For many years, every brand in the Nortek portfolio was elevated somewhat equally based on its category niche — from Elan to SpeakerCraft, Gefen, Niles, Panamax, Proficient, Furman, Sunfire and Xantech. It made sense, since each brand has its own particular product niche.
But now that Nortek is out of the picture, Core Brands used CEDIA 2017 in San Diego to showcase its Elan control brand (with new remotes and video-over-IP products) and how the other brands all integrate with it. The company also highlighted how dealers can earn various support services in Core, including extended warranties and rebates.
“The focus is definitely around Elan,” confirms Bill Hensley, director of marketing at Core Brands, who was left breathless at the show after running through the multitude of products shown to the custom installation market at CEDIA 2017. “In all, we are revealing more than 80 products at the show.”
Elan Flagship Program Certifies Systems
To help cement that Elan focus, the company debuted the Elan Flagship Program at the show. This new program is designed to benefit both dealers and their customers when Core Brands audio and power products are integrated into “Flagship Certified” Elan systems. The program debuted to top ELAN dealers this summer, before making its channel-wide debut at CEDIA 2017.
“Our ultimate goal was to build a tighter bond between dealers and their customers while delivering Flagship benefits to both,” says Core Brands vice president of business development Joe Lautner. “For dealers, Elan Flagship includes direct access to our design team to ensure that they create the best possible solutions for their customers. Elan is an exceptionally homeowner-friendly system, and a certified Flagship system elevates this award-winning experience with even higher performance, reliability, simplicity and enjoyment. Our control, audio, video and power management solutions are designed to work best together, so Elan Flagship systems deliver maximum performance and maximum confidence, with a full 5-year warranty on Flagship products.”
A Flagship-certified system is comprised of any Elan control system using a certified system design that meets minimum product requirements including an Elan controller, touchpanel and gHR200 remote, plus an Elan, SpeakerCraft or Niles MRAV chassis, speakers and a subwoofer from SpeakerCraft, Niles or Sunfire, and power management by Panamax or Furman. Once the system is certified, the warranty for all eligible products is increased to five years.
Lautner adds, “The program is changing the conversations our dealers have with potential customers in a very positive way. The customer gets not only an elevated system performance, but added peace-of-mind from the certification and extended warranty. For the Elan dealer, it means we are standing behind them 100 percent, plus their multi-brand purchases all count toward their Dealer Rewards status level and quarterly VIR. We look forward to a lot of great conversations with new dealers at CEDIA.”
2 New Elan Remotes
Two of the most important products in the booth were the HR30 and HR10 remote controls. According to Elan product manager Eric Herdman, both remotes offer performance, reliability, aesthetic appeal and intuitiveness with “instant access to media, lighting, climate, audio, video and more has never been easier for the homeowner.”
The new $870 Elan HR30, which won the 2017 CE Pro BEST Award for top interface/controller, is a redesigned version of the original Elan HRs with added performance. The controller’s user interface allows users to control multiple media rooms, lighting, climate and security. It is highlighted by a flush mount 2.8-inch color touchscreen, allowing a user to swipe left or right to quickly access favorite content.
The screen is configured using the company’s Configuration Software and is fully compatible with Elan’s current system controller line-up. The 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Remote ensures compatibility with today’s wireless networking technology, and its built-in IR blaster allows users to easily control via IR devices when needed.
Shipping to dealers in September, the new $400 Elan HR10 is compatible with all of the company’s current system controllers. The HR10 excels as a single room solution for control of media, lighting and climate. The 802.11 b/g/n compatible Wi-Fi remote offers compatibility with today’s wireless networking technology, a 2.4-inch color LCD screen that is fully configured in the Elan Configuration Software, and three customizable buttons for access to music, movies and lighting.
Elan is also now shipping three new video-over-IP products. The solutions deliver visually lossless video and virtually latency-free distribution of HDMI video at 4K UHD resolution over a 1GB Ethernet Switch. The line includes the EL-4KPM-VIP-TX transmitter, EL-4KPM-VIP-RX receiver and EL-4KPM-VIP-CTRL control module. They enable virtually unlimited scalability and configurability, and round out the brand’s recently launched line-up of HDMI video distribution products.
“The industry has been requesting a Video over IP solution that is extremely scalable for today’s large residential installations, and this new line does just that,” explains Core Brands vice president, product management, Mike Jordan. “AV distribution is an essential component of home control and automation systems, and ELAN dealers now have virtually infinite configurability options for their installations.”
Using lossless compression technology, ELAN VoIP’s built-in video scaling ensures that the optimal video signal is delivered to each display. And the ELAN configuration software gives custom installers maximum flexibility and ease of installation for all projects.
Set up is simple using the ELAN configuration software and does not require knowledge of networks or how to create VLANs. The solutions have four operational modes, meaning that the technology can be used to solve for various A/V distribution application requirements. The four modes include Matrix Distribution with unlimited configuration options (which requires 1GB network switch), Video Wall Presentation (a feature possible with or without a network switch), One-to-Many HDMI distribution (with no network switch required), and One-to-One HDMI extender (also with no network switch required).
The solutions support all HDMI audio formats including Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio transmission. They can be powered via PoE (Power over Ethernet) from a PoE enabled Ethernet switch or a PoE injector. The EL-4KPM-VIP-TX may also be powered locally when PoE is not an option. The new products have been tested and approved for compatibility with all recognized manufacturers of TV displays and AV hardware. They also easily integrate with all third-party control systems.
12.5% Rebate Program
To further incentivize integrators to rally around Elan, Core Brand introduced its new Dealer Rewards Program that offers an incredible 12.5 percent quarterly rebate to dealers.
“Delivering market-leading programs to our dealers is a key element of our mission,” Core Brands president Joe Roberts says. “We are thrilled to give dealers terrific incentives that add to their bottom line while they provide exceptional control and A/V experiences to their customers. Our Dealer Rewards program launched at the start of the year, and heading into CEDIA is the ideal time to let every dealer in the industry know that we are here to help them elevate their businesses.”
The Dealer Rewards program is open to all CI channel direct dealers and applies to purchases of Elan, SpeakerCraft, Panamax, Furman, Gefen, Niles, Sunfire and Xantech products. Rebates start at 2.5 percent for quarterly purchases of just $2,500, and increase all the way to 12.5 percent for quarterly purchases of $50,000. Plus, all orders placed on the Core Brands Portal receive free shipping. The program also offers other benefits such as demo gear discounts that help dealers outfit their showrooms.
In addition to quarterly rebates, when dealers achieve Premier and Elite volumes, they earn up-front savings on product purchases, plus deeper demo gear discounts and other benefits.
Elan New Home Program for Builders
Meanwhile, ELAN unveiled its New Home Program to help dealers serving production builders, custom home builders, architects/designers and MDUs to sell more smart home control systems. The program provides installers with a range of control solutions and extremely important “sell-through” services that are personalized to meet the needs of each project.
Core Brands director of builder services Bret Jacob notes, “The Elan New Home Program takes the confusion out of offering and delivering home automation standards. Since introducing this program in January, we have generated millions of dollars in new pipeline business for our integrators. We are ready to take this exciting sales building program to our entire dealer base.”
The program offers Elan dealers and builders a complete range of benefits including aggressively priced base packages, direct manufacturer product and marketing support and project oversight, and model home and incentive programs.
Xantech, Panamax Evolve
Lastly, the company's Xantech, which is known for its IR control heritage, is being labled as the “connectivity brand” within the group, according to Hensley. To that end, Xantech showcased its EX Series High-Speed HDMI Cables with X-GRIP Technology at CEDIA 2017
Xantech’s line of piano-gloss finished connectors – available in .7 m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 3m, and 4m lengths – are equipped with the brand’s patented X-GRIP Technology to resist up to 10 pounds of pull force to keep cables securely in place. The cables support all current HDMI features, including HDR, 18Gbps transfer rates, resolutions up to UHD and DCI 4K at 60 frames per second in 4:4:4 Chroma sub-sampling, Audio Return Channel, Dolby Surround, and more. Additionally, the new line-up features a solid aluminum internal EMI shielding jacket that encases the entire connector head overlapping the cable’s shielding well. Gold plated contacts housed in a porcelain-shielded connector aid in rejecting stray capacitance from other interconnected components.
Not to be overlooked, Core Brands' Panamax division introduced BlueBOLT-CV2, a new interface enabling energy management features of Panamax PRO products to be managed from the local network without requiring a cloud connection.
“Now more than ever, residential integrators are looking for ways to effectively manage their customers’ power consumption to help lower utility bills and reduce the installations impact on the environment,” said Core Brands power product manager Christos Desalernos. “With the BlueBOLT-CV2 interface card, residential installers can upgrade their MB1500, M4315-PRO and M4320-PRO to the latest BlueBOLT remote functionality, which allows them the flexibility they are looking for. The new CV2 also enables local access through a set of embedded web pages.”
Integrators can monitor their clients’ power as well as set up a number of notifications alerting them of network and or power anomalies. Scheduled events and auto-reboot functions help eliminate manually re-booting the network as well as eliminating most service calls while troubleshooting and resolving the tech issue remotely. This adds value to the residential integrators’ portfolio as well as lowers their labor costs by not requiring a trip to the installation site to manually reboot devices, such as control systems, set top box/DVR’s Media servers and network devices.
“And integrators that already use BlueBOLT understand that remote service calls don’t have to be free,” Desalernos added. “The platform opens up recurring revenue opportunities.”
The BlueBOLT-CV2 is designed to deliver locally controlled BlueBOLT functionality to the Panamax M4315-PRO, M4320-PRO and MB1500. Cloud connection is only needed for set up, after which all control can be managed from the embedded web pages.