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Wolf Cinema Fueling A/V Rejuvenation

Sumiko's video brand, Wolf Cinema, is touring the U.S. showing custom installers its product line and solutions, which include its VariScope aspect ratio system, its projector cooling technologies and its new LED projector.

Wolf Cinema is preparing to launch its LED projector, the DCL-200FD projector, which it demonstrated recently at a Boston dealer event.
Robert Archer · April 14, 2010

Back during the 2008 CEDIA Expo, the San Francisco-based importer/manufacturer Sumiko made an memorable debut with installers through the introduction of its Wolf Cinema video line.

Since that fall weekend approximately 20 months ago however, the company has been relatively quiet, but that is changing.

Recently the company set out on a national educational tour highlighted by product demonstrations that feature its DCX product line and upcoming LED-based DCL-200FD projector.

During its stop in Boston, Jim McGall, director of sales for Wolf Cinema, acknowledges the company’s background in high-performance audio, and says the company is putting the same emphasis into video so it can build a similar reputation for its video line.

One such example he points out is the new LED-based unit, which he says will perform at high levels and enable installers to sell into more households because of its price point and versatility. “[We] asked ourselves, how can we fit into today’s market,” he recalls.

Analyzing the state of the custom market further, McGall continues by saying, a few years ago many installers made money through complex control and automation systems that dominated their clients’ system expenditures, but with the introduction of Apple’s Web tablet, the market is shifting back to its audio/video roots.

“For the past several years we’ve seen custom installers focus on control,” he estimates. “Now things are turning and going back to [audio/video] fidelity. The market is going in cycles and control use to suck up clients’ budgets. The iPad is changing that and now installers need audio/video fidelity to increase their revenues.”

Dealers Investigate the Revenue Opportunities

After moving its showroom from Topsfield, Mass., to Winchester, Mass., the suburban custom installation company System 7 attended the Wolf Cinema demonstration. According to Gerry Lynch of System 7, the company is interested in growing its revenues through performance video products. “There’s two ways to go with home theater,” notes Lynch. “We want to sell into the high-end and I am looking at something that clients wouldn’t get from Magnolia. We try to sell things that no one else sells.”

Later, during the product demonstration portion of its presentation, McGall explained a number of technologies Wolf employs in its product line that range from its use of Xenon lamps, its VariScope aspect ratio technology, its LED light engine design, and the research it has done on projector reliability and how high environmental temperatures affect product life.

The demonstration underscored the color gamut capabilities of the LED projector with “Speed Racer,” and the brightness and aspect adaptability of the Xenon lamp-based DCX series of products, which includes VariScope technology with movies like “Patton” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Later, McGall covered the company’s dealer support policies.

Concluding his presentation, McGall expressed his position on the 3D trend engulfing the video market. “Ask yourself, ‘What kind of 3D do you want?’” he says. “I’m telling clients to wait. There are a lot of problems with it, but [for installers] it is an interesting way to sell receivers. Dealers and [consumers] have to ask themselves, ‘Are you ready for it?’”

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  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at robert.archer@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Home Theater · Displays · SUMIKO · Wolf Cinema · All Topics
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