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Is Colorado vNet on the Comeback Trail?

Distributor tells dealers that Colorado vNet products will "transition from the vNet badge to a Russound badge over the course of the year...." Not so fast.


Will Colorado vNet get a reprieve? Russound will keep us posted.
Julie Jacobson · January 28, 2011

Colorado vNet died its first death in mid-2009, revived itself with the Russound acquisition shortly thereafter, and then died again in December 2010.

Now the manufacturer of lighting controls, multiroom audio and home automation looks to be coming back to life under the Russound brand.

That’s what one very large Canadian distributor says, anyway.

In a letter to integrators yesterday (full text below), the distributor wrote:

Hello vNet Certified Dealers,

As of today Russound, has decided to continue on with the product but will transition from the vNet badge to a Russound badge over the course of the year on a SKU by SKU basis.

Any registered projects that were sent in by the end of Dec will continue to get 2010 pricing. New projects that you will quote will be at 2011 pricing. Attached is the Jan 2011 Price List.

Not so fast. It seems the distributor was perhaps a little exuberant by the possibilities of a vNet comeback.

Former Colorado vNet VP marketing Petro Shimonishi, now VP marketing for Russound, tells CE Pro that “such an announcement is akin to looking in a crystal ball.”

She explains, “The only major announcement that we are making today is that we will continue to ship the product line to existing authorized Colorado vNet dealers and international distributors for the foreseeable future.”

Colorado vNet ceased sales in the first place so the company could “focus on R&D efforts and reassess the product line as it relates to the evolving custom market,” according to the official party line.

Since then, however, Russound has been “gathering feedback from our valued channel partners,” Shimonishi says, denying reports that the Colorado vNet will necessarily “transition from the vNet badge to a Russound badge over the course of the year,” as the distributor writes.

vNet does continue to manufacture products.

“We are committed to supporting the warranty on products purchased from Colorado vNet Corp. so we have vendors that continue to manufacture parts,” Shimonishi says. “Once our plans are in place, we will be very anxious to get the message out to the market. Colorado vNet Corp. is still very much in existence and our focus right now is R&D efforts for the future.”

Responding to the letter from his Canadian distributor
, one Colorado vNet dealer told CE Pro:

Colorado vNet in our minds was a great alternative [to more popular lighting control systems] being more affordable, flexible and intuitive both from a end user and installer standpoint. The GUI was good for an out of the box experience. The Touchpads were easy to label in the field and configure. Our installed systems proved to be reliable. My only complaint was that phone support had limited hours of operation.

He says that, due to the broad distribution of the Russound brand, he will have “nothing to do with Russound or former vNet products with the exception of acquiring product for existing sites that need expansion. I don’t think Russound understands lighting control and the benefits this category brings.”

Even so, the dealer says, “I am glad they are changing their position but it is too late for us to be in business with them again however I do hope the product is well supported and that other dealers consider using them.”

At this point, however, it is unclear whether Russound will in fact bring back vNet.

The distributor’s entire letter to dealer is below. Stay tuned.

Hello vNet Certified Dealers,

As of today Russound, has decided to continue on with the product but will transition from the vNet badge to a Russound badge over the course of the year on a SKU by SKU basis.

Any registered projects that were sent in by the end of Dec will continue to get 2010 pricing. New projects that you will quote will be at 2011 pricing. Attached is the Jan 2011 Price List. Password: xxxxxxxx

Warranty info is as follows:

Products purchased after 10/15/2009:

Colorado vNet Corp. warrants each new system sold on or after October 15, 2009, for a period as defined below from the date of purchase of the system by an authorized Colorado vNet Corp. system integrator, to be free from defects in materials or workmanship under the conditions of normal use and specified ambient temperature when installed and operated in accordance with vNet product specifications, applicable National Electrical Code provisions, and Safety Standards of Underwriters Laboratories.

Warranty Period:

Vibe Video System Products: 
1 year replacement parts program for credit against the purchase price upon return of a defective part.

Wireless Lighting & Control System Products:
2 year replacement parts program for credit against the purchase price upon return of a defective part.

Vibe Audio Server Products:
1 year replacement parts program for credit against the purchase price upon return of a defective part.

All Other Colorado vNet Corp. Products:
8 year replacement parts program for credit against the purchase price upon return of a defective part, on the following sliding scale:

100% on Years 1 & 2
50% on Years 3, 4 & 5
25% on Years 6, 7, & 8.

Products Purchased from Colorado vNet LLC prior to 10/15/2009:

Products purchased from Colorado vNet LLC prior to 10/15/2009 will not be covered by warranty, however Colorado vNet Corp will have replacement Hardware and Software Products available, which subject to the sole discretion of the company.

Additionally, we want to inform you that Technical Support shall continue for the Colorado vNet product line. Should you require support, please contact the technical support team ...

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you for your continued support.

Cheers,



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


News · Colorado vNet · Russound · All Topics
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