-consuming aspect to an installation.

Product Purchasing: Not surprisingly, the average amount of product purchased by integrators was down in 2009 versus 2008. In all the categories combined, the drop was 45.5 percent. The biggest drop was in security, which saw a dramatic 73 percent reduction in product purchase. Home automation/controls suffered an average drop of 43 percent. Networking/communications purchases dropped by 69 percent also. Home theater, however, fell only 19 percent. Audio purchases dropped 32 percent.

Product Disciplines: Despite the diversification of most integrators’ businesses, audio, video and networking are still the most commonly installed product categories. Nearly 9 out of every 10 integration companies plans to sell and install flat-panel TVs, loudspeakers and home networking products next year. Remote controls are installed by 84 percent of companies, while lighting controls are installed by 83 percent. Some of the more diverse categories of equipment that integrators are installing include:

  • CCTV cameras — 76 percent of dealers plan to install in 2010
  • Acoustical treatments — 57 percent
  • High-voltage electrical devices (fixtures, outlets, etc.) — 57 percent
  • Computers and monitors — 56 percent
  • Telephone systems — 53 percent
  • Access control — 52 percent
  • Digital signage — 32 percent
  • Central vacuum systems — 27 percent

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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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